“What kind of party will Sinn Féin be as it becomes a leading player?”

Jude Collins thinks its only matter of time until Sinn Fein becomes the largest party in the Republic, but he has some concerns about what that will mean when they get they get there…

I’d prefer to think that Sinn Féin are working for those suffering most in southern society not for political advantage but because they believe it’s a core feature of what they are as a party. They’ve shown in the recent elections that their appeal is wide and deep across Ireland. What is now crucial is that they maintain their focus on a united Ireland of equals.

The danger is that, in its concern for electoral success, it could water down key features of its political philosophy. There are those who say Sinn Féin, in its eagerness to be in power by 2016, will make all sorts of compromises. I’d like to think Gerry Adams’s Bodenstown speech made clear those things that are crucial to its life and success as a party.

As I’ve been saying over on Cedar Lounge Revolution, I have my doubts that what gets said now is intended as any kind of guarantee of future purpose…

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  • TwilightoftheProds

    “What kind of party will Sinn Féin be as it becomes a leading player?”

    …errr…Fianna Fail?

    Although the soldiers of destiny could get nordies like Aiken and MacEntee elected down south.

  • Jagdip

    So obsessed are some with the controversial birth of Sinn Fein, that they lose sight of the fact that it is merely another left wing political party which is in the ascendancy, aided in particular in the South by an economic collapse and its effect on the living standards of most, particularly the less well off.
    It’s hard to see how they won’t feature in the next Dail parliament after the next general election. There may be a left wing majority with SF, Labour and certain Independents, which might allow SF to lead a government, but the betting is that it will be FF/FG who join together in an unprecedented coalition to lead the country, and SF becomes the official opposition.
    Anyway, off topic, has anyone else read the official Stormont report into Gelly Kelly’s bonnet incident in June 2013.
    It’s fascinating, not least because there is a glaring mistake on the “informed warning” accepted by Gelly last January.
    The date of the offence is given on the warning as 21/06/12 when in fact, the bonnet incident took place on 21/06/13.
    That presumably invalidates the warning, and consequently invalidates the findings of the rather expensive looking report by Stormont into the incident, because its findings hinge on the acceptance of what is an invalid informed warning. What a bunch of (expensive, and paid for by me) clowns!

  • redstar2011

    Let’s face it if SF get anywhere near govt in Dublin they will be unrecognisable to what they are now

    They sure as hell changed beyond recognition from ” revolutionary lefties ” to conservative establishment” to gain and hold onto their limos in the North

  • Nordie Northsider

    ‘Although the soldiers of destiny could get nordies like Aiken and MacEntee elected down south.’

    Unlike SF who only topped the poll with Adams in Louth.

  • sean treacy

    As Mick “has been saying over on cedar lounge revolution” but not getting the same fawning responses that he thinks he is entitled to.

  • TwilightoftheProds

    ‘Unlike SF who only topped the poll with Adams in Louth.’


    How could I forget El Beard?

    That sinks it. Looking more and more like populist FF circa 1920s and even less like Clan na Poblachta circa 1940s.

    Old Irish party system is being revamped. FF will never be ‘natural’ default party of govt again. The short term lives of parties sub Labour no longer applies. SF can take votes on three fronts -FF, Labour and leftie/independents.

    They’ll be timing coalition with care, but unless they do something daft in govt (not impossible) they cant be viewed as merely a medium term protest vote. Austerity and the initial demoralisation of FF provided the space, and they took the opportunity to expand and bed down.

    Their future – left egalitarian, system shaking party that provides its own all Ireland dimension …or…partitionist populist catch all party with different faces North and South?

    the predilection of the southern party system, is the same as the GB set up – make noises about union or partnership but better keep a firewall between yourselves and NI. And that is the default position of each electorate in RoI and GB for the last 80 years. Interesting to see what happens.

  • tacapall

    “For context, in the north there’s a full blown propaganda war in play where the justice institutions of Northern Ireland are being tested to breaking point to demonstrate the Brits were to blame for everything”

    What, all those victims of state sponsored terrorism are all pro actively seeking justice in the courts just to demonstrate the Brits were to blame for everything ?

  • son of sam

    It depends on the relative strength of all the parties in the South after the next election .As a dominant player up North,Sinn Fein was able to cherry pick its ministries.It seems unlikely that it will have that dominance in the Republic but only time will tell.Jude obviously feels that his beloved party’s purity will still be intact even if it gets into bed with some other grouping.We shall see!

  • IrelandNorth

    An occupational hazard of playing the constitutional game is that one risks becoming as tame as the other major players. The old cautionary saying that “if you lie with dogs you’ll rise with fleas” seems aposite, as does Behan’s “disease of respectability” quip. Sinn Fein (SF) would need to guard against Fianna Fail-ification, risking becoming Me Feiners (MF-ers) like the establishment parties. Yet the prospect of a Sinn Fein led rainbow coalition is irrestible to those of us bored (and austericised) to distraction with the grey men of FF/FG.