The quiet rehabilitation of Sinn Fein…

Sinn Fein’s rise to dominance in Northern Ireland has been anything but quiet. In the Republic however Sam Smyth reckons the Labour Party has quietly removed a psychological barrier between Sinn Fein and the other Dail parties:

Sinn Fein’s new status as a born-again political party follows the voting pact between the Labour Party and Sinn Fein that secured a seat in the Seanad for both parties. Labour’s Alex White and Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty are now elected to the Seanad. The Shinners also helped elect other Labour Party senators. Few members of the public have any interest in the Seanad but the shrewd ones would have noticed the rehabilitation of Sinn Fein.

Given the Greens were able to land two and a half ministerial posts with just six TDs, small parties like Sinn Fein may not have to wait too long before acquiring considerable strategic value in the horsetrading that seems to inevitably follow general elections these days.

Party strategists will now be applying themselves to how regain the forward momentum that takes them out of their current base camp position. No doubt the increased profile for the highly personable Gaoth Dobhair man will undoubtedly be an asset in that task.

  • So SF is to gain forward momentum by engaging in back stairs stitch ups, very modern and democratic. I bet the electorate will find that attractive, in case you missed the point Mick, people had voted SF in previous election because they were perceived to be not like the rest of them..

    Is it not interesting that few in the Irish media or political parties have not howled with rage at this negation of democratic accountability. Still how can they, as they are all it it, you scratch my back and I will scratch yours.

    Tammany Hall is safe and well having relocated to Dublin.

  • Mick Fealty

    To be fair Mick, it is a mix between the system, and the changing demographic (ie growth, mobility and consequent fragmentation) of the Republic that has led to this situation. Putting that on SF is less than fair.

  • “back stairs stitch ups”

    The Seanad is not and never has been a democratic institution. It’s a house of privilage, an old boys/girls club. The only way the “common man” can bring to bear an influence on it’s composition is to graduate from one of the NUI colleges, or TCD. This gives him a say in the make up of one tenth of the Seanad (3 from NUI, 3 from TCD).

    Labour and Sinn Féin are just playing the game by it’s own rotten rules.

  • Mick Fealty

    UFB,

    Interesting definition. Common Man = Graduate of a mainstream Republic-based university?

  • Garibaldy

    I think the mental barrier was gone before the last election, and the reason PSF weren’t involved in negotiations was because of a poor performance not principle on the part of the other parties. Virtually all the other parties, if I remember right, have had deals with PSF on local councils over mayors, chairs etc, and for many years. A surface change, not a real one.

  • Cruimh

    Might seem nit-picking – but doesn’t rehabilitation imply a previous fall from grace ?SF have never been other than outsiders in the Republic established by de Valera.

  • Mick,

    “Interesting definition. Common Man = Graduate of a mainstream Republic-based university?”

    That’s why I used the scare quotes around “Common Man”… perhaps it would have been more obvious had I gone with [sarcasm]Common Man[/sarcasm].

  • CTN

    Good point Gar, this is a watershed with a small w.

    The main parties having been doing deals with SF all over Ireland- this pact pertains to a slightly higher office and attracts publicity as its a first time event- but progress for SF none the less…

  • Garibaldy

    Cruimh,

    If we’re going to nit pick, Dev didn’t estabish the republic. That was Fine Gael.

  • Cruimh

    Ummmm – just about that’s true 🙂

    OK – the republic for which de valera wrote the constitution?

    Point stands though – SF are not being rehabilitated in the republic – they are being habilitated.

  • An Lochlannach

    “The main parties having been doing deals with SF all over Ireland…”

    Excellent point. This fortnight’s edition of Phoenix details a few local deals which have given Sinn Féin the position of mayor in a number of town and county councils.

  • lib2016

    Does this mean that the Fine Gael election pact is over?

    The South, like the North is socially conservative. If the Left is to get anywhere in the long term then only ‘broad front’ tactics will work.

    With the Dail dominated by two right wing groups – Fianna Fail on the one hand and Fine Gael, possibly strengthened by a post-unionist pact with certain Northern parties, on the other hand then a strong progressive group of parties in the centre could push through some real reform.

