The Irish Times catches up with the news of Dublin Cllr Louise Minihan’s resignation from Sinn Féin – and Monaghan Sinn Féin Cllr Matt Carthy says that she should honour a pre-election pledge which “states that if we leave Sinn Féin for whatever reason we will give our seats back to the party.” Meanwhile, via Newshound, in Village magazine, taking Gerry Adams’ World Tour for Irish Unity as a starting point, Ed Moloney argues that the signs are of a party in decline.
There are some persuasive reasons given for Sinn Féin’s decline. One says that once the St Andrews deal was done and the IRA’s guns embedded in cement, a major inducement to vote for Sinn Féin south of the Border to keep peace alive had evaporated. Another that it has to do with Sinn Féin’s ideological flip-flopping and lack of fixed beliefs. The move to the right after the disaster of 2007 in the search for a more moderate, less radical image was such a transparent ploy that it made it impossible for Sinn Féin to tack back in the wake of the economic collapse. Such antics invariably fail to impress the voter while disillusioning the grass roots activists. There is no doubt these were both important factors in Sinn Féin’s southern demise but history may judge that the real cause of the party’s woes was the leadership’s addiction to playing the IRA card for so long in the Northern peace process.