If the mood takes you

If the mood takes you

April 10, 2016 Blog 0 Comments
We had a United Nations-style gathering at the launch of my Assembly election campaign in the Ivanhoe Hotel in Carryduff, South Belfast, on Thursday past where a full and ethnically diverese house heard from Martin McGuinness and my councillor colleagues Deirdre Hargey and Geraldine McAteer.
I had a few words to say myself — which, if the mood takes you, can be read in full here.
If you just want the Cliff Notes version: much good work has been done but the Fresh Start gives us the opportunity to really deliver radical change for all our people.
Among those who came to hear what I had to offer as putative MLA for South Belfast were representatives of our minority communities including Justin Kouame whose NI Council for Refugees and Asylum Seekers does life-saving work with newcomers.

Biggest applause of the evening went not to the politicians though but to the inspiring rendition in Irish of the Foggy Dew (An Drúcht Gheal) by Belfast nightingale Gráinne Holland.
Music always trumps politics so it’s a thrill to receive an endorsement in song but Gráinne and I also have a political connection.
Her late father Harry worked on my first political campaign back in 1985. We lost that one but only because the rapidly changing demographics of Belfast weren’t represented in the gerrymandered Council wards of the era — as Harry showed after the election with a handwritten breakdown of the stats.
It was a treat, then, to have the Holland imprimatur as I start out on my ninth election campaign.
How will I do? After rapping doors for one complete week now, I can honestly say that I have no idea.
But I hope I’m striking a chord with my message that the Fresh Start at Stormont must bring dramatic change in how we approach the crucial issue of building the economy.
And if you want to hear more on that topic, come along to the Belfast On The Rise business breakfast in the Merchant Hotel this coming Thursday morning.
Our panel are all Belfast business champions: Catherine O’Neill of the Amelio Group, Gerry McKernan founder of ClubsToHire.com, Colin Williams founder of Sixteen South and Deb Lange of Invest NI and Belfast Harbour. Keeping that line-up of hard-pushing risk-takers, who have each torn up the rule book in their respective sectors, won’t be easy which is why we’ve given the job to a Dungiven woman — Emer Hinphey of Think People.
I’ll be up first with some comments of my own about how we are going to ramp up Belfast’s rise. If you can’t be with us in person, you will be able to watch live over the web via my Twitter feed. If,that is, the mood takes you.

About the Author

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir is the outgoing Sinn Féin MLA for South Belfast and a civic activist in Belfast.