The race for the democratic nomination for Syracuse mayor goes on. Councilor Patrick Hogan and activist Alfonso Davis are challenging incumbent Stephanie Miner. One of the candidates has a slogan that's created some buzz. YNN's Bill Carey says there's even a claim of a subliminal message aimed at Irish voters in the September primary.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- In Northern Ireland, it was referred to as "the troubles." For much of the latter half of the 20th century, a sectarian war raged pitting British troops and a protestant militia known as the Ulster Brigades against forces of the catholic majority, the Irish Republican Army, sometimes called simply, the IRA. And the IRA often looked to America and cities like Syracuse, with a large Irish-American population, for financial support during "the troubles."
Its political wing was known as Sinn Fein and eventually, Sinn Fein was at the table as peace talks were held. Its leader, Gerry Adams, would often visit the U.S.
In 2004, he was welcomed in Syracuse by Congressman James Walsh to take part in the local St Patrick's Parade. Adams later made his way to tour the Irish neighborhood of Tipperary Hill.
What possible connection does all that have to this year's race for mayor of Syracuse? Well some have noted that, among the various translations of the words Sinn Fein is the phrase, Ourselves Alone. The same phrase being used as a campaign slogan by Common Councilor Pat Hogan in his race against incumbent Stephanie Miner for the democratic nomination. A subliminal appeal for support?
"Like I was going to get a lorry full of irregulars and storm city hall or something like that? There's no, no, there's no…it's just a great slogan, I think, for the challenges we face as Syracusans," Hogan said.
Hogan says his use of the words has a much more inspiring goal.
"It was a phrase that was uttered by my grandfather quite a bit when I was growing up. Ourselves alone. It's more or less a call for self reliance. That we can solve a lot of our problems and the challenges that we face as Syracusans by ourselves," Hogan explained.
The common councilor, already involved in a civil war within his own party, says there is no need to invoke memories of a much more serious clash far away.
Hogan says he subscribes to another translation of Sinn Fein. He says he always understood the Gaelic words to mean "we ourselves."