Sinn Féin leading a democratic peoples revolution in Ireland, again?

‘Sinn Féin hasn’t had this strength since 1918’ – Gerry Adams

Interesting times in Ireland again. Time to truly leave Civil war politics in the South and move on?

On Friday it was the local and European elections in Ireland, Sinn Féin have scored massively in local elections, especially in the cities. They are set to be the largest party in Belfast, Dublin, Derry, Cork city councils. The mixed bag of independents and small parties also scored hugely. Sinn Fein are an island wide party, not the only one, as People Before Profit also are island wide and took seats.

The established political system has been given a massive shake up, with ex TD Joe Higgins on RTE radio calling it nothing short of a “democratic revolution for change”. Present Irish Fine Gael minister, Leo Varadkar went as far as saying he could see Sinn Féin leading the next government, something considered impossible only five years ago. No one was expecting such a sea change, who knows what it might lead to further down the line?

Going back to 1918, we remember what huge changes came from little sparks. As it is not the first time that there has been a huge surge in support for Sinn Fein. Soon after the failed rebellion of 1916, after executions and imprisonment of many Irish rebels, the party grew massively all over the island. They formed their own illegal government and fought a war for Irish freedom, the results of which were the half win of a partitioned island that led to a bloody civil war and the party’s demise. But the world took note; a small island nation stood up to the greatest empire the world had ever seen, the took them on and they forced change. Sinn Fein have done it before, might this weekend be the first step in another chapter in that story?



Sinn Féin has seen its first ever candidate elected in County Limerick in almost 100 years. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Sinn Féin has 1st candidate elected in County Limerick in almost 100 years

Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan tops the poll and elected as MEP for Dublin

VIDEO: “Sinn Fein hasn’t had this strength since 1918′ – Gerry Adams.

VIDEO: Lynn Boylan elected at MEP for Dublin securing more than 83,000 first preference votes

Another positive aspect is the continued rise of women, immigrant, non-white, LGBT people getting elected, showing that the political make up is better reflecting the true diversiy of the small country (island only has about 5 million). Sad note is how Ireland is STILL the only EU country that does not allow its expats vote, if they did I imagine “Civil war politics” problem would have finished long ago. Another worrying thing is the rise of racism in the county, with Turkish born Muslim candidate Memet Uludag having firstly bacon attached to his election posters and then images of pigs heads stuck to his posters, a common form of attack by mainland European Ultra right / neo-fascists / nazis. The last point of concern for those against the growth of hate / racism / fascism in Europe is the formation in Ireland of NIP, an Irish verion of UKIP. Although small now, no doubt they will grow in Ireland as racism keeps growing, as similar groups have grown in the continent; Hungary, Greece, Denmark, France, Germany, Austria, UK, Sweden and now Ukraine.

Not that the vote in itself will change things, grassroots organized community action makes real change. The 30 years of the war in the north, “The Troubles” has taught many lessons to SF. It will be interesting to see the new chapter in this story unfold, the story of Irish people, the story of a confident people on the island sorting the mess they are in.

Ireland abú

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– First Sinn Fein candidate in county Limerick in nearly 100 years. Seighin O’Ceallaigh (22) Sinn Féin has seen five of its six candidates elected.

SIMILIAR to the trends across the country Sinn Féin and Independents were the big winners in Laois.

– Sinn Fein now have 3 seats in next Mayo

– Mayor of Belfast Mairtin O Muilleoir tops the poll in Balmoral Ward in Belfast and is elected on 1st count

– All change in Leitrim as Independents and Sinn Féin surge

– Sinn Féin tops first preference majority poll in Fermanagh & Omagh Council with 40%

– RTE reporting that Sinn Fein are on course to be the biggest party on Dublin City Council

– Dublin: The final result in Cabra-Finglas – Perry Ind, Connaghan SF, Murphy SF, McGrattan SF, Carr Lab, Costello FF, Keegan Ind all elected

– Three Independents and three SF elected in Meath

– SF candidate Melissa O’Neill takes a seat in Kilkenny

– Cork: Sinn Fein’s Rachel McCarthy secured a decisive victory in Bandon-Kinsale topping the poll with 2,344 first preference votes

– Nine Cllrs (with a possible 10th in Ballymun) for PBPA in the greater Dublin area

– Eimear Ferguson (SF) elected on 1st count in Laytown-Bettystown

– In Tallaght South Sinn Féin took a massive 51.3% of the total first preference vote. Closest party to them was Labour on 12%

– Sinn Féin likely to claim first seats on Carlow County Council

– Independent councillor Mannix Flynn elected on the 4th count in Pembroke South Dock with 1569 votes.

– It’s fitting that as a 32 county alternative PBPA should have our first Cllr of elected in Belfast. Well done Gerry Carroll.

– Sinn Féin claim 41.7 per cent of Monaghan Local Election vote

– Clare’s first female councillor of 2014, Ann Norton (IND) says she sees no obstacle for female candidates getting elected

– Another one of our own, the very hardworking and fantastic LGBT campaigner Janice Boylan elected to Dublin City for Sinn Féin


Mary Lou, Gerry and Martin : The times they are a changing

Sinn Féin Ireland: Irish Republican party dedicated to the reunification of Ireland and the creation of a 32-county democratic socialist republic

Related blog posts: Martin McGuinness hoping to be Irish president for 2016 + President Michael D Higgins and the “Real Irish Republic” + Provos, Loyalists and Brits (BBC 90′s documentary series)

26 Responses to Sinn Féin leading a democratic peoples revolution in Ireland, again?

  1. fuspey says:

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  3. fuspey says:

    Guardian comment:

    Agree with sentiments expressed here by many, you should reword title: “European elections: seven countries that went left, not right” and include the Irish “surge” of sinn fein + left independents in #EP14. There were local elections also and Sinn Fein made huge gains, biggest gains since 1918, since before partition.

