Monday 22 October 2018

McDonald keeps her balance on a dangerous high-wire act

The Sinn Fein leader has been successfully selling herself as the new face of her party, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Frank McGrath
Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Frank McGrath
Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ruth Dudley Edwards

Mary Lou McDonald's honeymoon with the electorate is going well so far, if today's and other recent polls have got it right. And well it might, since she's astutely selling herself at every opportunity to display herself as a new, approachable, modern leader who has put her male, pale and stale predecessor back in his box.

Women's issues? Tick. She's done very well in the Dail on the cervical cancer issue, even if her insistence that HSE boss Tony O'Brien should be sacked is unfair, since, as the Taoiseach says, "everyone deserves a fair hearing before they are condemned".

Her insistence that his denial that he had known about misdiagnoses "stretches credibility to breaking point" is a bit hard to take from the loyal sidekick who for years subserviently repeated "I believe Gerry" as Adams brazened out shocking and well-supported allegations about his role in the IRA and his failure to report paedophiles, including his own brother.

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