The success of Sinn Fein’s Maurice Quinlivan in last year’s local elections was built on the back of a lot of hard work on the city’s northside. Cllr Quinlivan has been a committed advocate for the people who elected him. He has also, thankfully, largely avoided the kind of hardline Republican rhetoric trotted out in Derry last weekend by his younger colleague Séighin Ó Ceallaigh, a member for the City East area. Cllr Ó Ceallaigh is an unreconstructed Republican of the old “Brits out” school. He wants no representatives of the British royal family or Government anywhere to be seen when the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising is marked next year. He stopped short of saying that British people of any description should not show their faces, but his words were hardly designed to make them feel welcome.
Cllr Quinlivan stands an excellent chance of election to the Dail. Unless he wants to turn some potential voters away, he should reject the kind of hostile approach and language favoured by his headstrong colleague.