  • Cholm MacCormaic

    Rehabilitation? Please! The Shinners have peaked in the republic and there is very little evidence to suggest differently. Have people so quickly forgotten the election results 8 weeks ago? Are people seriously suggesting that the Irish people have again embraced these imbeciles who can’t even put together comprehensive policies as an alternative. We should remember that this is Senead. An irrelevant institution with no clout other than an old boys/girls club. Get a grip to those who are clutching at straws in the hope of the Shinners glorious ascension. The Shinners are finished down here. It’s up to them to display their capabilities of governing, and I’m not talking about the Parish Council at Stormont. I’m talking real leadership on policies that people seek. Then the people will give you the reponsibility to control the levers of government.

  • Turgon

    lib 2016
    ” possibly strengthened by a post-unionist pact with certain Northern parties”

    Ah the fantasies of youth

  • Cholm MacCormaic,

    The point is that Labour have conceded the principle of SF/IRA in gov. They cannot very well say that FF cannot go into gov with the Provos in the future just because they killed people because they will have this thrown back in their teeth. Its very significant.

  • Cruimh

    Is Seanad “Government”?

  • A N Other

    Cruimh,

    Nope, it means “Senate”

  • Turgon

    Cruimh,
    I agree that the Seanad is hardly government but I also think Hanson’s point is well made. Once a party has started doing deals with SF it becomes more difficult to then critise others for doing something which to most of the public will look quite similar. By the same token the DUP will now find it difficult to critise any RoI party if they go into government with SF. Yes of course it is a bit different with mandatory coalition etc but it is only a bit different and the media and most of the public may not accept that there is a difference.

  • Cruimh

    So Hanson is incorrect – SF are not in Government in the ROI.

  • Turgon

    Cruimh,
    Okay fair enough but do you not agree that it will make Labour attacking anyone else for going into coalition with SF a difficult proposition?

  • Cruimh

    I don’t think so mate as there is no coalition, merely co-operation. In southern eyes* the big one – letting a dirty party like SF into government – has yet to happen.

    * I don’t see a lot of difference between SF now and the mob who set up the free state.

  • Garibaldy

    Cruimh,

    “* I don’t see a lot of difference between SF now and the mob who set up the free state.”

    Careful. You’re beginning to sound like Ruari O Bradaigh.

  • Cruimh

    It’s true though – setting aside the arguments as about Easter 1916 – at a political level G – Adams has taken SF further than de Valera went when he left SF to found FF.

  • Garibaldy

    Cruimh,

    Quite possibly so. Both are populist opportunists. Which is why FF is the correct historical comparison with recent developments that The WP.

  • CTN

    “Adams has taken SF further than de Valera went when he left SF to found FF”.

    Yes 3,500 dead later all the way back to Stormont- genius isn’t he.

    Still his scumbag mates dragged in by the assests guys aren’t complaining….

  • Rory (South Derry)

    CTN

    Go easy with the Scumbags – sure were you just not recently telling me off on the Willie McCrea article about language and the misuse of it?

    Gettin a wee bit hypocritical me ould mucker???

  • Cruimh

    “Yes 3,500 dead later all the way back to Stormont- genius isn’t he. ”

    that’s not what I meant 🙂

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Rehabilitation means that you actually change

    So can someone in PSF or their cheerleaders on the blog kindly explain why Sinn Fein Party activists are still involved in:-

    (1) Smuggling

    (2) Theft

    (3). Extortion Rackets

    Answers duly awaited (but not expected)!

    And as for quiet they have moaned like little girls since getting their ass kicked in the south blaming everything but the bearded muppets performance on RTE!

  • George

    The cynic in me would say that Bertie Ahern’s decision to take in the PD’s, Greens and all the independents has basically made Labour realise that they are on their own.

    The deal with Sinn Féin was out of necessity, not out of principle.

  • CTN

    Almost would be Rory, if I named individuals but as people in the context of criminality deserve to be referred to like that I don’t feel I’ve quite bottomed out to the level of some of the stuff on that thread as my remarks are not sectarian, I’ve also avoided using swear words…

  • CTN

    Rory whilst I’m busy winding you up- have to agree with your remarks re Adams’ contribution to the SF set back down south.

