|MY POSTER WHEN I STOOD FOR ELECTION TO LARNE BOROUGH COUNCIL 1989|
I imagine that some of those are asking this hoping to set some kind of trap for me?
Others may be genuinely interested.
How one votes is a private matter unless one chooses to make it known.
As I have always VOTED ACCORDING TO MY CONSCIENCE I have no problem in saying how I voted.
Incidentally I ONCE stood for election to public office. In 1989 I stood as an INDEPENDENT CROSS COMMUNITY CANDIDATE for Larne Borough Council. Larne was and is 87% Protestant and 13% Catholic.
I got the second highest vote in the election after Ian Paisley's DUP and served for 4 years.
The main reason I stood was that Bishop Cahal Daly told me that as he had sacked me Larne did not want me.
I put that to the test by allowing ALL the people of Larne says whether or not they wanted me.
I came to Northern Ireland in August of 1978 right in the middle of THE TROUBLES and became a priest on Belfast's Fall's Road - the heart of Northern Ireland Republicanism and Nationalism.
When I arrived I was the least political person you could imagine.
But then I experienced it all - shootings, bombings, the IRA, the British Army, the RUC, the Dirty Protest, the Hunger Strike etc.
I have NEVER believed in VIOLENCE - either the violence of the State or the violence of the Republican or Loyalist paramilitaries.
I did not like the SDLP because I regarded them as the Political Wing of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. Although I did admire people like John Hume.
From 1978 until now I have generally voted for SINN FEIN - in the beginning as a protest vote and later on because I admired their socialist and progressive policies on women, the fay community, equality etc.
I am NOT and never have been a UNITED IRELANDER.
I would not want to live in the Republic of Ireland as long as the Roman Catholic Church has one ounce of influence - whether that influence be obvious or subtle.
I would be for a NEW IRELAND as long as that new country was completely secular and pluralist and there was complete and total separation of church and state.
I have changed my vote on two occasions in my time in Northern Ireland.
My local Westminster MP is Sammy Wilson of the DUP. Three years ago I went to see him about something and he did a wonderful job for me on a hard issue.
|SAMMY WILSON MP|
I told him that I would give him my vote at the next general election and I kept my word.
This week I also changed how I normally vote. the leaders of the SDLP and the Ulster Unionist Party asked people to give them votes and transfer to each of them in the hope of something new happening.
I decided to give it a chance.
I'm afraid it did not work out.
So that's how I have voted.
I try to vote with my conscience and what I think is for the common good.
I am principally a Sinn Fein voter.
If I lived in the Republic of Ireland I would be a Sinn Fein voter too.