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29 May 1997 Edition

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Editor's desk

Last week I brought you word that a poll among students in Dublin gave Sinn Féin 5% in next week's election. Well, it's getting better. In University College Galway a poll shows that 7% of students will vote Sinn Féin while Galway RTC has the party on 10%. And a poll for the Tallaght Echo gives Sinn Féin's Seán Crowe 8%.


A new bank opened in Andersonstown last week. The new MP, Gerry Adams popped in and greeted the staff and the workers who were putting the finishing touches to the hi-tech building. To get in or out customers have to go through an `air-lock' - one door opens only when the other is closed. It didn't quite work as Gerry was on his way out. One door closed but the other wouldn't open and the new MP found himself trapped between the glass doors. As he looked out helplessly, one customer shouted, ``Right, turn the gas on now.''


Even worse, the bearded one was mistaken for Rolf Harris during an election walkabout in Dublin's St Jude Gardens. A six year old was eyeing him with a puzzled look on his face. ``Isn't that him off the telly?'' he asked his little mate. ``Who?'' ``You know, the Animal Man,'' he said.


But spare a thought for Lucillita Bhreanach. She was mistaken by one child for Mary Harney.


Pat McNamee, the Sinn Féin representative for Newry/Armagh and a new councillor for Slieve Gullion was on his way to the election count in Newry last Friday when he was stopped by the British Army. ``Where are you going?'' asked a Brit. ``I'm going to free Ireland,'' said Pat.


The Sunday Independent weren't interested in the ground-breaking local elections last week. They didn't have a single word to say about it. That must mean that Sinn Féin did well.


Derry Sinn Féin candidate and ex-blanketman, Pius McNaught, one of SF's most capable community workers, who polled very well his first time out, was an attentive observer at the count in Derry's Guildhall. As the SDLP was sweating out the contest between their two sitting councillors, Devine and Ramsey, SF's Marie Rush came up to him, looking for where the votes were being stacked. ``Where's Ramsey's?'' she asked

Pius looked absolutely blank. Eventually from deep within his memory store came the reply: ``In William Street,'' he said, giving the location of the Bogside's most famous fish and chip shop.


It is time someone gave recognition to Sinn Féin's superb vote management. And because no-one else will do it, I will.

Third prize goes to Cathal Crumley and Mitchel McLaughlin in Derry's Cityside ward. They polled 1,333 and 1,307 respectively, a difference of just 26 votes. Their transfers helped bring in Peter Anderson who got 952 votes.

Second prize goes to Pat Brennan, Packie McDonald and Pat McNamee in the Slieve Gullion ward of Newry and Mourne Council. They polled 1,148; 1,114; and 1,108 votes respectively, a spread of just 40 votes. They were all elected on the first count.

And the winner is - the Sinn Féin election team in Armagh City. Noel Sheridan, a sitting councillor, got 845 votes and his running mate, Sean McGirr, got 841 votes, a difference of just four votes. Both were elected. Congratulations all round.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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