Sinn Fein split over Lisbon?

Today’s Sunday Tribune (not online yet) reports internal rifts within Sinn Fein over the party’s opposition to the Lisbon Treaty. In another story the paper also reports on a cash crisis within the party.

Martin McGuinness is reported to be unhappy at republicans continued opposition to the European Treaty as he is acutely aware of the importance of EU funding for the North’s economy. He likley also to be uncomfortable at the way SF is being cast as an ally of anti-agreement unionists and right wing British political parties.

  • tom

    Doesn’t surprise me. If this is true, it at least shows that some people in Sinn Fein have some intelligence. Look at the group of odd balls and head bangers they’re lined up with on this! Sometimes it seems to me that Sinn Feinn decide to oppose something just because all the other political parties support it!

    Its hard to take them seriously on these matters!

  • dewi

    Cash crisis??? How so?

  • Wilde Rover


    “Doesn’t surprise me. If this is true, it at least shows that some people in Sinn Fein have some intelligence.”

    I envy you your towering intellect. It must be difficult for you to have to deal with so many morons in your daily live.

    “Look at the group of odd balls and head bangers they’re lined up with on this!”

    The majority of the voters in the last referendum are odd balls and head bangers? Is this where you tell us black people are lazy?

  • Jer

    This argument by the yes side that Sinn Fein are lined up with unionists or tories is the weakest one the yes side has.

    So what they are aligned on one issue with other political parties.

    Its this level of argument thats made the referendum so tiresome.
    Those Yes campaigners who genuinely believe that is an effective argument really need to get out more.

    The yes side has some effective arguments it can push but this aint one of them

  • Jer

    Also, out of curiosity what is the importance of eu funding to the north’s economy.

    in other words how much is it actually. Thats not to say we dont need it but rather if some claim its importance then it should be quantified

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    SF is slowly but surely moving to the centre as both the responsibilty of being in government in the North and the desire for it in the South means ditching their more socialist and less popular policies.

    The Plain people of Ireland may not like the Lisbon Treaty as inidcated when they voted last time out but they now probably view it as the part of the cocktail of unpleasant medicine that is needed for recovery – and at least some in SF probably realise that as well.

  • DC

    Not really Jer, as on a point of principle Adams fought hard to get the Peace IV monies to N Ireland from the EU whenever that funding pot wasn’t a certainty or when levels were not agreed.

    Now that party SF is not willing to assist the Union project, which has made concessions to Ireland (within the limits of EU consensus) after national concerns were raised, not willing to support despite taking money from one of its Peace funds. Now call me unfair but that might well leave a bad taste in certain mouths, however neutral you expect people in the EU to be. That’s politics I’m afraid.

    SF might say it’s about getting the most of membership; but, if I were an EU commissioner I might call it thankless money grabbing with no love of EU ideals which the peace money is supposed to be used to support and further. There is also a special EU trade commission set up for NI, or something like that that SF’s dFM have to do business with and being in favour might be more helpful to NI business?

  • Jer

    Thanks DC, so some marginal importance.

    I also am not won by the argument that we need to be good europeans now having got so much previously. look at the recent German shenanigans surrounding Opel/Magna. There is this utopianism about the yes argument – the good europeans, and the brighter future, that will be shared by all in perfect union. And then the Germans come along and give two fingers to the Belgians.

    It would appear that we are beginning to follow our continental brothers only too closely.

  • Scaramoosh

    The Republican line has always been Anti-Europe; in that integration into Europe was always portrayed as representing a dimunition of Ireland’s soverignty.

    “On 31 May 1975 Republican News carried a front-page headline, ‘Ireland Free – No EEC!’, and argued for an independent Ireland that would negotiate its own trading conditions” (English, Armed Struggle, History of the IRA.”).

    Oh the times they are a changin…

  • “SF is slowly but surely moving to the centre as both the responsibilty of being in government in the North and the desire for it in the South means ditching their more socialist and less popular policies.”

    Please save us from such sanctimonious nonsense, talking about odd balls, it seems some would prefer SF to stand in the same trench as the very people who covered their ears and eyes; and sat on their hands whilst the UK and Irish economy went to hell in a hand cart.

    Once these centre parties eventually woke up to being in a hole, what did these political giants do, they dusted down socialism and put it into practice, although in their case the only beneficiaries were to be rich people.

