Sinn Féin’s victory: towards a reunified Ireland?

FOCUS – Winner of the legislative elections, the party linked to the IRA wants to govern in Dublin and advocates the attachment of Ulster to Eire.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald.
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald. BEN STANSALL / AFP

1 – The breakthrough of Sinn Féin

With 24.1% of the legislative votes in the Republic of Ireland, Sinn Féin (Ourselves, in Gaelic) obtained last Sunday the best result in its history. This party, a political branch of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which has the particularity of also participating in the elections in Ulster, had so far only played an ancillary role in the Dublin parliament. His links with the IRA prevented him from any alliance – even after the peace agreements of 1998. In 2016, Sinn Féin had won only 13.8% of the vote and 23 seats out of 158, far from the centrist Fine Gael parties ( center-right 25.5%) and Fianna Fáil (center-left, 24.3%).

This time, a first since the birth of the Republic of Ireland in 1921, the party led by Mary Lou McDonald came out on top and intends to go into business. Thanks to a leftist program, Sinn Féin has established himself in a country that has still not digested the 2008 crisis. Admittedly, the economy is better, but the recovery has not benefited

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