Sin e a chairde, treimhse cruaigh, deacair, tuirseach ach ar doigh. Ta Bairbre anois ar bharr an phoill agus is e Sinn Fein an phairti is mo sna se chontae.
I hope to be blogging a bit more often now that the election campaign has ended (for now at least!)
And what an election it was!!
I was up at 6am Thursday morning and straight to St Matthews Primary School to do polling agent from 7am to 10am. It was a long slug, but as always the people of the Short Strand turned out in support of the Sinn Fein candidate.
This of course was on the back of some intensive canvassing by the South & East Belfast team over the last few weeks and months.
On Friday we were up first pop again and down to the Nation's Capital.
We were sent to South West Inner City to assist with Cllr Criona Ni Dhalaigh's camapign for re-election to the city council.
We stamped the many streets in that constituency, including the many flat complexes, and got a brilliant response for Criona on the doors, she is clearly a very well know and well respected worker in that community.
Of course we were seeking Mary Lou McDonald's re-election to the European Parliament also, we always knew this would be a tough task as the constituency had been reduced from a 4 seater to a three seater. What I can say is that Mary Lou got a brilliant response on the doors, she was well known and well liked; sadly she didn't retain her seat on this occasion but thankfully a candidate on the left in the form of Joe Higgins was elected from the Sinn Fein transfers. Adh mor Seosamh!!
I was back in Dublin on Saturday for the council election count in the RDS, naturaly I was delighted that Criona was re-elected and that we made numerous gains across the 26 County State. We still have a lot of work to do, we still need to make Sinn Fein very firmly at the heart of political life in the 26 and we need to continue to ensure that our voice, our policies, the politics of Republicanism is the one that people turn to in the future.
Returning to the Six Counties, I attended the count at the Kings Hall on Monday morning with a very upbeat and resolute Sinn Fein contingent. As predicted by many, Bairbre de Brun topped the poll, the first Nationalist or Republican politician to do so in the history of the statelet.
It was clear from appearances that neither the DUP or the SDLP were happy bunnies that day.
So sin e!
When it is all said and done we have returned in Bairbre a first class representative for the people of the north.
I have no doubt she will continue her work on behalf of everyone she represents here in the north of Ireland.
Hopefully the horrendous images from Monday of Diane Dodds of the DUP refusing to shake hands with Bairbre will not be a sign of things to come from the DUP. Here's hoping it was just sour grapes and that she will mature a bit before joining Bairbre and Jim Nicholson of the UUP on the international stage!
The DUP have taken a hit but Peter Robinson needs to take control of his party, now more than ever and he needs to face the naysayers within his own ranks down or he faces the danger of those very same forces gobbling him up; and that is to the benefit of no one!