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Sinn Féin
Leader Gerry Adams, MLA, MP
Founded Original 1905
Current 1970
Headquarters 44 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, Ireland
Newspaper An Phoblacht
Youth wing Ógra Shinn Féin
Ideology Unification of Ireland,
Irish republicanism,[1]
Left-wing nationalism,
Democratic socialism[1]
Political position Left-wing[2][3]
European Parliament Group European United Left–Nordic Green Left
Official colours Green
Dáil Éireann
Seanad Éireann
House of Commons (Abstentionist)
European Parliament
Northern Ireland Assembly
Local government in the Republic of Ireland
Local government in Northern Ireland
Politics of the Republic of Ireland
Political parties
Politics of Northern Ireland
Political parties

Sinn Féin (English pronunciation: /ˌʃɪnˈfeɪn/, Irish: [ʃɪnʲ fʲeːnʲ]) is a political party in Ireland. Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970 after a split within the party. Sinn Féin is led by Gerry Adams. It is the major party of Irish republicanism and its political ideology is left wing. The party has historically been associated with the Provisional IRA.[4] The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves",[5][6] although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone".[7]

Sinn Féin is currently the second-largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, where it has four ministerial posts (including deputy First Minister) in the power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive. It is the fifth-largest party in Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas, the parliament of the Republic of Ireland. In the 2009 European Parliamentary elections the party's candidate in Northern Ireland, Bairbre de Brún, topped the poll, the first time for Sinn Féin in any Northern Ireland election.




Sinn Féin was founded on 28 November 1905, when, at the first annual Convention of the National Council, Arthur Griffith outlined the Sinn Féin policy.[6] That policy was "to establish in Ireland's capital a national legislature endowed with the moral authority of the Irish nation".[8] Sinn Féin contested the Leitrim North by-election of 1908 and secured 27% of the vote.[9] Thereafter, both support and membership fell. At the 1910 Ard Fheis (party conference) the attendance was poor and there was difficulty finding members willing to take seats on the executive.[10]

In 1914, Sinn Féin members, including Griffith, joined the anti-Redmond Irish Volunteers, which was referred to by Redmondites and others as the "Sinn Féin Volunteers". Although Griffith himself did not take part in the Easter Rising of 1916, many Sinn Féin members, who were also members of both the Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood, did. Government and newspapers dubbed the Rising "the Sinn Féin Rising".[11] After the Rising, republicans came together under the banner of Sinn Féin, and at the 1917 Ard Fheis the party committed itself for the first time to the establishment of an Irish Republic. In the 1918 general election, Sinn Féin won 73 of Ireland's 105 seats, and in January 1919, its MPs assembled in Dublin and proclaimed themselves Dáil Éireann, the parliament of Ireland. The party supported the Irish Republican Army during the War of Independence, and members of the Dáil government negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty with the British Government in 1921. In the Dáil debates that followed, the party divided on the Treaty. Anti-Treaty members led by Éamon de Valera walked out, and pro- and anti-Treaty members took opposite sides in the ensuing Civil War.[citation needed]

Pro-Treaty Dáil deputies and other Treaty supporters formed a new party, Cumann na nGaedhael, on 27 April 1923 at a meeting in Dublin where delegates agreed a constitution and political programme.[12] Anti-Treaty Sinn Féin members continued to boycott the Dáil. At a special Ard Fheis in March 1926 de Valera proposed that elected members be allowed to take their seats in the Dáil if and when the controversial oath of allegiance was removed. When his motion was defeated, de Valera resigned from Sinn Féin and on 16 May 1926 founded his own party, Fianna Fáil.[13] With the success of Fianna Fáil, support for Sinn Féin fell to pre-1916 levels.[14] An attempt in the 1940s to access funds which had been put in the care of the High Court led to the Sinn Féin Funds Case, which the party lost and in which the judge ruled that it was not the direct successor of the Sinn Féin of 1917.[15] At the 1959 general election, the Sinn Féin vote dropped almost 60% from the 1955 number of 152,000 to 63,000.[16] In the 1960s, Sinn Féin moved to the left, in line with the changing policy of the IRA. It also moved towards the ending of abstentionism, although that movement was opposed by some members, notably Seán Mac Stíofáin and Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.[17]


The Sinn Féin party split in two at the beginning of 1970. At the party's Ard Fheis on 11 January the proposal to end abstentionism and take seats, if elected, in the Dáil, the Northern Ireland Parliament and the Parliament of the United Kingdom was put before the members.[18] A similar motion had been adopted at an IRA convention the previous month, leading to the formation of a Provisional Army Council by Mac Stíofáin and other members opposed to the leadership. When the motion was put to the Ard Fheis, it failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds majority. The Executive attempted to circumvent this by introducing a motion in support of IRA policy, at which point Ó Brádaigh led a walk-out from the meeting. These members reconvened at another place, appointed a Caretaker Executive and pledged allegiance to the Provisional Army Council. The Caretaker Executive declared itself opposed to the ending of abstentionism, the drift towards Marxism, the failure of the leadership to defend the nationalist people of Belfast during the 1969 Northern Ireland riots, and the expulsion of traditional republicans by the leadership during the 1960s.[19] At the October 1970 Ard Fheis delegates were informed that an IRA convention had been held and had regularised its structure, bringing to an end the 'provisional' period.[20] By then, however, the label "Provisional" or "Provo" was already being applied to them by the media.[21] The opposing, anti-abstentionist party became known as Official Sinn Féin.[22]

