A Letter From Greystones




Further to Wicklow Independent TD and (Social Democrats co-founder) Stephen Donnelly’s decision to join Fianna Fáil.

Anton D’Alton, a Greystones, North Wicklow resident, writes:

I couldn’t help noticing that Stephen Donnelly, formerly an Independent TD and once a founding member of the Social Democrats has decided to cast his lot with Fianna Fáil, and is set to become that party’s spokesman for Brexit.

I’m sure as I am that the good citizens of Wicklow, and more particularly those from Greystones are choking on their quinoa at the thought.

Sadly, it was all too predictable that Donnelly would end his perfect isolation and cast his lot with the Soldiers of Destiny. it would seem, ambition got the best of him.

However, in his rush to join the ranks of the Soldiers of Destiny, Donnelly who was making his mark as a free ranger hunting down the vultures, has now swapped his independence to become a meaningless NCO in charge of jungle outpost.

Indeed, one wonders for how long ‘The Donnelly’ will last in Fianna Fáil before he realises he has committed the political equivalent of Seppuku?

Fianna Fáil are no doubt very pleased with themselves at the moment, or at least the one’s in Mount Street are. They are past masters at the game of ‘seek out and smother’ especially when it comes independent minded candidates with the potential to do mischief to their interests at a later date.

From their vantage point in Mount Street, they made a simple calculation that it would be far better to have Donnelly ‘inside the tent’ performing as a political castrati in a sideshow rather than on the outside and singing a different tune.

Fianna Fáil’s short-term gain is Donnelly’s long-term loss. What he doesn’t realise yet, is that the electorate in North Wicklow have long memories and are not as forgiving of shape-shifters as constituents in other counties might be?

And there is one factor he has not calculated yet; namely how to deal to deal with Fianna Fáil’s notorious Wicklow cummans?

If Donnelly thought the Social Democrats were obstreperous, he’s in for a rude awakening.

What he might not have realised was that rebel Fianna Fáilers in Wicklow, helped orchestrate his election back in 2011, in order to dispose of the unpleasant Dick Roche.

And believe you me, they are a fickle and crafty bunch when it comes to dealing with parachute candidates sponsored by Mount Street.

The hills of Wicklow are awash with the dead carcasses of fair weather candidates thrown out of the mother ship only to be shot by the renegades on arrival.

It may well be that Donnelly thinks that the only people whose nose will be out of joint in North Wicklow are The Blue Rinse Brigade who frequent Avoca, or The Blow-Ins who queue like lemmings outside The Happy Pear on Sundays.

Perhaps in his conceit, he believes the regular voters in North Wicklow will forgive him. They won’t and they never will.

So the die is cast. Humpty is in for a big fall. When that happens, no one in Mount Street will be there to put him back together again.


Earlier: A Limerick A Day

Yesterday: FFS

(Sam Boal, Rolling News)

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78 thoughts on “A Letter From Greystones

    1. ahjayzis

      Winning a seat on the back of a rage against Fianna Fail – then converting that seat into a seat for Fianna Fail is a MASSIVE two fingers to his voters. I can’t think of a more effective way to humiliate the people who trusted you.

        1. bisted

          …I saw him on Vinb with Mick Clifford…he was asked a question about the people who had voted for him and you could see that he was getting a reaction that he hadn’t expected and was visibly taken aback…I think he assumed that he has a huge personal vote that will follow him regardless…the penny had dropped after a long day that people do not like being taken for granted…

      1. Jim

        The queue last Saturday reached almost down to Xtravision. For coffee. There’s a perfectly serviceable cafe across the road. The coffee in Insomnia is better.

        1. Mr. Camomile T

          You can’t instagram a coffee cup from Insomnia or a nondescript café in Greystones though, can you?

  1. Gibbo

    Good points… I still can’t understand his rationale… There seems to be a huge backlash against this decision and I’ve yet to see and official statement from him defending it… It feels like I’ve given a de facto vote to Fianna Fail by supporting him in the last GE… I certainly won’t forget all those who had to emigrate, the destruction to people’s lives and the legacy of having an unsustainable debt thrust upon the country effectively mortgaging off a great many people’s futures all presided over during FF’s tenure (with a victory lap by FG)… In fact I’m not sure who will fill the vacuum on the ballot card next time I’m called on to vote? I’m sure others feel the same way?

    1. Liam

      Calculated risk – he’ll lose votes, but who else is there in Wicklow who can take a seat off the incumbents.? FG got 3 in at the 2011 election, they’ll never manage that again and Timmins who jumped ship to Renua in 2016 (and failed to get re-elected) won’t run again. The SocDem vote last year was entirely a personal vote for SteDon; the Green candidate is an unknown; Labour are a lost cause.

      I understand his reasons, he has a high profile but little actual influence as an independent; he’s not the type to be happy being a glorified county councillors. He wants to be in govt and have influence (and I’m not so cynical to think that all politicians are on the take). But FF are snakes and there are many who would never vote for them even if they had Obama and the Pope on the ballot sheet.

