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Five takeaways we must now consider after Sinn Féin's historical breakthrough

John Downing


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Delight: Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan celebrates after being elected in Limerick. Photo: Don Moloney

Delight: Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan celebrates after being elected in Limerick. Photo: Don Moloney

Don Moloney

Delight: Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan celebrates after being elected in Limerick. Photo: Don Moloney

1 Sinn Féin has won a historical victory and its supporters can justifiably celebrate for some days to come: By the count day, it was not a big surprise. But at the outset nobody saw this one coming. The party's election strategy was about managing decline.

Based on presidential, local and European election reverses, it pruned its electoral lists and lacked enough candidates to soak up the volume of votes available to it.

But it was a huge breakthrough moment for the party. Its leader, Mary Lou McDonald, and some key lieutenants, notably housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin, campaigned very effectively.