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Sinn Féin must remember it's been loaned votes by people desperate for social justice

Barbara Scully


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Challenge: Sinn Féin and party leader Mary Lou McDonald will be judged on whether they can deliver a more equal Ireland. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Challenge: Sinn Féin and party leader Mary Lou McDonald will be judged on whether they can deliver a more equal Ireland. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Challenge: Sinn Féin and party leader Mary Lou McDonald will be judged on whether they can deliver a more equal Ireland. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Einstein famously said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. And it appears that the Irish people, after decades of doing the same thing, have finally decided to take a risk by doing something very different and voting for Sinn Féin in order, one presumes, to get a different result.

Last time out, the electorate took the more conservative risk by voting for Independents. However, that experiment did result in more of the same, as they were 'coalitionised' by Fine Gael. So, is it really a surprise that the electorate went (as some commentators might have it) 'rogue' and voted for the party with the shady past - Sinn Féin? Desperate times call for desperate measures and, in my view, the Irish people are desperate to change, not just the status quo, but the priorities of government.

This was not change for change's sake. This was most certainly not Ireland doing its own version of 'Brexit' or 'Trump', as some British commentators have already labelled it. The fact that our 'far-right' candidates, who traded in the same language of misplaced nationalism we hear in the UK and US, didn't even gain enough votes to claim their deposits back, is clear evidence that Irish people were not just kicking back at the establishment for the sake of it.