      1. Pat Harding

        There’s no shortage of smart independent-minded people from North Wicklow who can replace Donnelly. Guys like him are a dime a dozen, there are brighter ones too who won’t turn-coat either.

  2. Shane

    Donnelly will go down in lots of peoples estimation, however the moron who wrote this is part of a thankfully dying ‘old Greystones’ brigade. That 3rd last paragraph is beyond w***. I can imagine this knob supping pints in pooholes like the Burnaby and the Beach house, complaining that old Greystones is dead and gone.

    Seriously, what a tosser (Anton D’Alton that is, although I think Mr. Donnelly deserves the title too)

    1. Compassion Cash

      You sound a bit nasty yourself. Are you too good for a pint in the Burnaby? I’ve been living out of Greystones years but I don’t think less of anyone that lives there.

      1. Jim

        I was in the Burnaby for lunch last Saturday. Always a good pint, food is decent and affordable. Happy Pear is grand of a weekday, horrendous at weekends.

      2. Shane

        Its a poor bar, and populated with a large percentage of unfriendly people – serving sub-par food and drink. The owners have a similar problem in the Beach house.

        I don’t consider myself above anywhere, but there is a large swath of Greystones people with delusions – as someone once said to me, ‘you may live there all your life, and they’ll never accept you’ – and he was from Delgany!

        1. Compassion Cash

          OK fair point. Maybe it could be a generational thing? I’m in my early 30s and I never really got that feeling.

        2. No more mr nice guy

          Talk about a chip on your shoulder.

          I’m not sure what you’re talking about. The food in both Danns and the Burnaby is perfectly fine and affordable as far as pub food is concerned. If you have tips of more affordable or better quality places to go I’d love to hear them.

          What sort of notions do you think Greystones people have? The place is in amazing location with excellent facilities by a nice beach. They have very right to feel happy and thankful for their quality of life there if that’s what you meant to say.

          1. Compassion Cash

            The only reason I wouldn’t move back their for life, is the long commute into work. It’s just that bit too long.
            If I could trim off even 15 mins each way Id think about moving back.

        3. Pat Harding

          It’s seems Shane you have a chip on your shoulder, perhaps you don’t belong there and you know it.

          May I recommend Kilcoole….

        4. thefatlad

          I love the fact that a discussion around the selling out of a once principled politician has turned to the quality of pints and food in the village.
          This is why I love this country sometimes

  3. Diddy

    I never fell for the cone heads charisma.. I always smelled BS.. The fact that he’s now working for the most self serving political group of all confirms my earlier reservations. I think he’ll win his seat, I’d love to see the look in his face if he didn’t mind you.

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      He always seemed like a PD to me, but I was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  4. Murtles

    From his many statements, recorded in print and on social media, against FF and calling them all names under then Sun as recently as 6 months ago, now he’s in bed with them. Obviously their gravy train is going faster than his.

    Cue Meja ♫ “It’s all ’bout the money, money, money….” ♫

  5. Joe Cool

    The only sense this makes for him is that he’ll make a few quid out of it. He knows he’s done come next election

    1. Jim

      Is it possible he’s in the job long enough for a pension and he wants out without having to be seen resigning? Straight back to the consultancy work if that’s the case. Not a bother on him. Sickened. My neighbour who canvassed for him had heart surgery a few weeks back. I’m worried about him. Cheers Donnelly.

      1. No more mr nice guy

        Oh no. Stephen Donnelly made my bull into a raging homosexual! Stephen Donnelly founded ISIS! Stephen Donnelly is the spawn of Satan!

  6. Sparks

    I remember Stephen Donnelly questioning Ray MacSharry a couple of years ago. Rather condescendingly, he accused him of abandoning his role as a Public Interest Director of EBS and “going native”. (He made passing reference to his own experience as a management consultant …)

    Will Stephen Donnelly “go native” as a member of Fianna Fail? Or will he rise above their culture of clientelism? Only time will tell.

  7. Steve

    Hate FF but “we in greystones remember long time blah blah blah”.

    I’m sure you could say that about any constituency… we all remember blah blah blah.

    He romped home top of the pile 8000 votes ahead of 6th in last election. He’ll romp home next time too coz the voters in happy pear will want a minister for their constituency.

  8. DubLoony

    Long memories?
    FF now topping the polls having decimated the country a few short years ago.
    People have political memories of goldfish.

    As for comments about “blow ins”. Get over yourselves. People move around to different areas & contribute to their communities and life as best they can. They are your neighbors and they are voters.

    1. Kieran NYC


      My generation finds it odd when someone grows up and lives in the same place all their life, to be honest

        1. classter

          He is right though.

          In Dublin, few can afford to live where their parents did.
          Outside of Dublin, most attend third-level & this usually means away from home for a minimum of 3 years.
          At any one time, 20% of Irish born people are living abroad.

          It is odd now for someone to live in the same place all their life

  9. bisted

    …good letter but I fear the threats are empty…Wicklow voters seem to have anything but long memories…does nobody remember Mildred Fox…in fact, Wicklow seems to have a long history when it comes to Independents propping up the FFers…

    1. No more mr nice guy

      Absolute quality comment.

