Radical nationalists from the Sinn Féin party are becoming more and more popular in Ireland. “They can destroy the Republic of Ireland. They promise a lot, they can bring an economic disaster,” opponents told Blesk Zpravam. They have Irish reunification on the agenda, and while that sounds nice, critics say it will cost too much for an independent South. “I don’t want war anymore,” fears Liam (24).
“We love Sinn Féin” answered Blask. I report to a group of Irish people between the ages of thirty and forty in Galway, which is located west of the capital Dublin. They all believed that the Republic of Ireland should unite with Northern Britain, which now belongs to Great Britain. The Sinn Féin party also has success in the regional parliament.
But this far-left party is gaining strength mainly from below in the independent Republic of Ireland. “According to the latest polls, he has the best chance of winning the elections to the lower house of the Parliament of the Republic of Ireland and forming a government for the first time,” This was announced in March by the Institute of International Relations. In the same breath, he reminds us that the party had a troubled past and was on the fringes of Irish politics for a long time.
Sinn Féin nationalists played a significant role in the declaration of Irish independence, then split, and their positions were shaken. Their former close relationship with Irish Republican Army (IRA) terrorists is still controversial. Violence was not alien to the members of Sinn Féin, they were also not far from Marxism.
“Yes, yes, unite Ireland, Gerry Adams!” shouted the Irishman from Galway. Adams was the son of an IRA member and was in charge of Sinn Féin for a long time until 2018, when he was replaced by Mary Lou McDonald. She called the party’s previous propensity for violence “justified”. While its supporters have not explained their sympathies, opponents clearly understand why they do not vote for the party.
Bantry’s Ewen, 34, would consider the party government, which translates to “We ourselves,” as a disaster. “They are popular for the same reason that Donald Trump is in the US or Viktor Orban is in Hungary. But they don’t understand politics, they don’t know what to do, it will be an economic disaster.” Glitter explained to News. An elderly businessman from Galway shares the same opinion. Sinn Féin did not vote.
“I do not share their views on politics. The current government in Ireland has been doing a great job for a long time. They support industry, employment, everyone. Sinn Féin or anyone else would not do that. I also do business in the UK and don’t get any support there. I appreciate what the current government is doing. And what do people like about them? Ask them if they have a job.” he communicated.
The country is ruled by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, with the Greens in opposition. But without the agreement of the first two, Sinn Féin would have already won in 2020 and it is likely that she will succeed in the next elections in 2025. And also because Fianna Feil and Fine Gael may already be weary of their long reign.
Sean: “Sinn Féin could destroy Ireland”
“I am concerned about the future of Irish politics. There are two political parties that will lead Ireland to the center and the right: Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Previously, no matter who was in power, I considered it relatively safe. Both sides have refused to cooperate with the radical left, they consider it toxic,” This was reported to Blesk News by Sean, who came from southern Ireland.
“But now the Bushmen of Sinn Féin seem to be gaining ground and they may be in our next government. I would be very worried about this, because they promised too much and could destroy our country. They sell their soul to get ahead. Now they have made a big impression on the youth, I, frankly, am very afraid of this. he added.
Young Irish people are appreciating Sinn Féin’s promise to provide affordable housing due to rising property prices, according to the Institute of International Affairs. “But who will pay?” Ewen from Bantry commented on this point. They also promise a generous family policy, as part of social policy they promise to lower the retirement age. “At the same time, Ireland is a very social state, an unmarried woman, for example, can get a house.” commented for Blesk Zprávy Iven.
But not all young people are on the side of Sinn Féin’s left-wing politics. “I am a proud Republican, but I do not vote for this party. He must understand that we are no longer at war, and Ireland will remain divided, although I would like it to be united. Liam from Cork (24) explained to Bleske. He was referring to the violence with which Ireland is historically associated.
“Northern Ireland will secede from Britain when Scotland succeeds. And it doesn’t work. We don’t want any more war, and besides, there are too many Britons in Ireland.” Liam noticed. Sean has the same opinion as Ewen as to why so many Irish people vote for a controversial party.
“Probably because they promise people impossible things. The nature of politics is that you make a budget and you have to have money to realize these things. But when you promise as much as they do, there is no strength for it. I am also in business myself and I am afraid that they will not be entirely favorable for entrepreneurs. I’m afraid of what the future holds,” Sean said.
The aforementioned former leader Gerry Adams proclaimed that Sinn Féin would crack down on big business, capitalism and imperialism. “They’ll be anti-business, and when you’re anti-business, you’re dealing with jobs, and in the end everyone will suffer. They are very prejudiced against people who don’t work, don’t participate and don’t contribute to society, that worries me.” Sean continued.
According to him, in Ireland there is a serious problem with housing. Among the main reasons – too high taxes. They sell their property, and then there is nothing to rent, people cannot find housing. Sinn Féin proposes to reduce and freeze the rent.
“They claim they will make everyone rich, and they want to tax the rich. They don’t understand that it is entrepreneurs who can offer jobs and contribute to Ireland. The top 10 companies now pay taxes to Ireland, and what happens when they leave? Sean objected. “We are a democratic country, many people will vote for them. But maybe they won’t be popular for that long, it’s hard to predict.”
And what do the Irish think about the union of the Republic of Ireland with Northern Ireland, which is still under the rule of the Crown? It is Sinn Féin who declares that they will unite the country. Fianna Fáil also promises a common and united Ireland and wants to prepare a referendum on this issue.
However, according to Fine Gael, bringing people together is more important than territory. Polls show that more than two-thirds of the people of the Republic of Ireland agree with the unification, while the majority of the Northern Irish will remain part of the UK.
Indeed, in the Republic of Ireland, the majority of respondents answered that they were in favor of the unification of the entire island. According to Sean, it’s just a romantic idea, albeit a beautiful one. “In fact, it would be impractical, England is investing a lot of money in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland cannot afford it. If we joined, one very poor country, Northern Ireland, would join us. Plus, Northern Ireland is now out of the EU, I don’t see how that could be done.” he thought.
His friend standing next to him agreed with him. “I don’t support it. What did it cost West Germany to unite with East Germany? It almost destroyed it. It will continue here anyway.” he worries. Indeed, according to the Institute of International Affairs, polls have shown that only about 20% of the people of the Republic of Ireland would like to pay for unification with the Northern Territory.