    I wish some folk would stretch themselves and move out of there cold war time warp and instead of pre-judging socialists, take a look at what we say and do.

    As to SF having a cash crises, name me one party that does not? I’m not a shinner, but those who continuously criticize them make me cringe. When SF was partially financed by crime, that was wrong, now they are going the legal root, that is wrong. Ahha!

  • DC

    Well Jer if youre not convinced perhaps you might like to go back to 1970 Ireland.

    You leave out the trade deals which the EU does, without which, as a stand alone country, no one would properly listen, as the wealth of the EU gives it some fire power.

    But the issue with SF is that if it keeps up with a conflicting EU message at the macro national level it will lose its genuine appeal at micro level re peace funds etc. The conflicting messages will cancel each other out losing sincerity and volume within the EU institutions.

    And SF is siding with the British right wingers as they are taking a hard stance to protect British financial interests for a Britain that is not in the EU monetary system. Whereas Ireland is and it is better business to play by the rules currently in place so that you have a better chance of winning i.e. succeeding economically. It is a losing ticket to side with groups with differing national interests and objectives. Unless SF does want Ireland to leave the Euro but can’t bring itself to say so?

  • Jer

    Back to the 70s? Dear god no. The EU is a fantastic development and I support it. I just dont believe that its the greatest and most noble institute ever envisaged. Reading some of the commentary in the south there is a tendency to paint it as a club of the virtuous with the rogueish Irish ingrates now shocking the honest butgers of Brussels. How could they.

    But as I said then you have the Germans doing the Opel deal which was 2 fingers to the Belgians and of course their master stroke that which was the constitutional review that gave the bundestag the potential to keep on reviewing and challenging parts of the treaty according to one lisbon treaty expert.

    I can handle living in a post lisbon EU but i dont buy into the story that the EU is a club for noble minded people. Its not its governed by real politik. Maybe we could learn from the Germans.


  • fair_deal

    I’m having some difficulty accepting this story on two levels so leaning towards dismissing it as a pre-referedum distraction/pott-stirrer claim.

    First SF’s position on Europe has always allied it with right-wing parties so nothing new there. Second the cash crisis is hardly a revelation when SF publicly admitted before the campaign even began that financing it was going to be a problem.

  • dunreavynomore

    Caoimhin O Caolain was quoted before the campaign saying that there were problems getting members to fund raise after the previous elections.

  • Greenflag

    jer ,

    ‘but i dont buy into the story that the EU is a club for noble minded people.’

    Fair enough . But tell me which ‘sovereign’ state is ruled by ‘noble ‘minded people ?

    Israel ? USA ? UK ? ROI ? Russia ? Switzerland ?

    Never mind what they say watch what they do . So far the EU has been generally good for the Irish economy . The current economic crisis facing the Republic is mostly the result of the paper wealth voodoo con men of Wall St and other world financial centres.

    I’ll be voting Yes because I trust the French and Germans and Scandinavians and the Dutch etc to maintain a social market economy and NOT to follow the footsteps of Milton Friedman and the neo conservative extreme right which has led to the creation of the greatest ‘undemocracy’ on the planet which has brought much destruction to the world economy .

    I also trust the French & Germans to take to the streets and bring back the guillotine if their ‘elites ‘ ever try to roll back the social advances made over the past 60 years for the mass of the population.

    Capitalism has to reform itself if the EU is to succeed . The EU is going to have to reform itself also. I believe the latter is more likely than the former .

    Whether the former is possible or not we’ll just have to see . But I do know that without the EU presence on the world economic stage such necessary reform would be less likely to succeed.

    SF’s position on the EU has been lamentable . They have been exposed as having virtually no viable economic alternative and Coir are a mixed bag of old fashioned national sovereignty idealists , and traditionalists who are part of a world that is disappearing .

    SF have done themselves no favours with the large majority of Irish people on this occasion . Their position will just make their claim to be taken seriously by southern voters all that more ‘incredible ‘

    As for being seen on the same side of the fence as right wing Tories , UKIP, Unionists , Libertas.

    You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that none of the above have ever had the interests of Ireland to the forefront of their agendas .

    I’ll trust Jean Claude , Fritz , and Van Dyke before that lot – 😉

  • igor

    But tell me which ‘sovereign’ state is ruled by ‘noble ‘minded people ?

