How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria’s Appointment?



Prospective Labour Senator Maria Cahill

Further to criticism by Catherine McCartney, whose brother Robert was murdered by the IRA in 2005, over the past of Seanad Labour candidate of Maria Cahill.

Mark Malone writes:

Labour’s appointment [of Mairia Cahill as a seand candidate] isn’t just cynical in that it’s a transparent move against Sinn Féin. It is deeply inauthentic in relation to survivors of abuse and those campaigning for a meaning framework for justice and truth in the north.

I can stake no possible claim of understanding the specifics of Mairia Cahills decision to run as a Labour Senator. And its pretty understandable why she wants to land punches on Sinn Féin.

Though if feels and looks like Labour’s play here actually results in creating hierarchies of victims around the ‘troubles.’ This is precisely what is important about the perspective Catherine McCartney bring in her statement. She says:

“It is vital for victims’ families, fighting for truth and justice to be entitled to work with elected representatives who should operate from a position of integrity and independence”

Cahills appointment to the Seanad.

“leave(s) us isolated from those political parties who support this nomination”

In a statement to all sitting TD’s and Senators she expanded on this point.

“I fail to understand how a family like our own can ask political parties to hold SF to account regarding matters of truth and justice, (issues which remain at the forefront of peace process) whilst at the same time those parties ask no questions of Ms Cahill, and provide no answers to the public.”

It‘s up to Labour to disprove the widely held belief that the appointment is really poorly thought out opportunism. Yet that itself wouldn‘t rescue it from a fairly simple truth.

The main political parties in the south, and Labour in this instance hold up the grimness of war, and the very often brutal experiences of our fellow humans on this island, as tokens and faux currency for their own small minded games.

Notes On Labour, Maria Cahill And Catherine McCartney’s Statement (Soundmigration)


45 thoughts on “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria’s Appointment?

    1. martco

      even when you’re left in pure wonder at how far Lab have fallen they go looking for another level and find it

      and that’s not even counting Kelly’s unworkable rent control buffoonery

      Jasus wept

    2. Mike Ribble

      So concerned about paramilitary culture that you join a Dissident group? Yeah, that makes sense, whatever. No further questions.

      Btw, being on the National Executive of a Dissident group for a few hours is about as plausible as accidentally finding yourself performing in Wembley.

  1. Owen C

    Left wing and republican politics now seems so intertwined and confusing that we are going to 4th derivative relationships: My (Labour) enemy’s (Sinn Fein) enemy’s (Cahill) enemy (McCarthny)

  2. brownbull

    just to be clear Mark Malone, this doesn’t create hierarchies of victims of the troubles, she isn’t a victim of the troubles, she is a victim of sexual abuse

    1. soundmigration

      “just to be clear Mark Malone, this doesn’t create hierarchies of victims of the troubles, she isn’t a victim of the troubles, she is a victim of sexual abuse”

      Hi Brownbull,

      Thanks for that. It’s not just my assessment that it does. That’s what Catherine McCartneys statements points to.

      Mairia Cahill describes herself how suffered the horrible experiences of repetitive rape by a senior republican. It is her experience of paramilitary policing and attempts to ‘resolve’ this within a policing vacuum by the PIRA, rather than rape itself that has formed most of the media coverage and debate.

      Given a policing vacuum existed pre and during the low level war Pre Good Friday, its hard to see how this can be completely untangled from the ‘troubles’ as you so describe.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        I’m not sure it’s *that* hard. Sexual violence had nothing to do with the Troubles. They are two completely separate issues. You can talk about Maria Cahill alleged IRA member and you can talk, in a whole other conversation, about Maria Cahill the sexual abuse victim. The Troubles *might* be the reason she became acquainted with her abuser but it is not why she was abused.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Absolutely but that doesn’t make her abuse in any way political. How The IRA deal with sexual abusers in their ranks might be, but the actual act of abuse is something that should be seen for what it is and not conflated with a campaign of political violence.

  3. Advertising On Police Cars

    But she is a woman and don’t you all support gender equality in Irish politics?