  4. fuspey says:

    Government given notice to Quit – by Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams

    For three years the Fine Gael/Labour government has been inflicting one hardship after another on vulnerable citizens to pay for the greed of the bankers and developers and corrupt politicians. A succession of stealth taxes, including sceptic tax charges, the universal social charge, the property tax and now water charges have all been introduced.

    The EU and local government elections have allowed the public to pass judgement on this government. It should go. That would be the right thing to do. But in the expectation that Fine Gael and Labour will once again not do the right thing we begin fighting the next Dáil general election now.

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  9. fuspey says:

    What Matt Carthy stands for, last of 4 MEP candidates, very high chance SF will make it 4 from 4… results soon

  10. fuspey says:

    Regarding how action of civil society equates with political parties ballot box, etc, does it work? Interesting going on in Spain with Podemos, a new political party growing out of 15M movement, now 4th party of spain with 6 elected MEP’s. Richard Mac Duinnsleibhe doing much commentry on this, see his HIRED KNAVES posts below.

    Podemos: A party under construction

    Where did the 15-M movement go?

    Podemos: Left Unity, Participation, and The Right

    Podemos: A Tale of Two Posters

    Por Ahora: Podemos explodes onto the scene

  11. fuspey says:

    Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland): Direct democracy

    (full text at )

    Throughout history there has been an alternative idea of democracy – this is the idea of direct democracy. It surfaced during the Paris Commune (in 1871), it surfaced in Russia during the early part of the revolution there, and it was put into large-scale practice in Spain between 1936-37. It is the method often used by workers in a strike; it is the method that often arises ‘spontaneously’ when people confront the State or the bosses. Direct democracy is the democracy that anarchists advocate.

    Direct democracy is different to parliamentary democracy in a number of important ways:

    1.Direct democracy is about ‘originating’ ideas as much as it is about ‘approving’ them. In parliamentary democracy, people are never asked for their own ideas – they are only asked to ‘approve’ or ‘disapprove’ of ideas already prepared for them. Direct democracy is radically different in that way. Direct democracy is based on the realistic notion that ‘people know best how to look after their own situation’. We don’t need specialists to tell us how to run our places of work or our communities. Anarchists argue that we are quite capable of doing this ourselves. All we need are the resources and the right to do this. Direct democracy is the method.

    2.Direct democracy is based on delegation not representation. The crucial difference between delegation and representation is that delegates are only elected to implement specific decisions. Delegates do not have the right (like TDs or MPs) to change a decision previously made by an assembly of people. Delegates (unlike representatives) can be immediately recalled and dismissed from their mandate if they don’t carry out the specific function allotted to them.

    3.Direct democracy is as much about the workplace as it is about the community. In parliamentary democracy, the workplace is ‘immune’ to democracy (save what rights workers have won through their unions). In direct democracy, the operation of a factory or a plant or an office will be via a general assembly of all workers. This body will decide on conditions of work, will elect re-callable managers, and will organise how work is done. It will also elect people (as delegates) who will co-ordinate with the other places of work and with the broader community. Regional organisation will be managed through a federation of workplaces using a delegate structure.

    Could such a form of democracy work and what would it be like?

  12. fuspey says:

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  15. fuspey says:

    Ireland; 4 Provinces, 4 Constituencies, 4 Candidates, 4 wins…

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  17. fuspey says:

    Mary Lou McDonald – Sinn Féin:
    Congratulations to Sinn Féin’s Fintan Warfield who was elected as Mayor of South Dublin yesterday. Congratulations also to Dublin City’s new Mayor Christy Burke (ex sinn fein) and to Deputy Mayor Larry O’Toole.

    Sinn Féin to hold position of Dublin Lord Mayor in 2016
    Independent Christy Burke to receive chain of office tomorrow as groups share role

  18. fuspey says:

    Following the remarkable success of Sinn Féin in the recent local and European contests, and in reasonable anticipation of further gains in the next general election, speculation is already rife on the party’s place in probable coalition groupings.

  19. fuspey says:

    Seeing red: Sinn Féin would be in “pole position” to lead an alternative left-led alliance including the Labour party, Mary Lou McDonald has told The Irish Times Politics Podcast

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  21. fuspey says:

    Addressing a Sinn Féin meeting in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Mr Adams said Irish politics was “undergoing the biggest shake-up” since the partition of the island and it was a real possibility that the next government would not be Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil led.

    “Our citizens are increasingly disillusioned with the conservative establishment which has dominated politics in this State since the 1920s,” he said, adding that the experience of the past few years had politicised a huge section of public opinion.

  22. fuspey says:

    Meanwhile in ireland, Tsipas’s view that after podemos win in Spain will come Sinn Fein win in Ireland.. comes a step closer, with Sinn Féin Ireland becoming the leading party in the polls…

    Sinn Fein is most popular party in Ireland says new poll

    Poll finds Sinn Féin is most popular party in State

    Revealed: Sinn Fein the most popular party in Ireland

    Sinn Fein most popular party in Republic of Ireland as support for independents falls sharply

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