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O'Leary joins Sinn Fein blow to PBPA

category national | elections / politics | other press author Thursday July 08, 2010 12:41author by Leeside News Report this post to the editors

Councillor Chris O'Leary has announced his decision to join Sinn Fein

In what is an important blow to the People Before Profit Alliance "project", Cork Councillor Chris O'Leary who had been spoken off by PBPA as a prospective general election candidate has instead joined Sinn Fein. PBPA had been set to increase its "national" base with Chris O'Leary joining in Cork and the councillors from the Tipperary Unemployed and Action Group joining, but none of this has come to pass. This leaves PBPA back to square one. Four SWP councillors plus Joan Collins with little prospect of other serious forces joining its ranks.

Read the story at http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0708/....html

author by Robert Shortpublication date Thu Jul 08, 2010 13:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Will Chris stand now in Cork North Central or South Central? He was prohibited from standing on the Southside because of Dan Boyle but now he will be able to stand against him. But I still don't think he has a chance of winning a seat in a constituency that will be dominated by Fine Gael and Labour. He could only stand on the Northside if Johnathon O'Brien decided not to stand and that has been rumoured.

author by Mark Anthonypublication date Thu Jul 08, 2010 14:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's worth noting that the People Before Profit hadn't just been pursuing O'Leary for months, they thought he was in the bag and came close to openly announcing his affiliation at the beginning of this year. Their newsletter said that "we expect that the former Green Party Councillor in Cork, Chris O'Leary will affiliate with a group of 30 odd people in the coming weeks".

The same newsletter described the Tipperary Workers and Unemployed Action Group as "in the process of affiliating", a process which to put it politely seems to have stalled somewhat. That newsletter also mentions negotiations with Declan Bree, which also seem to have borne no fruit. Earlier attempts to win over another ex-Labour Councillor, Catherine Connolly are not mentioned.

In fact that newsletter is a little gem, including as it does an announcement of Brid Smith's campaign to be Mayor of Dublin, a campaign which now seems to have been going on since Caesar Augustus was a boy. Perhaps its no wonder that a second issue doesn't seem to have been produced:

http://www.people-before-profit.org/node/293

Overall, the People Before Profit project, which appeared to have acquired a little momentum in the period between the local elections and the beginning of this year, seems to have stalled once more. The expected wider forces have not come on board as of yet, and the likes of O'Leary certainly won't be doing so now. The existing forces have not pushed out beyond the five or so existing branches. And meanwhile, the Right to Work Campaign has been very much an SWP rather than People Before Profit affair and perhaps even more tellingly, the SWP are reported by a number of media outlets to have been in discussions with a few journalists, academics and NGO people about forming a new broader coalition, with even less distinctively left wing politics.

 
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