John Drennan: Adams facing battle for last seat
Published 20/02/2011 | 05:00
Typically the Sinn Fein leader secures over 70 per cent of the first preferences in Stormont elections in his West Belfast homeland.
But after an initial blaze of positive publicity, sources now believe Mr Adams will be engaged in an embarrassing struggle with a pair of nondescript Fianna Fail candidates for the final seat.
The Fine Gael surge had put paid to any hopes of Mr Adams topping the poll, but strong campaigns by Labour and the second Fine Gael candidate Peter Fitzpatrick have damaged the Adams brand.
And local sources said the 'transfer repellent' status of the 'British Baron' means his election is far from certain.
The political celebrity has endured a mixed experience since he decided to dabble in Irish politics. In a humiliating put-down over the ongoing debate about Mr Adams' tangled relationship with the IRA, Fine Gael's Fergus O'Dowd told Mr Adams "you're no Michael Collins".
Yesterday, the Adams campaign came under attack from members of Jean McConville's family, who campaigned against him in Belfast. The mother of 10 was taken away by the IRA and murdered for comforting a dying British soldier. Another anti-Adams campaigner, John V Lennon from Cork, will be in Louth today to add his voice to the growing chorus of dissent against Mr Adams in Louth.