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Eamonn McCann in Spat over Election Material at Free Derry Corner April 27, 2010

Posted by Garibaldy in UK General Election 2010.

People Before Profit candidate Eamonn McCann has claimed that Sinn Féin have told him to take down by tomorrow afternoon an election mural at the back of Free Derry Corner on the Lecky Road.
However, Sinn Féin have said it had already booked the space in agreement with a committee who look after the wall in order to erect its own election poster.

Saw this story from the Derry Journal via Mick at Sluggerotoole.

Mr McCann said he was unaware of any formal booking procedures, and claimed that his election workers had agreed with people usually involved with the wall that his banner could go up. He said that no political party controls Free Derry Corner and he won’t be taking the banner down.
“I received a text telling me to take down the poster by Wednesday lunchtime or it would be taken down It is a community facility. It is not their wall or their area. They have claimed more public space than any other party and now they want the wall as well,”

Committee member Tony Doherty, a member of Sinn Fein, who sent the text to Mr McCann, told the ‘Journal’; “I have been in contact with both sides and I am hoping for an amicable solution. There is a long-standing protocol and I hope that everyone adheres to that protocol.”

As Mick Fealty points out, the situation is particularly ironic given that McCann’s involvement in the original Free Derry in January 1969 (you can read McCann’s account of the period here). It’s hard to know what has happened here. The Derry Journal reports that there is a specially constructed frame for groups to hang banners, so presumably there is some sort of booking process for deciding who can hang what when, so that claim seems credible. Having said that, it’s not inconceivable that an organisation used to hanging its banners there had just assumed that it would have the space, and that McCann has stolen a march on them. Clearly McCann at least feels that there is an issue here of one party seeking to squeeze out dissenting voices. In an election where the left is represented solely by McCann, it would be a shame if his voice were to be drowned out.

EDIT: It seems that elsewhere in county Derry, a more direct approach might have been adopted.


1. Mark P - April 28, 2010

Hilarious. The Provos really don’t like other organisations being too visible in “their” territory. They were also caught ripping down SDLP posters elsewhere in the North this week.


2. B - April 28, 2010

Politics is a dirty game.


Mark P - April 28, 2010

The Derry Journal is reporting that the IRSP is out campaigning for McCann. Presumably that will help him get some of the dissident vote that went to O’Hara last time out, but getting those headcases on board isn’t exactly a step towards building a cross community working class alternative.



que - April 28, 2010

bout 500 of the 1600 odd votes went his way last assembly eclections unless I am bad wrong. About 400 of the rest went to SF.

I wonder whether he will get much more this time personally?


Jimmy McNulty - April 28, 2010

Now, now, Markie Mark. if you read the (internet accessable) Starry Plough from the mid 1990s onwards you will see that the Irps have a much less sectarian line than Sinn Féin-and are on talking terms with Loyalists/Protestants, including over lessening interface tensions.


WorldbyStorm - April 29, 2010

I have a fair few late 80s/early 90s Starry Ploughs I must put up.


3. CL - April 28, 2010

Does anyone know what percentage of the vote, and how many votes McCann received in the U.K. election of 1970?
It’ll be interesting to see how much 40 years of dedicated activism has increased his vote share.


4. Garibaldy - April 28, 2010
5. Buyer want me the seller pay closing cost in AZ.-Will mortgage rates go up? - April 29, 2010

[…] Eamonn McCann in Spat over Election Material at Free Derry Corner … […]


6. Scottish Socialist Youth » The Good Guys - May 9, 2010

[…] A few other folk who weren’t elected but deserve an honourable mention – Eamonn McCann, a living legend of the Irish civil rights movement stood for the Foyle constituency and got 7.7%, taking votes off the Shinners and the SDLP and coming ahead of the Ulster Unionists and Conservatives. McCann was active in the Northern Irish Civil Rights Association and was present during the Bloody Sunday massacre. Eamonn’s vote shows the Left can pick up support outside of the tribal system of Northern Irish politics – and despite Sinn Fein trying to censor his electoral material. […]


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