First republican MP for Derry since Eoin MacNeill took his mandate into First Dáil won’t be taking her seat: Adams

Sinn Fein Foyle constituency candidate Elisha McCallion pictured with Martina Anderson MEP, outside the Model Primary school.  DER0917GS034
Sinn Fein Foyle constituency candidate Elisha McCallion pictured with Martina Anderson MEP, outside the Model Primary school. DER0917GS034

Sinn Féin MP, Elisha McCallion, the first republican to be elected in a General Election in Derry since Eoin MacNeill took his mandate into the First Dáil almost a century ago, will definitely not be taking up her seat on the green benches at Westminster.

Party President Gerry Adams has clearly ruled that out following Mrs. McCallion’s historic breakthrough in what had long been an SDLP citadel, stating that Sinn Féin’s focus remains firmly on the island of Ireland.

He said: “This was a truly national effort by Sinn Féin and I want to thank all of our activists who travelled from all parts of the island to help secure this historic result for the party.

“Sinn Féin respects the mandate we have received and our electorate who voted in such huge numbers.

“Nationalists and republicans have turned their back on Westminster and accept that the centre of political gravity is now on the island of Ireland.

“The Taoiseach and DUP need to focus on restoring the political institutions.

“Theresa May sought a mandate for Brexit, austerity and the erosion of human rights. She got her comeuppance.

“The Irish government needs to seize the initiative to secure designated special status for the North as part of the Brexit negotiations.”

Mr. Adams was speaking after Mrs. McCallion followed up what had been Sinn Féin’s best ever election result in Derry in the Assembly poll in March, with an even better result yesterday.

In the 2017 Assembly poll the party increased its share in Foyle to 16,350 (37 per cent), significantly up on the 11,279 (28.5 per cent) it received in 2016.

Yesterday Mrs. McCallion improved on this again, securing an unprecedented 18,256 (39.7 per cent) votes for Sinn Féin.

Despite Mr. Adams’ abstentionist assurances, however, bookmaker Paddy Power is offering relatively short odds of 12/1 on Sinn Féin taking its seats.

That’s shorter than Boris Johnson (18/1) becoming the next Prime Minister, for example.