Socialist Worker

‘It’s time for a shake-up’ after the fall of Northern Ireland’s sectarian assembly

New elections in Northern Ireland are an opportunity for ‘real, tangible change’ say candidates for People Before Profit

Issue No. 2538

People Before Profit supporters protesting last month

People Before Profit supporters protesting last month (Pic: Gerry Carroll)


Elections to a new Northern Ireland Assembly will take place on 2 March.

The devolved assembly collapsed after the Democratic Unionist Party leader and first minister, Arlene Foster, became embroiled in a green-energy initiative that will cost hundreds of millions of pounds.

Months of wrangling and brinkmanship from the mainstream parties lie ahead.

But there is an alternative. Gerry Carroll, who topped the poll in West Belfast last May, and Foyle assembly member Eamonn McCann will stand again for People before Profit. So will a number of other candidates.

According to Gerry, “This is a once in a lifetime election. The establishment has let people down, and people are crying out for an alternative.

“We think that we can win two seats in West Belfast. If we do, it will represent an enormous shift in the balance of politics here. It will signal that change is on the way, that people have had enough, and that the big parties can no longer rely on people to vote for them.

“The old is dying and the new is beginning to be born.”

Ivanka Antova is the candidate for South Antrim and Padraigin Mervyn is standing in South Belfast.

Padraigin said, “Every time I turn on the TV or look at the news, a new scandal has erupted at Stormont. Sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Time and time again the big parties

in the Assembly have let us down. They have failed to deliver real, tangible change for people here.”

Michael Collins—the other candidate in West Belfast—added, “People across this city are infuriated at the recent RHI scandal which wasted up to £600million, while people are on the streets homeless, while pensioners are struggling to heat their homes, and workers are being denied a decent pay rise.

"But people in this community aren’t stupid. They know that they have been let down.”

Eamonn said in the assembly, “We are talking in a vacuum. This is the way that the assembly ends—not with a bang but with a whimpering diminuendo of interest as we slink away having achieved absolutely nothing on the big issues that I confront in the interests of the majority of the people.”

“The executive have collapsed under the weight of their own contradictions. The flaws in the system were not in the edifice of the executive; the flaws are in the foundations of the system.”

Fiona Ferguson is the candidate for North Belfast. Fiona said, “Now is the time to make a change and break the old voting patterns.

“Send a message to the establishment that enough is enough. It’s time for a shake-up. It’s time for an alternative type of politics that puts people before profit.”

For more on the campaign go to peoplebeforeprofit.ie/north

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