the primary focus for most political commentators
remains on what is regarded by some, as the mother
of all elections for the hearts and minds of both
nationalists and unionists on May 5th. The significance
of a alternative choice emerging within
the republican constituencies in all six counties
in the north should not be overlooked.
the closure of nominations for the council elections
on the 12th April, a first was recorded when several
Independent Irish Republicans including former Sinn
Fein candidates, councillors and a former H-Block
Blanket man and hunger striker were among the candidates
poised to seek a mandate from those constituencies
considered as a Sinn Fein pool.
the independent Irish Republicans lining up for
the local council elections on May 5th are former
Blanket-man and hunger striker John Nixon standing
in Armagh City, and former Sinn Fein councillor,
Martin Cunningham fighting to retain his seat in
the Newry and Mourne borough.
other Republicans are former Sinn Fein candidate
Aine Gribbon, a 39 year old mother of nine children
running in Antrim Town, and 35 year old mother of
two Trish Murray. Last year, both women were part
of a mass Sinn Fein resignation in the town, when
an entire branch resigned. The other independent
republican hopefuls include Gary Donnelly, Derry,
Paul Gallagher, Strabane, Kevin Barry Nolan in Fermanagh
and Bertie Shaw standing in Larne.