    In Dublin they have done extremely badly and are at meltdown point, many of their members have left and many others are in 2 minds about stayin on board with the McGuinness/Adams autocracy- how has this hit home amongst republicans up north I wonder?

  • Cholm MacCormaic

    I must admit I was taken aback during the election campaign when on two occasions the Shinners knocked on my door and I was greeted by 2 citizens of Northern Ireland telling me why I should vote in my country.

    Was it just me or did anyone else experience this. When I was asking them questions on policy on a number of issues they were utterly clueless and attempted to give me a leaflet which told me how great the Bearded Almighty was and what the Shinners have done for Ireland as a whole!!

    One does not need to remind my fellow citizens in the Republic or our neighbours in Northern Ireland of just exactly what they and their friends contributed.

    Stick to north of the border lads your more welcomed there.

  • Cruimh

    “I was greeted by 2 citizens of Northern Ireland telling me why I should vote in my country.”

    Here in NI we had Caitriona Ruane from your country as their candidate ! And even more bizarrely we have a Scotsman, Pat Doherty.

  • CTN

    Cru- Despite the Rab C Nesbitt effect the indelible Mr Doherty is actually Donegal born, I’m sure he will forgiven your little indiscretion…

  • Cruimh

    CTN – from the horse’s mouth ( open goal here ;))

    Pat Doherty was born in Glasgow

    http://www.sinnfein.ie/gaelic/elections/candidate/7

    Birth in Glasgow makes him …. a Brit 🙂

  • So birth in a stable makes you horse then according to your logic??

  • Cruimh

    “birth in a stable”

    That old chestnut.

    If he was born in Glasgow he isn’t Irish.

    Incidentally – and purely for information – can you let us know if Martina Anderson is still Director of unionist outreach ?

  • If he was born in Glasgow he isn’t Irish

    Nonsense, I suggest you finally read the Nationality act.

    can you let us know if Martina Anderson is still Director of unionist outreach ?

    No, Eamonn Scott is.

  • Cruimh

    Chris – why are you Irish ?
    Because you were born in Ireland 🙂

    Doherty was born in Scotland – which makes him Scottish. It’s not rocket science.

    Thanks for that about MA. Been some confusion over the issue.

  • I’m Irish for a number of reasons, not just because I was born in Ireland.

  • Garibaldy

    Cruimh,

    Shouldn’t a unionist such as yourself be glad to see citizens from all over the UK involved in NI politics. Although I’ll grant you Enoch Powell, Pat Doherty and David FOrd are a motely collection.

    And nationality is all imagined anyway.

  • barnshee

    “I’m Irish for a number of reasons, not just because I was born in Ireland”

    Oh the hilarity of it
    Try
    I’m British for a number of reasons, not just because I was born in N Ireland

    its all just so easy

  • It really is difficult to take such racist rubbish, even if it is not conscious racism, Pat and Caitriona live and work in the six counties, they pay tax, they get a vote. to put such bigotry into perception, Do you know I have never heard an English person complain about the Irish peoples right to vote in England, in the papers perhaps but actual human beings never.

    Thus there is something sad about an Irish person doing so, as the Irish have moved too and voted in many of the worlds democracies and quite right to, for there sweat has helped build these societies. Get a grip not only will those who have been mentioned vote, but so to in the future, will newcomers from half the world. And Ireland will be a better place for it.

  • redhaze

    “It really is difficult to take such racist rubbish, even if it is not conscious racism, Pat and Caitriona live and work in the six counties, they pay tax, they get a vote.”

    Is this strictly true?

    Last I heard Caitriona lived in Omeath and Doherty in Donegal?

    Although I agree with the points you are making.

  • Cruimh

    “It really is difficult to take such racist rubbish, even if it is not conscious racism, Pat and Caitriona live and work in the six counties, they pay tax, they get a vote.”

    From the people who paint their racist mantra “Brits out” on walls 🙂

    Brits out = Juden Raus

  • lib2016

    Cruimh,

    The Nazis idealised the British Empire and learned their racism from it. I doubt that you’d find many modern Irish republicans agree with either of them.

