Adams needs his Big Guns: McGuinness for the Dail!
(John Coulter, Irish Daily Star)
Invade the Republic with Northern candidates! That’s the only way Sinn Féin will guarantee it will be part of a Dáil coalition government after next year’s Leinster House General Election.
Southern Sinn Féin simply doesn’t have enough big guns based in the Republic to bust through the 20-TD mark which will blast open the Tanaiste’s door for party president Gerry Adams.
Cynics might argue that Adams was pushed out of his West Belfast Westminster bolthole and parachuted into Louth to escape the Jean McConville murder allegations as well as his family’s personal sex abuse scandal.
But the bitter medicine which the Shinners have to swallow is that the party’s ‘Southern Command’ simply lacks the experience of the Northern ‘Big Guns’ when it comes to running a government.
Adams and Marty McGuinness have transformed Northern Sinn Féin from pathetic apologists for dying hunger strikers and IRA death squads into a confident modern 21st century party which is capable of working a power-sharing partitionist Stormont with the DUP – that’s some leap!
Until Adams landed in Louth, Southern Sinn Féin was nothing more than an old boys club to remember the Rising, and what might have been if the anti-Treaty IRA had won the Irish Civil War in the 1920s.
But it’s only a handful of years until the centenary of the Treaty and that bloody civil war which saw more IRA volunteers killed by the Free State Forces than were killed by the Tans during the earlier War of Independence.
In the South, civil war scars still run deep in families. The divisions and wounds that the war inflicted have spanned the generations.
Just as Northern-based Irish Volunteers managed to not get their hands dirtied by the doomed Easter Rising, so too, Northern Shinners managed largely to keep their hands – and lives – out of the civil war.
If Sinn Féin is to be part of the next Dáil coalition, at least a dozen of its Northern ‘Big Hitters’ must follow Adams into the Republic and leave the safety of their Stormont, Westminster or super council heartlands.
Adams needs McGuinness, Gerry Kelly, Alex and Paul Maskey, Michelle Gildernew and Conor Murphy in Leinster House – not wasting their time pussy footing with the Brits.
While Southern Shinners can point to successes in Donegal and Dublin, as with Stormont, the party needs to be getting TDs elected all over the Republic.
Sinn Féin needs to recognise it has won the battle for Northern nationalist supremacy with the Stoops.
It is only Sinn Féin’s Commons abstentionist policy which is keeping the Shinners from electorally wiping the SDLP off the face of the Northern political map in the same way as the DUP has outgunned the Ulster Unionists.
Only by shifting serving Shinner MLAs and MPs into the Dáil can Sinn Féin hope to repeat the electoral success of 1918 when it captured over 70 of the 100 plus Irish Commons seats when Ireland was one nation.
While the Adams and McGuinness peace strategy refuses to let Sinn Féin MPs take their Commons seats, a united Ireland can only be achieved through the back door of Leinster House.
But Team Adams is not getting any younger. At some point Sinn Féin’s Grey Brigade will have to be ‘retired’. It’s about time Northern republicans taught their Southern fringe counterparts how to run a nation! Let’s see more Six Counties Shinners heading South!
April 21, 2015________________
This article appeared in the April 20, 2015 edition of the Irish Daily Star.