Sunday 21 October 2018

'Cinderella girl' looks likely to claim capital as respectable face of Sinn Fein Nua

CONTENDER: SF candidate Lynn Boylan: Photo: Tom Burke
CONTENDER: SF candidate Lynn Boylan: Photo: Tom Burke
SF deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald accompanies Lynn Boylan to the Dublin City Returning Officer at the Dublin City Sheriff's Office, Fownes Street, Dublin to sign her election nomination papers this week. Picture: Tom Burke

JOHN DRENNAN

THE Thirties boxing legend James J Braddock acquired the nickname 'the Cinderella man' when the relative unknown rose from working on the dock during America's Great Depression to stun the then heavyweight champion of the world.

Similarly, Sinn Fein's rising star Lynn Boylan is poised to become the 'Cinderella girl' of the EU elections with her meteoric rise to the top of the polls.

Ms Boylan may not quite be the candidate who arrived from nowhere, but her political career in Kerry South did not light any fires when she secured just 1,375 votes in 2007.

A subsequent tilt at the council fared little better, but the times appear to be a changing.

One key factor is that Ms Boylan, who is a contributor to Sinn Fein's publication An Phoblacht, is the perfect representative of 'Safe Sinn Fein Nua'.

The member of the Ard Comhairle, who is an ecologist, works in Ballymun as a community programme co-ordinator with an environmental NGO.

A CV including a stint as the chairperson of the Safefood Advisory Board, which promotes greater co-operation in the world of nutrition and food safety, wouldn't even frighten a member of the Green Party.

It certainly hasn't frightened the Dublin electorate, who appear poised to grant the political unknown the golden slipper of an MEP's seat. Securing her election will represent a significant feather in the wedding hat of her campaign manager, Mary Lou McDonald.

Though Boylan is certainly closer to the Sinn Fein of Mary Lou than the Martin Ferris wing of the party, her success will be viewed with deep unease by the establishment.

However, what will really chill the blood is that, in common with Ms Boylan's fellow Sinn Fein MEP candidates, it appears to be part of a trend where the Sinn Fein moniker is now a brand for success rather than a fleur de lis of shame.

Sunday Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section