Monday 5 December 2016

Sinn Fein proves there are no short cuts in evolution

Gerry Adams's party is slowly trying to become more mainstream but isn't ready to embrace normal politics, writes Kevin Doyle

Published 21/08/2016 | 02:30

PLOT: Young and articulate, Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay was seen as one of the rising stars in the party north of the border
before it was revealed he ‘coached’ a loyalist blogger in the best way to damage Peter Robinson before a Stormont committee. Photo: Paul Faith/PA Wire
PLOT: Young and articulate, Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay was seen as one of the rising stars in the party north of the border before it was revealed he ‘coached’ a loyalist blogger in the best way to damage Peter Robinson before a Stormont committee. Photo: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Evolution is not a fast process, particularly in the area of politics. Parties tend to lean to the left or the right depending on the mood of the day but most remain steadfastly tied to an ideology that was born decades ago.

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Whether voters agree or not, Fianna Fail still sees itself as a Republican party. Fine Gael believes in law and order. And the Labour Party pitches itself as the voice of workers.

Then there is the enigma that is Sinn Fein. Like most Irish political parties, it traces its roots back to heady days around the Rising and the battles over what type of independence Ireland wanted/needed. Today it represents left-wing populism while still pushing for a united Ireland.

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