BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport’s Newsline report on Sinn Féin’s identity crisis in Ireland may, or may not, appear online at some point – and Chris collated some other links on the subject. In the meantime, ahead of a special meeting of the partys Ard Chomhairle, Oireachtas members and Northern Ireland MLAs, and the partys “middle tier of leadership” on August 10th, here’s Mark’s blogged account of what former Wexford Sinn Féin councillor John Dwyer told him.
John lost his seat on Wexford County Council but still sits on New Ross town council. New Ross was a port of departure for people escaping the famine 150 years ago and the scene of a bloody battle between the United Irishmen and British forces 210 years ago. These days it looks stable and contented, but like the rest of the Republic it has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Whilst his constituents were suffering under the credit crunch Cllr. Dwyer felt his naturally left wing style was being cramped by what he regarded as his party’s unwillingness to take on Fianna Fail. He thinks the Sinn Fein leadership were so anxious to get into power on both sides of the border that they morphed into a Fianna Fail lite. Although John is not joining Eirigi, he predicts that the republican group will do Sinn Fein damage in future council elections on both sides of the border.