Building up Belfast and a Minute with Máirtín
Being the newly-named Sinn Féin Assembly member for South Belfast and throwing my cap in the ring for the upcoming Westminster election is going to be a thrill.
But the good news it that it won’t only mean more work for me because I’ll be asking all of you — regardless of faith, politics or community background — to join me in building community, creating jobs and celebrating diversity.
I want to focus on bridge-building at Stormont and of course that’s the work of many hands. There are those who want to run Stormont into the quicksands of recrimination and rancour.
They are focused on the past and the shadow it casts but as bridge-builders we are focused on the future and the light it throws. The ‘no’ people want to obstruct and slow up progress, as ‘yes’ people we want to release positive energy and speed up change. They want to hurt, we want to heal; they want to extinguish hope, we want to ring the bells of peace.
We believe, in words I heard first from the chief counsel to the Mayor of Boston, Eugene O’Flaherty that “the game of politics is about addition and multiplication not division and subtraction”.
So enjoy this little video minute with Máirtín and I hope you have time as well to read my comments to the annual dinner of the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations — unsung heroes building the peace one home at a time.
After that, let’s catch up at the Irish Labor 50 in New York on 7 November with Gerry Adams, Terry O’Sullivan, President of LIUNA, and Robbie Hunter, Belfast expat and President of the 400,000-member-strong California Construction Trades Council.
And if you’re not totally worn out by then, join me in rolling out the red carpet at the Aisling Awards on 20 November for Comptroller Tom DiNapoli — the $172 billion dollar man who is coming to Belfast to explore additional opportunities to build the peace with investment and jobs. Seat belts fastened, folks!