    Ireland is a great example!

    The ruling class think and behave like nobles.

    Until recently there was al all powerful state church that worked with Government to stifle dissent in return for the odd ideological favour – no contraception and don’t ask too much about kiddie fiddling.

    Powerful posts pass down through the generations, real money lies in the hands of a relatively small elite and they treat the ‘little people’ like serfs

    Inquiry anyone?

  • igor

    You can hardly have a party whose name means ‘ourselves alone’ and be a beacon of hope for European integration.

    It does what it says on the tin!

  • John O’Connell

    I think the story is designed to prepare the Sinn Fein audience for defeat next Friday. They can then say that many of them sided with the yes campaign anyway.

  • “First SF’s position on Europe has always allied it with right-wing parties so nothing new there”

    Sure, I suppose that is why SF are members of the European United Left/Nordic Green left grouping in the EU parliament. Let’s not let facts get in the way of a powder puff for the yes campaign. There is I’m sure plenty one could critique the shinners on, but lets do it honestly or not at all.

  • picador

    You can hardly have a party whose name means ‘ourselves alone’ and be a beacon of hope for European integration.

    Sinn Féin means ‘ourselves’.

  • Greenflag

    In advance of the Lisbon Referendum the German Bundeswahl was held today. With typical german efficiency the result was announced about 3 minutes after the polls closed .

    Angela Merkel will lead a new Black /Yellow (coalition ) CDU/CSU/FDP not too different from the old FF/PD coalition here . The SPD (Social Democrats ) had their worst ever election result since the State was established with 23.5% . The FDP gained nearly 5% , the SDP lost 10% and the Linken (Communists ) got 13% mostly in the former East . The Greens managed 10% .

    So the German ‘moderate socialists ‘ have to face into a similar soul hunt that British Labour may have to face next year ?

    The Germans will have a clear majority government of the centre right 53% and a mostly left (46%) opposition (SPD + Linken + Greens )

    Should help the Yes vote a little I’d guess .

  • Hugh Of Tyrone.

    I wouldn’t surprise me. To be lined up with the nastiest bunch of ring wingers (Coir, Libertas) to emerge in Ireland in recent times is unforgivable. If that wasn’t bad enough they’re now on the side of the vile UKIP. For this voter the final straw was the disgusting spectacle of a Tricolour-draped table in a Brussels bar surrounded by a joyous UKIP and other assorted barking little Englanders, some from here no doubt. But come to think of it, what have little Englanders and little Irelanders in common except their littleness. It was nauseating to hear the beaming Nigel Farage proclaim ‘We’re all “Arish” today’ in the knowledge that this was brought about with the connivance of Sinn Fein who are by now firmly in the UKIP Eurosceptic camp despite all the spin about wanting Ireland to be at the heart of the EU. They helped the detestable UKIP and company to celebrate a repellent xenophobia while handing the friendly Southern Government a poisoned chalice, a brilliant lesson in how to win friends and influence people Sinn Fein 2008 style. Sinn Fein hasn’t just shot itself in the foot, it shot itself in both feet. For this voter it’s ‘Never again Sinn Fein’, you’re welcome to your small-minded pyrrhic victory.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy Collins

    Mickhall, good to see you again. Sinn Fein has received millions of dollars from Americans. As a whole…we’re not too pleased with Sinn Fein right at the momment and we’re having our own financial problems. Sinn Fein policy is being seen as two face. Take money from the EU then oppose the EU. If they were soooo pure in their beliefs then they shouldn’t have taken the money from the EU. There is talk over here with the way our country is changing…we’re becoming more socialist…maybe come move over here with us ;).

  • igor


    Different translations give it different meanings. Even if its just ‘ourselves’ my point remains – it’s nationalist and introverted. Little Ireland in a green wig

  • noel adams

    Re an early post what do we get out of europe on top of cap and peace 111 1 million euro per week in regional funds plus 500 thousand euro per week from ESF of which 18 million overthe six year period has gone into apperinticeship with DEL real help here
    now and in your face i rest my case

  • borderline

    Why shouldn’t Sinn Féin and UKIP be on the same side?

    They are both extreme nationalist parties.

    Lisbon takes power from the nations and centralizes it. No nationalist could be in favour of it.