  • Cruimh

    LOL – you are getting desperate Lib 🙂

  • lib2016

    Not at all, Cruimh.

    Earlier generations of republicans, or at least some of them, even shared the racism of the British Empire. Ever read Mitchel’s Jail Journal, for instance?

    Times change and so do relationships and ideas. The English and the Irish get on well together now while the Empire with it’s racism is fast becoming only a memory even here in the land that time forgot.

    And incidentally we’re both happy to co-operate with the Germans who have also moved on. Forget the Second World War and try and keep up – the rest of the world has.

  • Cruimh

    Lib – despite what the Noraid Bumper Book Of British Infamy might say, the British Empire was not alone in it’s racism – and by no means was it the worst! Hitler and Co didn’t have to look to Britain – the German Empire was viciously racist – the Belgians even more so, the Spanish and Porugese Empire’s history in the Americas – and the most vicious of the lot were the Danes.

    Sorry to burst your own little racist bubble 😉

  • lib2016

    …and none of them had anything whatsoever to do with the current Irish struggle for freedom.

    Brits Out!

    Meaning only that the British Government has no selfish or strategic role in Ireland. Tourists are welcome, however long they stay.

  • sammaguire

    Back to an earlier post….

    Rehabilitation? Please! The Shinners have peaked in the republic and there is very little evidence to suggest differently. Have people so quickly forgotten the election results 8 weeks ago? Are people seriously suggesting that the Irish people have again embraced these imbeciles who can’t even put together comprehensive policies as an alternative. We should remember that this is the Seanad. An irrelevant institution with no clout other than an old boys/girls club. Get a grip to those who are clutching at straws in the hope of the Shinners glorious ascension. The Shinners are finished down here. It’s up to them to display their capabilities of governing, and I’m not talking about the Parish Council at Stormont. I’m talking real leadership on policies that people seek. Then the people will give you the responsibility to control the levers of government.

    Posted by Cholm MacCormaic on Jul 26, 2007 @ 03:20 PM

    The Shinners actually increased their vote in the Republic by a massive 18% albeit from a low base. SF people have made no effort to correct such erroneous posts. Why? Did they really expect to do better than what was quite an impressive performance? I think they have become victims of their own over ambition.

  • Cruimh

    “The Shinners actually increased their vote in the Republic by a massive 18% albeit from a low base.”

    How did their vote do in the constituencies they contested at the previous election?

    It was DOWN.

    You are hiding behind the vote increase they got by standing a lot more candidates.

  • sammaguire

    I’m not hiding behind anything. I don’t vote SF. Just trying to be objective and think I have been.

  • David Goldberg

    “I’m Irish for a number of reasons, not just because I was born in Ireland.

    Posted by Chris Gaskin on Jul 27, 2007 @ 01:05 PM”

    That sounds very Irish, woth a small o.

    Cruimh: Why do you say the Danes were the worst of the lot? In Greenland?

    The Provos arguing here sound like the Americans claiming their blow in candidates are locals. Of course, the Provos support America’s most ardent hawks – today.

  • Cruimh

    David – the brutality of their behaviour in the Caribbean, especially the slave code they introduced for their Colony of St John – The Slave Code of 1733 – Horrible. Punishments – torure, amputation, death by burning.

    http://stjohnbeachguide.com/Slave%20Rebellion.htm

  • Cruimh

    Thse with Film4 – “The Long Good Friday” is about to start!

    Helen Mirren is superb.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Long_Good_Friday

  • Jack Duggen

    Was it Michael McDowell who said that the Germans thought they would control the Nazis but the Nazis ended up controlling them? It is sad to see the party of Conor Cruise O’Brien and James Connolly open the door to Ireland’s home grown fascists. I would imagine Sinn Fein in power would lead to over a million decent people fleeing the country, a loss of international confidence and Ireland becoming Europe’s Zimbabwe.

  • Its sad to see James Connolly mentioned in the same sentence as that uber west brit Cruiser!

  • CTN

    Apologies re the Doc Cru- after 39 years infliction on the County of his parents birth I thought he was also born there.

