Tuesday 21 August 2018

This is democracy, with a North Korean flavour

What matters is not that a woman is nominally in charge of Sinn Fein - but who's in charge of her, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Mary Lou McDonald will succeed Gerry Adams. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Mary Lou McDonald will succeed Gerry Adams. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Eilis O'Hanlon

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Sinn Fein has announced that Mary Lou McDonald will be anointed unopposed as next leader of Sinn Fein.

"Admitted" would be a more accurate word. It's hardly a cause of pride that the country's third largest party couldn't even orchestrate a proper leadership contest. It's been 34 years since the last one. You'd think that at least one of the scores of elected representatives who've emerged since then would want to take a shot at it, no pun intended.

Not least since Mary Lou herself said she didn't want to simply be crowned queen of all Ireland, and outgoing leader Gerry Adams insisted the next leader would be elected openly and democratically.

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