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The Sinn Féin party May 5, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Not often remarked upon but consider the current Dáil and how parties that are drawn directly from the Sinn Féin of the 1910s still predominate. Sure, FF is much beaten back, Fine Gael likewise, but SF has taken up some of the slack. In total between them there are 117 TDs out of 158 and close to 65% of the FPv at the election. Which, interestingly is in or around the same percentage as they got in 2011 – in 2007 they received 75% between them.

Now I’m the first to accept that there are discontinuities as much as continuities. Only this week we’ve been discussing how parties change – how they can be quite substantially different across years. But nonetheless. Even the fact that these parties at least part derive some legitimation, as they see it, from the start of the last century….

Then there are those who were elected under different banners who might loosely be termed from an SF (original) background. Sean Canney, Boxer Moran, Thomas Pringle and a scatter more. That probably brings the numbers up to 125 or there or thereabouts out of 158. It’s sort of stunning how formidable that political crucible of the early 20th century has been in shaping politics thereafter.

A crucial aspect of the next election will be to see if that vote across those parties in particular holds up or increases. And by the by, this is not to say that SF is equivalent to FF or FG, there are stark differences and distinctions.


1. Aengus Millen - May 5, 2017

This is true but it’s actually not that unusual. The democratic and republican parties in America are each products of the early to mid 18th century and their trajectory until at least the 1960’s was defined by the civil war. The conservative party is even older and even labour is older then Sinn Fein. The continent is somewhat different because of the upheaval that took place there last century. But the sdp was formed in 1863 and the social democratic parties in both Denmark and Sweden and the labour party in Norway were formed in the late 19th century. The one thing that does make Ireland slightly different is how little apparent change their has been in voting patterns. Until 2011 it seemed like people voted in lock-step with their ancestors and even the 2016 election shows a move back in that direction with the increase in support for Fianna Fail. Still the idea of radical new parties like we’ve seen in Greece and Spain is something of an anomaly.


2. An Sionnach Fionn - May 5, 2017

I wrote up a general list of republican groups a while ago and though one knows the historical relationships it is still remarkable when you see it spelled out. I hope to do something a bit more comprehensive (and reader friendly), a family tree, in the next while. https://goo.gl/yVKTgS


3. roddy - May 5, 2017

Any ex stick politician is from “a SF background” (whether they like it or not!)


4. Dr. Nightdub - May 6, 2017

Two things about that:
1 It highlights the degree to which SF of the early 20th century was an ill-defined net that could scoop up all and sundry once they could pass a vague test of separatism from the UK. Anything and everything that was pro-Gael and anti-Brit could find shelter under that broad umbrella, regardless of the differences between each other. Basically, it was a club that was very difficult to NOT be a member of.
2 It highlights the degree to which nothing much in this country has moved on significantly since about 1917. SP, PBP, water charges campaign, PAYE campaign in the 70s, et al are still stuck at being outliers to normality


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