Author Topic: What Does Sinn Féin's Victory Mean For Irish Americans  (Read 283 times)

Offline Rat Catcher

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What Does Sinn Féin's Victory Mean For Irish Americans
« on: February 13, 2020, 12:39:12 PM »
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/11/ireland-election-sinn-fein-irish-americans

Ireland election: what does Sinn Féin's victory mean for Irish Americans?

The victory for the party that backed the IRA during the Troubles was focused on bread-and-butter issues, not a united Ireland

Rory Carroll Ireland correspondent
Tue 11 Feb 2020 21.14 GMT

Many Irish Americans supported Sinn Féin when it was the IRA’s political wing during the Troubles, and then during the peace process that helped shepherd the party into the political mainstream. A generation later, did Irish Americans play a role in Sinn Féin’s breakthrough in Ireland’s general election?

No. The party won 24.5% of the first-preference vote – almost doubling its share from 2016 – by harnessing voter anger at homelessness, soaring rents and fraying public services. The dream of a united Ireland that animates so many Irish Americans, and the Northern Ireland peace process once nurtured by Washington, took a backseat.

The election revolved around bread-and-butter topics – the cost of living, insurance premiums, pension reform. Sinn Féin rode a wave of young voters seeking an alternative to the socio-economic status quo represented by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, centrist rivals that have taken turns ruling Ireland for almost a century. For such voters Sinn Féin’s backing of the IRA during the Troubles was a long time ago in a land far away.

But stepping back in history, Irish America did hinder, then help, Sinn Féin’s electoral rise. In the 1970s and 80s, Noraid and other US-based republican front groups provided cash and encouragement to a brutal campaign that made Sinn Féin toxic to Irish voters.

In the 1990s the so-called four horsemen of Irish American political influence, Edward Kennedy, Tip O’Neill, Daniel Moynihan and Hugh Carey, helped persuade Bill Clinton to back the peace process and grant the then Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams a US visa, paving the way for the 1994 IRA ceasefire and 1998 Good Friday agreement. This marked the start of Sinn Féin’s gradual electoral ascent.

So Irish America rehabilitated Gerry Adams?

It certainly helped his transition, in the eyes of many Irish voters, from apologist for atrocity to peacemaker. Sinn Fein’s vote share inched up from 2.6% in 1997 to 6.5% in 2002, 6.9% in 2007, 9.9% in 2011 and 13.8% in 2016. Adams was a savvy strategist but limited the party’s expansion. He had a whiff of sulphur, a Belfast accent and patchy grasp of economics south of the border. His stepping down as leader in 2018, and as a TD (MP) in this election, distanced the shadowy past and let Sinn Féin, under Mary Lou McDonald, an affable Dubliner, pitch a message of change and economic justice that could have been scripted by Bernie Sanders.

Will McDonald be the darling of the St Patrick’s day parade in New York next month?

Tricky. She caused a stink last year after marching behind a banner reading “England Get Out Of Ireland”. The Irish government and unionists branded it offensive, divisive and an embarrassment. Sinn Féin’s support tumbled and McDonald sort-of-apologised.

Should Irish Americans start a countdown to a united Ireland?

Premature. Sinn Féin wants a referendum on unity within five years. But in Northern Ireland that decision rests with the British secretary of state, who can call it only if a majority for unification appears likely. That prospect looks remote, notwithstanding Brexit. However, if Sinn Féin ends up in government in Dublin – after weeks, possibly months of coalition talks – it could use a citizens’ assembly, policy papers and other ways to put the dream on the political agenda.

Online silverbullet

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Re: What Does Sinn Féin's Victory Mean For Irish Americans
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2020, 08:10:55 PM »
CAUSE... they're worth it! 8)

Offline The Liffey Lip

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Re: What Does Sinn Féin's Victory Mean For Irish Americans
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2020, 09:08:35 AM »
MI5 will decide if and when a border poll occurs, not the "Ar lá is tiocfaidh(ed) now brigade. The cunts have been running the Provos since the 70's. If they can infiltrate Combat 18 and the English Defence League (Taxi Drivers), they can infiltrate a mish-mash of dirty diesel sellers and fag smugglers.

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Re: What Does Sinn Féin's Victory Mean For Irish Americans
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2020, 06:49:54 PM »
Victory?
Biggest party in opposition.
Mary Lou from Rathgar first came to prominence speaking at a FF Ard Fheis.
Next outing, at the unveiling of a statue to Nazi collaborator Sean Russell in Fairview Park.

Strange times ahead.

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Re: What Does Sinn Féin's Victory Mean For Irish Americans
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2020, 12:04:03 AM »
They won vóta an phobail. That's the popular vote to tusa ogus misha.

 


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