Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Colin Duffy to contest Euro elections

Regular readers of the Wombat Hole would be familiar with the name of Colin Duffy, the dissident northern Irish republican accused of involvement in the recent attacks in the six counties, and who went on hunger strike to protest his innocence and ongoing detention without charge, a detention which was ruled to have been illegal.

Well, it now appears that Duffy is set to stand as an independent candidate for the European elections, on June 4-7.

According to Ciaran Cunningham, a Belfast spokesman for "an umbrella organisation representing a number of dissident republican groups",[1] Republican Network for Unity:

"Colin Duffy intends to stand as a candidate in the upcoming European elections," he said.

"He will be standing on an end-28-day-detention ticket and an anti-internment ticket. A steering committee has been set up to direct the election campaign and RNU fully endorses that committee."

Naturally the Unionist spin-cycle has gone into hyper-drive accusing Duffy and his friends of "using this election as a personal and perverted referendum on a return to terror.” Whatevs...

Duffy, 41, currently faces eight charges
in relation to the attack on the Massereene barracks in Antrim on March 7th, an attack which the Real IRA has already taken responsibility for.

While there is little (well, stuff-all, really) chance of Duffy replicating the victories of the likes of Bernadette Devlin MacAliskey or hunger-strikers Bobby Sands and Kieran Doherty,[2] and win one of the three available seats, the Belfast Telegraph probably has it right when it points out that
"the campaign would highlight the introduction of 28-day detention under the Terrorism Act and could diminish Sinn Fein’s Bairbre de Brun’s prospects of topping the poll ahead of the DUP’s Diane Dodds."

For more (if not directly related) discussion of Norn Iron and what goes on there, see the ever-engaging Organised Rage, and the finger-on-the-bleeding-pulse reportage of Splintered Sunrise, as well as the bods over at éirígí and An Phoblacht.

Apparently this includes a large number of ex-POWs and ex-members of Sinn Fein, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement and the IRSP.
[2] While the Representation of the People Act of 1981 banned serving prisoners from running in elections in respnse to these victories, Duffy is on remand, rather than a convicted prisoner, and is still able to run.

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