    I want to see a Homeless, Gender fluid, transvestite, Abused Republican Candidate or nothing. Gets my #1!

    1. Mr. T.

      You know full well that her alleged abuse is being used by Labour and Fine Gael for political purposes. That in itself is an abuse of the issue. It’s cynical and crass.

      1. Neilo

        Anything that causes PIRA/Sinn Féin the least bit of discomfiture is fine by me. They see no conflict between the post-Good Friday Agreement and their direction of murder, racketeering and shielding the identities of pederasts. It’s past time to take the gloves off when it comes to this shower.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Well would you rather FG have the power to put through all the bills they want? FFS, I remember Richard Bruton’s response to that on telly. It was, literally, “Trust us”. Fupp off.

      1. Lan

        Actually given that the vast bulk from those looking for abolition of the Seanad was its consistent misuse by the government of the day, regardless of that government’s makeup. Those who ignored those arguments and choose to keep then yes are indirectly responsible for any misuse you feel being done

  4. phil

    Political parties in Ireland can be bull headed, they fear the so called embarrassment of a U-Turn even if they really want to U-Turn for their own benefit. it often really frustrates me , but in this case, Id be delighted to see this damage them …

  5. ahjayzis

    Glaringly obvious, ill-thought-out, petty politicking by Labour on a serious issue.

    I’ve an open mind to the appointment, I have a lot of sympathy for what Mairia went through. But point-blank refusal to interview/answer questions is a mockery of what is already a system that mocks democracy (Seanad appointments).

    Ms. McCartney makes some really good points. Labour have shot themselves in the foot here, by nominating someone who will not answer any questions on her involvement in dissident republicanism, they’re neutering their only, oft-repeated, attack line for SF.

      1. ahjayzis

        What I meant to say is I have an open mind toward the idea of someone representing the victims of sex crime, not Mairia in particular. Appointments like that make more sense to me than the antiquated panel system in the Seanad. I deplore using this platform to score political points, it’s cheap, tawdry and tasteless no matter what you think of SF

  6. steve white

    this issue is being stirred up, or brought forward by Beades, I don’t think Mairia Cahill was in the RNU when she met her in 2011,but Im not sure, Cahill was in 2010 as admitted, so when did she leave, what month at least. ?

    ” I was indeed the National Secretary of RNU – for a period of a few hours in 2010, until I resigned the position. This can be confirmed by the former chair, Danny Mc Brearty. I did continue to attend a series of meetings for a period of a few months”.

    she listed as having been general secretary for the 2010-2011, but that doesn’t mean she completed it, Beades should be able to underestand this and be careful in what he sasy for the McCartney’s sake

  7. Frilly Keane


    Poor Maria

    She couldn’t get on a Shinner ticket

    And look who she ended up with

  8. Truth in the News

    David Norris made a contribution to the Senate yesterday in relatation to
    Maria Cahill, she would do well to heed what he asked and explain why
    she was involved with the discedent’s and suddenly changed tact, there’s
    lot more to it, than her alleged mistreatment by an alleged IRA abuser that
    did not stand up in Court…..Independent Newspapers would want to explain
    a few things too….is there out there a hidden propoganda elite who are using
    her to settle old scores against Jerry and the Boys….which always ends up
    as having the opposite effect… come the Shinners are at 20 odd percent
    in the polls and maybe more…..Looks like the political version of Newtons Law.
    for every action there is an opposite and equal one…..?

  9. Terry Crone

    Makes perfect sense that the National Secretary of Dissident group RNU, 2010-2011, supported the police & condemned the murder of Ronan Kerr.

    Makes perfect sense even though RNU oppose policing & certainly do not condemn Dissident IRA murder.

    Nothing to see here – and if you ask questions you’re a Shinnerbot rape apologist, so how very dare you.

    Senator Bacik, what a wonderful advocate for freedom of speech you are.

    Labour, you are truly lost.

  10. FreshFish

    Total non story about a nobody jumping on a jalopy bandwagon of has beens

    Gore Vidal once said “we hate it when our friends are successful “

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