A few comments around the recent
I am not a member of Sinn Fein and
never have been but I have been watching this party
closely over the last number of years. I watched the
transformation of their candidate for Europe, Mary
Lou McDonald, from card carrying Fianna Fail member
to elected Sinn Fein Representative in a matter of,
what, two or three years?
The Sinn Fein motto for all elections is "An
Ireland of Equals".
Over the past twenty years I have been aware of the
spade-work being done by
dedicated Sinn Fein members at times when that party
was not flavour of the month, or any other month.
I wonder why these experienced and articulate party
members did not "make the grade" when it
came to nomination time? Are nominations still the
domain of the Cumann or is selection handed down by
the "Leadership"? We have been told it is
a "leadership led movement" (so was Stalin's
Is it perhaps that the accents of
the longterm member are more Donamede than Dun Laoirghe,
that as politicised working-class people they did
not, despite their obvious ability, have an opportunity
to get a third level education?
Mary Lou has a fine political career ahead of her
be that with Sinn Fein or Fianna Fail. I feel she
will jump ship whenever it suits Mary Lou. What of
the people who worked so tirelessly to put her on
the career ladder; they will still be shinning up
lampposts, manning the clinics, working for the party.
I do not support Sinn Fein, but I give credit where
it is due. It seems a pity that the "leadership"
is more opportunistic than it is loyal to its members.
Can they call out for "An Ireland of Equals"
from a Party that seems not to be all that "Equal"?
Briefly but importantly, Gerry Adams dismissed the
disgraceful degradation of the National Flag at count
centres throughout the State and up in the North as,
"a few people getting carried away." People
do not normally store a tri-colour in their inside
pocket to be whipped out like a nose-rag to be waved
in the faces of other Irishmen, be they political
opponents or tribal opponents. The picture of the
victorious Mary Lou Mc Donald clutching a tri-colour
nailed to a bit of stick was a shame on her and on
Gerry Adams grew up in a traditional
Republican home like my own. He would have learnt
there the respect due to The Flag. For too long Sinn
Fein have abused the National Flag and by implication
claim it as theirs and theirs alone. Is that perhaps
why they paraded down O'Connell street on Easter Sunday
to the tune of "Take it down from the Mast Irish
Traitors"? The words go on, "it can never
belong to Free-Staters for you brought on it nothing
but shame...." Ironic to me for several reasons,
insulting to others for the obvious reason. The National
Flag also flies prominently on the Falls Road in Belfast
adorned with Celtic emblems, a defacement again, flags
put there by Ogra Sinn Fein, a group of youths slightly
reminicent of another group of boyscouts from the
1940s Germany. Take those down from the mast and save
some of your dignity, Sinn Fein.