It’s an idea that has, probably, been overtaken by events… for now… But there is one more section from the US Embassy cables released by Wikileaks worth highlighting. A short note on the possibility of Fianna Fáil contesting elections in Northern Ireland from a cable dated 04 February 2005
8. (C) Another idea sporadically under consideration is that Fianna Fail could start competing in elections in Northern Ireland. The argument is that Fianna Fail’s best way of confronting Sinn Fein in the Republic is to become an all-island party. Some think doing so could also give nationalists in the north an alternative to Sinn Fein, given the SDLP’s waning fortunes. Mansergh did not see this as a short term prospect, in part because the SDLP has not yet indicated an interest in merging with Fianna Fail. Derek Mooney, Fianna Fail’s political advisor to the Defense Minister, says the opposite. He said the bank robbery is rapidly changing the prospective and it is the right time for Fianna Fail to move north. He noted that most of SDLP’s former voters are not voting at all, and only a small percentage shifted to Sinn Fein. This, he said, leaves space for a nationalist party with a vision for the future, a space Mooney thinks SDLP will never re-gain because it is seen only as a peace process party. Mooney said Fianna Fail took a significant step in November 2004 when it changed its rules, allowing full membership for people not resident in the Republic. The rules also allow a person to be a member of both Fianna Fail and SDLP. Mooney provides campaign advice to SDLP.