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Sinead abandons plan to join Sinn Féin after meeting officials

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Ms O’Connor claimed she wanted to join Sinn Féin because she wanted to reframe what it means to be a republican

Ms O’Connor claimed she wanted to join Sinn Féin because she wanted to reframe what it means to be a republican

AP

Ms O’Connor claimed she wanted to join Sinn Féin because she wanted to reframe what it means to be a republican

Singer Sinead O'Connor has decided not to join Sinn Féin following a meeting with party officials.

The Wicklow-based performer had previously declared her intentions to become a party member last month and said she wanted the entire Sinn Féin leadership to step down.

Her plans to join the party raised eyebrows within Sinn Féin circles, and attracted criticism from abuse victim Mairia Cahill, who was raped by a suspected IRA figure.

"I had no explanation for how a woman who has been so vocal about child abuse could have chosen to join a party which has been in the headlines for their handling of this issue since my own story broke on BBC Spotlight," Ms Cahill wrote.

In a letter to Ms Cahill last month, Ms O'Connor claimed she wanted to join Sinn Féin because she wanted to reframe "what it means to be a republican".

"The very fact it is considered appalling to join Sinn Féin is why the elders should step down and is also why new people should join," she said.

But the Irish Independent has confirmed that Ms O'Connor last week told officials that she would not be proceeding with the membership application after all.

While a Sinn Féin spokesman refused to comment on the discussions that took place with Ms O'Connor, a source said that her membership has not been processed.

"I can confirm that the party has met with Sinead O'Connor but we don't comment on our discussions with people who apply to join the party," the spokesman said.

While Ms O'Connor did not respond to a request for comment yesterday, she said on her official Facebook page that she has been dissuaded from joining the party.

"They persuaded me that I'd be bored s***less, pretty much waiting for them to get into government before being able to help generate any national discussion on the issue of ending partition," Ms O'Connor said.

"It was said to me that people like myself are more useful 'working alongside' since we can say what we like," she added.

Ms O'Connor wrote on the social network site that it "became clear to me during the meeting" with Sinn Féin officials that the issue of partition isn't "anywhere on any political party's agenda apart from Sinn Féin's."

But she said she believes the party "have to play down" the issue because it is a "taboo subject".

Irish Independent