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Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
5 months ago

In 1992 Sinn Fein won less than 1% of the vote in the Republic of Ireland general election – it was said they had about as much support there as amongst Northern Unionists – and Gerry Adams was unseated even in West Belfast by the SDLP. Sinn Fein / IRA were marginalised politically and running out of road militarily, riven with informers. The Peace Process which commenced shortly after saved some lives, but involved a political redemption of militant Republicanism – criticism of which was beyond the pale for many years within an Irish political and media establishment fearful of rocking the boat – which may ultimately cost many more as Sinn Fein comes to power North and South of the border. Young Irish people are now as stridently nationalistic as anyone in the modern world outside of China, coarsened by a cherrypicked version of Irish history, and a glamorisation of violence. Irish people used to know their history. For those that still do, there is terrible foreboding.

Kevin Dee
Kevin Dee
4 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

As an Irish person living in Ireland that’s really not how I would see it. The nationalism I see in young people is very shallow, limited to a few rebel songs. Other than that we are just another liberal mess of a country. Very quickly losing our independence, culture, land and people. I’d imagine if the young people were Nationalist they would actually give a damn about that.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
4 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

I have said this before, but peaking as an Irish catholic, there is a distasteful element to the Irish character that is a toxic mixture of self-pity, victimhood sentimentality and virtue signalling.
Hamas and the Irish have much in common

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
4 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

All true but you fail to mention the corruption of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael and their adherence to policies that enriched a few and impoverished many.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
5 months ago

Terrorists find their own. Sinn Fein and Hamas are like brothers.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
5 months ago

If the strategic aim of the IRA in Northern Ireland was “Brits Out”, then they lost the war. There’s not much left for the political branch of physical-force republicanism other than posturing at the graveside of their martyred dead. Analogously, Sinn Féin has lost the economic argument in Ireland – they have more or less signed up to neoliberalism and American multinationals as a way for paying for handouts if and when they come to power down South. But none of this can be said out loud – the concept of “face” is very important in many countries, not just China. Truly, Sinn Féin are Marxists, of the Groucho tendency, as in “here are my principles, if you don’t like them I’ve got others”. The empty posturing over the cause of the Palestinian people helps to distract the party faithful (especially the youth wing) from this core cynical philosophy of the movement.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
4 months ago

Speaking of other principles and empty posturing, no one seems to give a good d*mn about the hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians killed by Bashar Al-Assad. No catchy slogans and printed tee shirts, no banners and flags and paid-for bullhorn marches through Western cities.
When the corporate money dries up, so will the chants of “free Palestine”, and passionate concern for non-combatants living in Gaza.

Last edited 4 months ago by Allison Barrows
Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
4 months ago

From the desert to the sea, Western Sahara will be free!

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
4 months ago

I posted “from the desert tû the seä, Western Sahara whill bê frea” on here, but the post was blocked. For sure I used a more standard orthography but I never knew the WordPress alogorithm had such a built-in pro-Moroccan bias.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
4 months ago

Or for the recently ethnically cleansed Armenians

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
4 months ago

Or for the Uyghurs or the Rohingya whose dire straits have been well publicised … funny that …

Jeff Carr
Jeff Carr
4 months ago

The winners write the history.
Sinn Fein are Ireland’s Socialist party with Nationalism thrown in and the young and naive are flocking to their brand of Utopia.
It is almost a generation since the Belfast Agreement and many have no memory of living with security services on the streets and the atrocities committed by the PIRA in the name of Unity.
Mary Lou Macdonald is the fresh face of an organisation with a very hard core of radicals.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
5 months ago

I find Irish politics increasingly off putting these days. I wouldn’t go near the place if I was Jewish.

Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
4 months ago

I fear that the “patriots” of SF will do more damage – both economically and ethnically – than the dreaded British ever did. I suspect they would leave the economic miracle of recent decades looking somewhat threadbare.
I know a few SF candidates locally, and while they are basically decent and well-meaning people, the naivety and the incredibly narrow lens through whch the organisation views the world is a major concern.
A recent poster who spoke of “Toytown revolutionaries who belong in the Students Union” summed it up well. Their knowledge of the Middle-East appears to be from an SWP three-point summary: such a level of ignorance applied to foreign policy would be both dangerous and a national embarrassment.

j watson
j watson
5 months ago

The added sunlight that attaining power will project onto these past deeds will almost certainly generate more questioning and calls for accountability. In some regards Sinn Fein may come to realise the constant scrutiny that comes with power will also attract further ordnance onto the false mythology. They need to be ‘careful what one wishes for’.
There are many in Eire who will ask the questions and press for answers even more if SF attain power. They may find they wish they’d remained in the shadows.

Miriam Uí Riagáin
Miriam Uí Riagáin
4 months ago

Unfortunately, despite all this, it looks quite likely Sinn Féin will get into government at the next election just because the electorate are fed up with the incumbents. I’m reaching the place where there’s no one I care to vote for.

Last edited 4 months ago by Miriam Uí Riagáin
Mike Downing
Mike Downing
4 months ago

Same here in the UK and I’ve never not voted in my life.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
4 months ago

I suggest you get involved.

Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
4 months ago

A moderate, left wing party tough on immigration and minus any woke silliness would be good enough. Not too much to ask for surely?

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

You may be interested in reading the manifesto of the SDP.
https://sdp.org.uk/policies/

Steven Targett
Steven Targett
4 months ago

I used to enjoy holidays in Ireland both North and South but not so much anymore. I find there’s an undercurrent of nationalism which I find repellent. It may be my imagination and I don’t sense it in older people just the younger ones.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
4 months ago
Reply to  Steven Targett

I went on a road trip in Eire a few years ago, including visiting the area where my grandfather was born (Kilkenny). As i drove on towards the west coast in my UK-reg car, the atmosphere passing through the smaller towns and villages took on a slightly sinister feel. I wondered if it was my imagination, until i happened to be stopped at a traffic light and a young man gave me the finger. “Green” couldn’t come quick enough.

Last edited 4 months ago by Steve Murray
Graham Ward
Graham Ward
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I wonder what his reaction would’ve been if he knew your family circumstances?
On a trip to Ireland in the early Eighties, I went into a craft shop displaying a map of family coat of arms, and wondered if mine was on it.
Although I have no immediate connections, the answer on hearing my accent was “I don’t think so”, until I gave them my surname, and, lo and behold, there it was.

D Walsh
D Walsh
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

You sound paranoid to me Steve

UK reg cars are a common sight in Ireland, the locals pass no notice of them

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
4 months ago

I’ve always detested the IRA. Especially as they supposedly were somehow catholic. When I went to Ireland about 10 years ago I was surprised Sinn Fein had survived as a party people choose to vote for. Maybe the Irish should look at the result for the gazans of voting for hamas.

Voting has consequences.

D Walsh
D Walsh
4 months ago
Reply to  Bret Larson

The IRA were NEVER a Catholic organisation, they had Protestant members

The main reason people are voting for Sinn Fein is because the other parties are useless, the same voters will turn on SF soon enough
In the next Irish election, I won’t be voting Sinn Fein, I won’t be voting for anyone

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
4 months ago

It’s like Anna Burns the novelist said; it was only years after she left Belfast that she realised the terrible deep-seated trauma she was carrying round in her from ‘the troubles’. And that would apply to the whole population.

It could have all been achieved peacefully and was, like most of these revolutionary movements of the period (ETA, Colombia, Peru) hugely destructive and a big waste of time.

Pip G
Pip G
4 months ago

Simple question: Why do so many Irish people vote for Sinn Fein.
it was (and is?) the political wing of the IRA. For the last 40 years Ireland has come out of its darkness and become a modern, prosperous European country.
Do so many Irish want Ireland to go backwards to a proto-fascist country alienated from “the West”?

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
4 months ago

We live in an imperfect world; the peace process for all its problems has produced a dividend of almost no deaths since it was agreed. If SF get into power in the Republic they will be in a position to argue strongly for a referendum on reunification.
P.S. Ireland is a friendly place. Some relatives and friends of ours from England were over here for a wedding and had the time of their lives. One father and his daughter had a man pay their bus fare as they didn’t have the requisite bus card (all cashless).

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
4 months ago

How can Ireland vote for unification? Are they unifying with themselves? Or is it the same as Russia voting for unification with Ukraine?

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
4 months ago
Reply to  Bret Larson

Look it up! This is not a school.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
4 months ago

It’s more of a narrative response than a pedantic one. Clearly if world peace fills the hearts of the people of ulster and Ireland then a union is just a vote away. It’s a nice vision.

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago

With obvious and sincere deference to your direct experience of the events you comment on may I argue that surrender to the men of violence often brings peace in the short and medium term but it exacts a terrible price in the longer term.
The problem lies in that it gives an imprimature of legitimacy to lawless deeds and violent means which can never be withdrawn. And there was a surrender to the terrorists in Ulster.
There is, sadly, to my mind a straight line from Iniskillen and McGurks Bar to the parades in support of Hamas and even the bloodshed on our streets. When I see the intimidation and sectarian anger, the marches and the threats now being uttered on British streets, it’s not Gaza that comes first to mind but the old ‘dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone’.
Lawless violence, be it only once legitimised, becomes an accepted tool of politics. Indeed it is the most natural and automatic form of politics. The exclusion of violence from politics is almost a civic miracle. It is so rare in history and so fragile and so easily lost. The ‘peace process’ and the electoral rise of Sinn Fein has shattered forever the illusion that political murder is irrevocably anathema maranatha. It cannot now be regained.
I think it is very hard for people of my generation to fully understand the dignitiy and seriousness shown by so many in Ulster during the Troubles refusing the electoral overtures of Sinn Fein in favour of the SDLP, for instance. That instintive and reflexive disgust at political murder, highly sophisticated both ethically and politically, is gone, all gone now.
It stands on the historical record like an act of heroic, mysterious forebearance from an older and a wiser time.

Last edited 4 months ago by William Amos
Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

Excellent post! Thank you