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Ireland's Sinn Fein demands place in government at Dublin rally

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Ireland's Sinn Fein demands place in government at Dublin rally

By Conor Humphries

 

2020-02-25T210246Z_1_LYNXMPEG1O1K6_RTROPTP_4_IRELAND-POLITICS-SINNFEIN.JPG

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald speaks at a public meeting Liberty Hall in Dublin, Ireland February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Lorraine O'Sullivan

 

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish left-wing nationalists Sinn Fein demanded a place in Ireland's next government on Tuesday at a packed rally in Dublin, saying the country's two dominant centre-right parties were trying block voters' demand for change.

 

Sinn Fein shocked the Irish political establishment in an election earlier this month by securing more votes than any other party for the first time, almost doubling its vote to 24.5% on a vow to fix the country's housing and health systems.

 

But it has been frozen out of government talks by centre-right rivals, Fianna Fail and Prime Minister Leo Varadkar's Fine Gael, who have both refused to contemplate sharing power due to policy differences and Sinn Fein's history as the political wing of the Irish Republican Army.

 

The two parties, who have alternated in power for 100 years, on Tuesday held talks about possibly sharing power for the first time.

 

"They are doing everything they can to keep people who voted for us out of government," Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald told a packed hall of 500 people, with a couple of hundred more waiting in freezing wind outside. "Sinn Fein wants to be in government and we want to deliver."

 

"To the parties that have decided they do not want to speak to us, I say this: We respect your mandate. Now it is time that you respect ours," she said.

 

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said Sinn Fein does not operate to the same democratic standards held to by every other party and that McDonald had praised units of the IRA.

 

McDonald, who took over from Gerry Adams in 2018 and has no direct link to the IRA's role in the three decades of violence in Northern Ireland that ended in 1998, rejected the statement and said Martin was "exuding bile."

 

Varadkar has described the series of rallies Sinn Fein is holding across the country as part of a "campaign of intimidation and bullying," a statement ridiculed by the party.

 

Asked if Sinn Fein planned to take their fight to the streets, McDonald said her focus was on talks with other parties. "The numbers will stand or fall within the Dail (parliament)," she said.

 

Fine Gael won 35 seats in the 160-seat house to the 37 each held by Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein.

 

Sinn Fein's best chance of entering government appeared to be a tie-up with Fianna Fail, whose opposition has been slightly softer than that of Fine Gael, but Martin has repeatedly ruled that out. Most observers agree a government between Sinn Fein and several smaller left parties and independent members of parliament is unrealistic.

 

All sides predict it will take several weeks to form a government with the risk of a second election if talks fail, with analysts predicting Sinn Fein would be best placed to increase their seat numbers.

 

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Tom Brown)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-02-26
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Interesting that a left-wing congregation gains traction in fairly conservative Ireland.

 

Most countries in Europe are presently experiencing right-wing dominance.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, melvinmelvin said:

 

Interesting that a left-wing congregation gains traction in fairly conservative Ireland.

 

Most countries in Europe are presently experiencing right-wing dominance.

 

Not really if you know the history. There are extreme housing and health crises that successive right wing governments failed to tackle along with the highest growth in the EU for 3 years running and 13 years of austerity. People are sick of it.

 

Edited by bipper
Grammar
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That's the right move! 

They should opt for PM post. 

Rule Ireland and go for reunification 😍

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8 minutes ago, Brigand said:

Nothing wrong with a united Ireland if that is what the Northern Irish want. Problem is, who's in charge? If it is this bunch of mafia criminals hiding behind a female that claims to be left wing then folks are pretty deluded. The Army Council of the old IRA is still in control and calls the shots ...this woman is just the PR puppet that is being told to walk a tightrope so she doesn't upset either the snowflakes that remember nothing or the dark side that still lurks everywhere having hidden once the US decided that terrorism isn't OK (that's why a peace deal came around really). 

 

I agree. The only reason the Provisional IRA were even prepared to discuss peace was because the USA declared it's War on Terrorism. As a terrorist organization the IRA would have been targeted and the NORAID funds ceased.

 

 

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5 hours ago, joebrown said:

"If I called them what I really think of them, I'd get banned and I like this forum."

Me too. I was in New Street, Birmingham. about 100yds from the Tavern in the Town when the bomb exploded. Forgive and forget? NEVER.

Know how you feel. Back at you the same about the Paras who murdered 13 innocent civilians marching for civil rights on Bloody Sunday and was the main reason for Provo recruitment up until internment.

 

The fact is horror happened on both sides and it'll never change until people accept that and move on.

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interesting the exchange of views here;

several are obviously opposed to SF getting into power positions, like the cabinet for example

 

fair enough

but we are talking about roughly the largest political party on the island

keeping SF out of any power position and just pretend they do not exist may be viewed

as kind of democracy deficiency

just ignoring all the voters that ticked SF ain't gonna bring about anything good

 

Sweden is currently facing similar problems

Germany also does

Norway has had similar problems in the past

 

Italy face different problems, they have taken the extreme guys to their heart

 

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2 hours ago, melvinmelvin said:

interesting the exchange of views here;

several are obviously opposed to SF getting into power positions, like the cabinet for example

 

fair enough

but we are talking about roughly the largest political party on the island

keeping SF out of any power position and just pretend they do not exist may be viewed

as kind of democracy deficiency

just ignoring all the voters that ticked SF ain't gonna bring about anything good

 

Sweden is currently facing similar problems

Germany also does

Norway has had similar problems in the past

 

Italy face different problems, they have taken the extreme guys to their heart

 

None of whom have had MP's assassinated in the car park, at home or in a hotel by disgruntled muppets claiming to be at war until they get caught & expecting the Geneva conventions to be followed to the letter in the other direction. 10 mins ago during PMQ's a question to that effect was raised in the house...

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well

both Sweden and Germany has experienced some killings,

Sweden; on the street and in a shopping mag.

Germany; don't remember

 

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22 minutes ago, melvinmelvin said:

well

both Sweden and Germany has experienced some killings,

Sweden; on the street and in a shopping mag.

Germany; don't remember

 

I was well aware of that but as it was a one off dismissed it as not relevant to my point. SF/IRA were at it for 38 years and (to quote Adams); "They haven't gone away you know!"

Edited by evadgib
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