Friday 28 July 2017

The DUP's inflexibility could see Sinn Féin hardliners fill vacuum

From left, Sinn Féin TDs Louise O’Reilly and Pat Buckley, Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald, and party Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty speak to reporters at Leinster House yesterday. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
From left, Sinn Féin TDs Louise O’Reilly and Pat Buckley, Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald, and party Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty speak to reporters at Leinster House yesterday. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Shane Coleman

Shane Coleman

To paraphrase Alex Ferguson, "politics, bloody hell". Just over a year ago, there was heady talk in Sinn Féin of the party being in government on both sides of a border rendered almost irrelevant by the single market.

Now it is facing into 2017 with a very real prospect of direct Westminster rule in the North for the remainder of the year; the party somewhat marginalised in the South and the possible re-emergence of a hard border not seen since the dark days of the Troubles.

And, as if that wasn't enough to be getting on with, the Gerry Adams/Martin McGuinness double act that has dominated the republican movement for four decades is surely reaching the end of the political road.

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