5 July 2007 Edition
‘An Phoblacht’ welcomes readers’ letters. Letters in Irish or English should be kept short (no more than 200 words) and typed or handwritten clearly, double-spaced and on one side of the paper only. Name and address should be supplied for verification, but these will not be published if we are so requested.
Cuireann ‘An Phoblacht’ fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla. Is fearr litreacha gearra (200 focal ar a méid) clóscríofa nó lámhscríofa go soiléir ar thaobh amháin den leathanach. Cuir ainm agus seoladh leis ach ní fhoilseoimid iad seo más é do thoil.
Re-energising after the election
I have been reading the post-election analyses in An Phoblacht with some interest.
I believe that there is not ‘one big reason’ why Sinn Féin fell short of expectations (not just ours but the media’s too!).
Sinn Féin was squeezed by the real prospect being flagged by the media that Fine Gael might actually win. More than one work colleague of mine - knowing full well that I am a committed Sinn Féin voter and themselves on the broad spectrum of republican/left/community politics - said they were voting for Bertie “to keep that shower out”.
Labour hanging on to Fine Gael’s coat tails didn’t engender any greater confidence that Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael has changed its spots or was in any way competent - a bit like David Cameron’s Conservatives in Britain. Indeed, the idea of a close contest, and Fine Gael sneaking in, galvanised some people who were likely to back Sinn Féin to swing instead behind Fianna Fáil.
That said, I suspect we could have done better. Has Sinn Féin lost some of its campaigning edge in the people’s eyes? Are we now just seen as ‘politicians’, not much different from the herd?
We can’t fault the work rate of many Sinn Féin TDs, councillors and activists but we have to find new ways of making an impact in our communities through dynamic activity and clearly identifiable achievements.
And it has to be more than spouting left-wing rhetoric. It has to be about delivery and action on the ground. If sound socialist principles and speeches was the answer, then Joe Higgins wouldn’t have lost his seat.
Left-wing candidates who did well captured people’s imagination and made an impact. We need to rediscover our cutting edge before the local elections. We had it before; we can do it again.
There has been much analysis in An Phoblacht in the last few weeks about the results in the recent election. I feel its now time we move on from this over-analysis and move to rectifying the circumstances which lead to that result rather than the continuous looking back. It’s done, dusted, we need to put a line in the sand, stop lingering and get on with it. If we don’t it will do untold damage to the struggle.
I am researching a book about North Belfast revolutionary, Winifred Carney (1887 - 1943). Winnie was a devoted and inspirational trade unionist, suffragette, socialist and republican soldier. Who was highly respected the length and breadth of Ireland. During Easter Week, she was garrisoned in the G.P.O. and was one of seventy-seven women insurgents interned.
Therefore, I’d be most grateful if readers with anything relevant could contact me at; 100. Brompton Park or alternatively by e-Mail; [email protected]
Thanks for your help,
Mairtin Óg Meehan