  • Dave

    No democrat would be in favour of it. It is merely europhile propaganda to suggest that it is “extreme” to state that people have an inalienable right to determine their own affairs.

    The extremists are those who reject international law in favour of rule by unelected regimes.

    The international law is set out in Article 1 of the United Nation’s ICCPR: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

  • Greenflag

    Dave ,

    ‘and freely pursue their economic development’

    If they can afford to . If they have to pay more in hard currency interest every year than they earn in foreign exchange from exports how can they ever pull themselves out of poverty ? That’s the situation in quite a few African countries .

    Ireland’s economic , social and cultural development speeded up quite a bit since we joined the European Union . And we freely made that choice back then and we’ll stick with the EU for now . So feck off Ganley and Libertas and the same to SF and Coir .

    What you call ‘sovereignty ‘ is not what it used to be . Most of Ireland was prepared to accept Home Rule within that other Union back in 1914 and most of Ireland is prepared to work within the present Union in 2009 . The wreckers of Home Rule back in 1914 are with a few additions the same mindsets that now ‘inhabit’ the NO camp of far right extremists , romantic nationalists, ultra catholic traditionalists and anti immigrant xenophobes .

    Shower of feckin eejits the lot of them !

  • Greenflag

    Dave ,

    ‘“All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” ‘

    Ah they do eh . You might want to repeat these lovely sounding ‘words ‘ to say the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey , the Palestinians on the West bank and in Gaza , the Kosovars , the Basques in Spain , the Africans in Southern Sudan , and a hundred plus other ‘people’s ‘ around the world .

    BTW every Government in the EU’s 27 States has to be elected by it’s people and so to do their European Parliament representatives .

    What’s ‘extremist’ about that ?


    Doesn’t surprise me at all, Sinn Fein doesn’t know where or what it stands for and changes direction like a weathercock. A party that has given up it’s own core beliefs for ministerial power North & South, which is losing members hand over fist and whose ONLY bargaining chip was IRA guns and the whiff of sulphur. Sinn Fein are totally irrelevant and will eventually go the same way as the SDLP who are so bad they actually keeps Sinn Fein in the spotlight. The SDLP, a party which can only put forward Alisdair McDonnell or Margaret Ritchie as leader deserves to go into oblivion. Northern Nationalism has NEVER been so badly led with such awful terrible weak representatives and it’s NO wonder the DUP rule the roost with such glee.

  • Greenflag

    mickhall ,

    ‘I wish some folk would stretch themselves and move out of their cold war time warp and instead of pre-judging socialists, take a look at what we say and do’

    The problem is that when most people look at the ‘economic crisis ‘ both here in Ireland , and in the UK and indeed in other developed countries they don’t see the ‘left’ as having viable answers that can work . It’s up to the ‘socialists’ to make their case for an alternative society but people are not going to believe that Northern Ireland much less the irish Republic can be turned into ersatz Scandinavian social democracies .

    As the Northern Ireland economy is already 70% public sector financed it’s very difficult to see where the ‘funds ‘ for extra ‘socialism ‘ are coming to come from except from the pockets of the ahem English taxpayer ? So in a very real sense ‘more ‘ socialism in Northern Ireland means more dependence on the English taxpayer ? Not a recipe for a UI is it ?

    But SF’s problem is particular to Ireland/NI . In Germany today the SPD left vote dropped from 33% to 23 % the worst ever result in their history . As against that the former communists vote went up to 13% . And if you add in the Greens 10% then approx 46% of Germans favour ‘socialism ‘.

    In the UK the left i.e Labour is expecting a drubbing at the next election .

    Now you would think that at a time when unregulated ‘raw ‘ capitalism has made a hames of the world economy that the left everywhere would be winning elections ?

    Well they have in Japan and to an extent in the USA .

    We can condemn the neo conservative right all we like but believe it or not some of their criticisms of the ‘socialist ‘ state are based on economic fact and these should not be ignored for the electorate can tell when a ‘policy’ or ‘program’ is actually working and effective or is taxpayer’s money down the drain . The ‘left’ has too often stood over ‘waste’ in the interest of ideological correctness . That may work for most of the left’s present supporters but it’s not going to win over the new supporter’s they need to win general elections .

