Monday, 4 November 2013

The Ardoyne dissidents

Back in September the Republican Network for Unity announced that they would field Sammy Cusick  in next year's council elections in the Oldpark area of North Belfast.  For those not up to date with the complex world of dissident republicanism, the RNU is normally fronted in Ardoyne by Martin Og Meehan, a son of IRA gunman Martin Meehan.  For a flavour of Meehan's politics take a look at his Ardoyne Republican blog, with its masked republican gunmen, and for Cusick, take a look at his Facebook page.

However Cusick was only the first dissident republican to enter the fray.  

Dee Fennell
Dee Fennell has just announced that he intends to stand in Oldpark as an Independent Republican.  It may be helpful to explain that he was the organiser of the anti-internment parade through Belfast back in the summer.  Fennell is also one of the leaders of the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective (GARC) which  is the dissident republican alliance opposed to Loyal Order parades on the Crumlin Road.  

The RNU also supports GARC and so we will have two GARC supporters standing against each other.

Fennell and Cusick will be competing for votes in the little pool that is dissident republicanism and in effect next May they will be standing against each other.

For a variety of reasons, mainly to do with personalities and egos, there are four tiny dissident republican groups in Ardoyne - RNU, Eirigi, IRSP and the Sean MacDiarmada 1916 Society.  So by next May we could have four dissidents standing against each other!

They don't really like each other but they manage to collaborate within GARC where they stand together on a platform of 'Not an Orangeman about the place and Not an Orange foot on the Crumlin Road'.  

It will be interesting therefore to see what effect the forthcoming election will have on relationships within GARC and between the dissident republican factions.

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