Tuesday 25 April 2017

Comment: How Mary Lou will give Sinn Féin a fresh start if Adams leaves

Sinn Fein's Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Mark Condren
Sinn Fein's Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Mark Condren
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Life would be a whole lot easier for Sinn Féin TDs if Gerry Adams decided to make the brief trip from his constituency in Louth back to West Belfast.

A dramatic return to Northern Ireland politics by Mr Adams to replace Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness would give his party colleagues in the south some breathing space after a troublesome six years since he ventured across the border. Their appearances on television and radio would no longer be dominated by questions on the party leader's links to the atrocities of the Troubles.TDs and senators - a growing number of whom are too young to remember the bloody conflict - could move beyond the cult of Mr Adams's personality and present themselves to the electorate as a real alternative to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

The smart and articulate Sinn Féin members, as Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty describes them, would eventually have their time to shine. Mary Lou McDonald is one of those smart and articulate Shinners who is regularly tipped as a future Sinn Féin leader.

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