    However I think we can call him a naturalised Donegal man by now.

    You are also correct about the Long Good Friday but unfortunately after a vat of red wine I passed out after the pub was blown up…

  • hib

    Probably was blown up by Doc’s brother in real life….

  • CTN

    I think we’ve thrashed this one to death guys and girls- bye 4 now…

  • George Gay

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6920941.stm

    Sinn Fein’s narco Farcos have offed 11 politicians. They say it was “wrong”. A la Gerry. Sinn Fein cannot be rehabilitated. They must be dealt with along with Al Q and the other merchants of death.

  • hib

    Duh says McGuinness- but the Columbia 3 aren’t in SF- Oh thats right says Gerry they are only spectators in the Ard Fheis.

    Someone would want to wake these pair of imbeciles up and make them realise that apart from giving everyone a laugh SF are pointless..

  • peter

    Bit hard to wake those dummies as the electorate have put them to sleep down south…

  • lib2016

    All the smaller parties in the South got squeezed at the last elections but some of them will be back bigger and better at the next election because that’s the way politics are – cyclical, except for those parties who base their appeal on supremacy whether that’s racist or religious supremacy. Once that’s lost it’s gone forever.

    Sinn Fein didn’t have a smooth path to power in the North nor will they in the South. The parties who take the electorate for granted suffer in the long run. Sinn Fein will either succeed or not mostly accordig to whether they are prepared to do the work locally. There is no sign of a sizable rejection of them in spite of accusations here and elsewhere.

    A party moving into the mainstream has problems but it is far to early to say definitely what the future will be. So far Sinn Fein seems to be getting over the recent reverse fairly well and using the current period to remove some of the more extreme fior gaels. Part of the shift from revelutionary politics which most sensible people applaud.

    The Cruiser pointed out that unionists needed to make a deal now because they didn’t have a future within the UK. Bit surprising to see a unionist supporter bringing his opinions up but if that’s the best you can do I understand. Not many sympathetic voices left for a unionist to quote.

    On the other hand the the Labour Party seems to be already working with Sinn Fein in the Senate just as all the other political parties already do at local level.

  • George Gay

    Lib2016: You don’t seem to get it. You are aligned to a group whose allies have included Hitler’s Nazi regime, Peter King the Butcher of Iraq, and the FARC narco terrorists. Yiur party has been responsible for the most unspeakable evils in modern Irish society. Your party’s crimes cannot be excused away by calling your enemies Unionists, informers or legitimate targets. Your party is and must always remain a pariah.

  • George Gay

    Interesting the Eikipeida calls the Long Good Friday a criminal/gangster firm. It is good to know they know SFIRA for what they are. It was a classic film, probably one of the earliest exposes of IRA criminality. And get the iRA violence too. And all the gay IRA stuff.

  • Cruimh

    Jerry McCabe at Adare is to SF in the Republic what Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick was to Ted Kennedy.

    Will SF’s own paper glorify his murder as it does the murder of 3 policemen in Newry 21 years ago in the current edition?

    http://www.anphoblacht.com/news/detail/20018

  • George Gay

    http://www.anphoblacht.com/news/detail/20018
    Talk about glorifying violence. And the hand grenade as the coup de grace, just like in Lurgan.

    Of course, Sinn Feiners would claim they don’t get off on this or on the cordite of narco terrorism. Has Sinn Fein’s attitude to the horse industry changed since they kidnapped and murdered Shergar? If it is time to move on, as the SFIRA nercos keep telling us, why do they not say that killing the three Newry policemen was a crime, and continuing to glorify the heartless criminals who did it is also wrong.

    Jerry McCabe was only one in a long list of crimes committed by these criminals.

  • Cruimh

    It certainly casts doubt upon the sincerity of Sinn Féin’s committment to law and order when their party paper carries something like this.

  • George Gay

    “It certainly casts doubt upon the sincerity of Sinn Féin’s committment to law and order when their party paper carries something like this”.

    Unrepentant Fenian bastar*s.

  • CTN

    SF’s “recovery” depends upon how many more of those priceless party workers will join the trend and leave- especially in Dublin…