Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Bernadette Devlin retains Mid-Ulster Westminster Seat June 1970 – June 2020 campaigns because Black Lives Matter!

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50 years ago, on June 19 1970, Bernadette Devlin, an Independent socialist candidate, retained the Mid-Ulster Westminster seat she first won in a 1969 by-election. She continued to use these impressive electoral victories as platforms for building progressive mass movements. She is still a very committed political activist.

Viva Bernadette!

Bernadette McAliskey June 2020 – Black Lives Matter!

The RTÉ report below includes one significant mistake. In North Antrim the reactionary far-right rabble-rouser Ian Paisley won the North Antrim Westminster seat for the first time, unseating the sitting Unionist MP.

Protestant Unionist Paisley won the Stormont Bannside constituency in 1969, former seat of ex-Stormont Prime Minister Terence O’Neill, a right-winger not right wing enough for the Unionist Party.

“Bernadette Devlin retains her seat at Westminster in the first general election since the Troubles began.
The first UK general election since the outbreak of the troubles in Northern Ireland was held on 18 June 1970. The Unionist vote dropped from 61.8% in the 1966 election to 54.2%. The Ulster Unionist Party now held 8 of the 12 Northern Ireland seats at Westminster, compared to the 11 they had held previously. Ian Paisley, who had recently been elected in a by-election, retained his seat as a Protestant Unionist candidate.
Bernadette Devlin, another by-election winner, also managed to keep her seat in the Mid Ulster constituency. When first elected in 1969 as a Unity candidate, the 21-year-old student and civil rights activist had become the youngest member of parliament in Westminster.
This RTÉ News report shows Bernadette Devlin celebrating her win at a rally in Omagh, Co. Tyrone.”

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