      People have long memories me boo-boos.

      The creepy closet FF weirdoes and paedo enablers around the country are just looking for an excuse to hold their nose and do what they have always done, I’d vote for them too if I was an inbred

  10. Sham Bob

    I’m disappointed with Stephen Donnelly’s decision, but this post is contradictory. He says the voters won’t forgive parachute candidates, and rebel FFers helped Donnelly to get elected in the first place. He’s already a TD in the constituency. He can be justifiably seen to have sold out for power by anti-FF people, but surely he can’t be considered an outsider. Plus if it was these notorious local cumanns that were rebelling against the Mount St. candidate to put him in, then why wouldn’t they get on board behind Donnelly? Unless he means the cummans want to put in your typical long-serving local FFer, and they got Donnelly in to punish FF HQ. Anyway, that side of the argument raises more questions than it answers.

    If FF pull the plug on FG, they can go in with SF/ Labour, the Greens and a few Independents to form a ‘national unity’ government to deal with the looming Brexit. Though they’ll probably want to wait for the assembly elections in the North to see if SF are weak enough to be allowed into government here.

    1. No more mr nice guy

      I feel a bit sorry for Jennifer Cuffe because she did poll well last time out with over 2000 first preferences

  11. Wayne Carr

    The people who eat in the Happy Pear? Are they Dubs, or yellow bellies, or cats? Or foreign national?

    Is blow-in always against Pale dwellers?

    1. Mike Stapleton

      I would have thought ‘Drones’ was a more apt description for those queue up outside The Happy Pear. The kind of people who followed Stephen Donnelly and didn’t recognise he’s just another ambitious politician and media whore.

  12. some young queen

    Here’s why this letter, and all the furore surrounding this, is just hot air;

    Fianna Fail will win the next general election, in a testament to the Irish people’s lemming like attitude of “sure what else can you do”, the electorate will swing back towards FF, probably by landslide. rather than be left out in the cold with an independent on the outside looking in, the people of wicklow will vote FF, as it’s always better to be on the inside, the winning team, isnt it?

  13. Irishelectionliterature

    Funny thing is that the current FF Wicklow TD is a former Independent Councillor who joined up with FF yet got the backing of party members in the last General Election.
    I suspect Donnelly will hold on to his seat.

  14. Pat Harding

    I read your assumption (an incorrect one at that) that Fianna Fail will win a majority at the next election, I wouldn’t bet on it. Yes, their spin doctors are out there doing their level best to convince you that it will be a fait accompli’, but the electorate aren’t as stupid as you might think. The two largest party’s share of the vote has consistently shrunk over the last thirty years, and fragmentation will continue. Th ladyboys of Young Fine Gael and the Grease monkeys of Ogra might be posting on Broadsheet and telling you otherwise, but what they won’t admit is their respective parties have a fraction of the membership they used to have.

    As it stands, minority government actually seems to be working, for once the executive branch of government are limited and this is for everyone’s benefit. Remember the only people who benefit from a majority government or a coalition majority are the politicians and their parasites. (see ladyboys for YFG)

    Donnelly’s move is motivated by naked ambition, some might portray it as ‘sensible’ but he is in a bellwether constituency that has a large urban and educated vote that actually turns out. So whereas Donnelly might have topped the polls once (Dick Roche did it twice and was thrown out twice) he will lose a lot of votes the next time as they will not transfer to Fianna Fail. He’ll be lucky to scrape across the line but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  15. RT

    Wicklow (my home county, but no longer have a vote there) now is 2 FF, 2 FG & 1 SF. Donnelly topped the poll with almost 21% of first preferences. We should expect this to fall considerably next GE. Interestingly, former Councillor John Brady (SF) came in second on 16% of first preferences, a strong showing for a county that had never elected SF to the Dail before. Next came incumbents Simon Harris and Andrew Doyle (who?) for FG on 15.7% and 8.8% respectively, and rounding it out Pat Casey of FF managed to regain a toehold for FF in Wicklow after the 2011 meltdown. Casey finished only 779 votes ahead of Renua’s Timmons. The electorate did not reward veteran politicians such as Timmons, Joe Behan and Anne Ferris with seats last year.

    If we assume that all of the above TDs will likely run again (particularly given the youthful slant, average age is 45) then next Wicklow election becomes interesting. Wicklow has always had a strong Labour organisation, particularly in Bray (though it’s slowly turning into an SF stronghold) as well as an Independent presence. It’s all to play for in an interesting, diverse (suburban and sprawling Bray & Greystones vs. some very rural/isolated/deprived parts) and currently all-male constituency, particularly with gender quotas coming

  16. Toni the exotic dancer

    His campaigning against Vulture funds was spot on. But now he’s joined that shower I think it’s safe to call him a conehead silly-billy man.

      1. Ron

        my only hope is that politicians sort out the health service so you can avail of the help you clearly need. what’s wrong with you?

  17. Scundered

    No respect for Stephen anymore, he was a breath of hope in Ireland… turned out to be just as corrupt as the others.

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