    Capitalism has shown in the past it’s capable of ‘evolution’ . Communism on the other hand came to a dead end at least in Europe. What passes for ‘Communism ‘ in Asia is just another word for red in claw one party ‘capitalism ‘.
    Socialism needs ‘reforming ‘ too if it’s to hope to regain it’s credibility with electorates across western europe including the UK and Ireland .

  • Brian MacAodh

    So Milton Friedman and those like him were responsible for the recent recession?


  • Hugh Of Tyrone.

    The short-lived tempestuous engagement between Ms Sinn Fein of Irish megastars ‘Ourselves Alone’ and Nigel Farage of English rappers ‘UKIP’ ended Friday 2nd. October. The impending marriage has been called off.

    The best-man, Declan Ganley , head of multinational empire, Rivada Networks and bridesmaids, leading Dublin socialites Mary Lou McDonald and Patricia McKenna are said to be devastated. Jim Corr, a close friend of the couple, who was to provide the music at the wedding, said the break-up was engineered by the UN,the EU, the British Foreign Office, Hilary Clinton, NATO and NASA amongst others. The ceremony at Tara was to be conducted by the Coir Fellowship in the traditional Neolithic rite.

    Sources close to Ms Fein say she always had great difficulty with saying yes to anything that included the word ‘Union’ and that she felt she was being shafted by Nigel purely to raise the profile of his own declining band.

  • Hugh Of Tyrone.

    The Ourselves Alone Party – exclusively for Irish people who like to play – with themselves!

  • Hugh Of Tyrone.

    Hello…… My name is Sean. It’s been 463 days since I supported Sinn Fein. ….. I couldn’t do it without your support and Sinn Fein’s position on Lisbon 1 and 2. Thank you…

  • Joe

    SF’s ground campaign itself has been fairly muted.

    For the largest No party in mainstream Irish politics, they are not chomping at the bit like say UKIP would be. I’ve seen more Cóir posters than SF.

    The conundrum SF face is that if there was a NO result, and the UK duly followed with their own referendum, would SF [i]really[/i] be seen to back Cameron, Robbo, Reg, UKIP, etc?

    That would surely grate on some supporters, and no doubt be like pouring petrol onto the dissident fire. I think many Shinners are privately hoping for a YES to avoid this complex political landscape.

  • Hugh Of Tyrone.

    And on a more serious note ……
    Suffice to say that by rejecting Lisbon there is a very real danger that the South’s economic prosperity could be compromised and the country marginalized in a two-speed EU. In who’s interests would that be ? Is it not obvious to anyone in Sinn Fein that if a united Ireland is ever to come about, a prosperous, socially liberal and economically inclusive South with quality infrastructure is the only kind of united Ireland any Northerner would opt for. Isn’t it high time Sinn Fein reassessed their policy of continually opposing EU Treaties? It might be time for Northern Nationalists to reassess their relationship with Sinn Fein since it’s obvious the party hasn’t a clue, or couldn’t care less about the well being of the state they want to unite with.

  • The question is “Who gains from a No vote?” Will a No vote bring us closer to a left wing society? No, because that can only happen at a general election. Will it help the Tories achieve a less regulated (Read: Less workers’s rights.) Europe, the answer is yes, it will. With Lisbon dead a new Tory Govt will not be leading the charge for more workers’s rights, but instead demand less rights as the price for a new treaty. As for Coir, will it be used as a victory by conservative Catholics to frighten politicians into believing that liberal values are out of touch? Yes. That’s what a No vote will get us.

  • borderline

    “Most of Ireland was prepared to accept Home Rule within that other Union back in 1914”

    Aye, they were Mr Flag, but they weren’t offered it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sinn Fein has received millions of dollars from Americans. As a whole…we’re not too pleased with Sinn Fein right at the momment and we’re having our own financial problems.

    Kathy C,

    I hope you will forgive me, but do you have any idea how breathtakingly arrogant the above sentence sounds ? You’re giving the impression that you expect some sort of payoff in exchange for your investment.

    Do you think we are operating in some sort of banana republic where we pay politicians to get them to sing to a tune ? er, hang on …

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy Collins

    Hi Comrade Stalin, you had me smile..thanks. It’s called POLITICS… People donate money to politicans because the donnors have an agenda and give the cash for an end result. If the politicans don’t get the results the donnors want…then the money stops flowing. Adams and McGuiness have become major flops and the lack luster fund raising demo’s that.