Initially, because the "Provisionals" were committed to military rather than political action, Sinn Féin's membership was largely confined, in Danny Morrison's words, to people "over military age or women". A Belfast Sinn Féin organiser of the time described the party's role as "agitation and publicity".[23] New cumainn (branches) were established in Belfast, and a new newspaper, Republican News, was published.[24] Sinn Féin took off as a protest movement after the introduction of internment in August 1971, organising marches and pickets.[25] The party launched its platform, Éire Nua (a New Ireland) at the 1971 Ard Fheis.[26] In general, however, the party lacked a distinct political philosophy. In the words of Brian Feeney, "Ó Brádaigh would use Sinn Féin ard fheiseanna to announce republican policy, which was, in effect, IRA policy, namely that Britain should leave the North or the 'war' would continue".[27] Sinn Féin was given a concrete presence in the community when the IRA declared a ceasefire in 1975. 'Incident centres' were set up to communicate potential confrontations to the British authorities. They were manned by Sinn Féin, which had been legalised the year before by Secretary of State, Merlyn Rees.[28]

After the ending of the truce, another issue arose - the political status for prisoners. Rees released the last of the internees but introduced the Diplock courts, and ended 'special category status' for all prisoners convicted after 1 March 1976. This led first to the blanket protest, and then to the dirty protest.[29] Around the same time, Gerry Adams began writing for Republican News, calling for Sinn Féin to become more involved politically.[30] During the 1981 hunger strike, striker Bobby Sands was elected Member of Parliament for Fermanagh and South Tyrone with the help of the Sinn Féin publicity machine. After his death on hunger strike, his seat was held, with an increased vote, by his election agent, Owen Carron. These successes convinced republicans that they should contest every election.[31] Danny Morrison expressed the mood at the 1981 Ard Fheis when he said:

"Who here really believes we can win the war through the ballot box? But will anyone here object if, with a ballot paper in this hand and an Armalite in the other, we take power in Ireland?".[32]

This was the origin of what became known as the Armalite and ballot box strategy. Éire Nua was dropped in 1982, and the following year Ó Brádaigh stepped down as leader, to be replaced by Adams.[33]

1983 to present

A split occurred in 1986 over whether or not to end its policy of abstentionism and to allow elected Sinn Féin Teachtaí Dála take their seats in Dáil Éireann. This led to the formation of Republican Sinn Féin.

Multi-party negotiations began in 1994 in Northern Ireland, without Sinn Féin. The Provisional IRA declared a ceasefire in the autumn of 1994. The Conservative government had asked that the IRA decommission all of their weapons before Sinn Féin be admitted to the talks, but the Labour government of Tony Blair let them in on the basis of the ceasefire.[citation needed]

Good Friday Agreement

The talks led to the Good Friday Agreement of 10 April 1998 (officially known as the Belfast Agreement), which set up an inclusive devolved government in the North, and altered the Southern government's constitutional claim to the whole island in Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of Ireland.

The party expelled Denis Donaldson, a party official, in December 2005, with him stating publicly that he had been in the employ of the British government as an agent since the 1980s. Mr Donaldson told reporters that the British security agencies who employed him were behind the collapse of the Assembly and set up Sinn Féin to take the blame for it, a claim disputed by the British Government.[34] Donaldson was found fatally shot in his home in County Donegal on 4 April 2006, and a murder inquiry was launched.[35] In April 2009, the Real IRA released a statement taking responsibility for the killing.

When Sinn Féin and the DUP became the largest parties, it was clear that no deal could be made without the support of both parties. They nearly reached a deal in November 2004, but the DUP had a requirement for visible evidence that decommissioning had been carried out.[36]

On 2 September 2006, Martin McGuinness publicly stated that Sinn Féin would refuse to participate in a shadow assembly at Stormont, asserting that his party would only take part in negotiations that were aimed at restoring a power-sharing government within Northern Ireland. This development follows a decision on the part of members of Sinn Féin to refrain from participating in debates since the Assembly's recall this past May. The relevant parties to these talks have been given a deadline of 24 November 2006 in order to decide upon whether or not they will ultimately form the executive.[37]

The 86 year Sinn Féin boycott of policing in Northern Ireland ended on 28 January 2007 when the Ard Fheis voted overwhelmingly to support the PSNI.[38] Sinn Féin members will sit on Policing Boards and District Policing Partnerships.[39] There has been some opposition to this decision from people such as former IRA prisoner Gerry McGeough, who stood in the 2007 Assembly Elections against Sinn Féin in the assembly constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone.[40]

Parties with origins in Sinn Féin

Links with the IRA

Sinn Féin is the largest group in the Republican wing of Irish nationalism and is closely associated with the IRA, with the Irish Government alleging that senior members of Sinn Féin have held posts on the IRA Army Council.[41] However the SF leadership has denied these claims.[42]

A republican document of the early 1980s states, "Both Sinn Féin and the IRA play different but converging roles in the war of national liberation. The Irish Republican Army wages an armed campaign... Sinn Féin maintains the propaganda war and is the public and political voice of the movement".[43]

Sinn Féin organiser Danny Morrison at the party's Ard Fheis (Annual Conference) in 1981, said:

"Who here really believes we can win the war through the ballot box? But will anyone here object if, with a ballot paper in this hand and an Armalite in the other, we take power in Ireland?"[32]

The current British Government stated in 2005 that "we had always said all the way through we believed that Sinn Féin and the IRA were inextricably linked and that had obvious implications at leadership level".[44]

The robbery of £26.5 million from the Northern Bank in Belfast in December 2004 further scuppered chances of a deal. The IRA were blamed for the robbery[45] though Sinn Féin denied this and stated that party officials had not known of the robbery nor sanctioned it.[46] Because of the timing of the robbery it is considered that the plans for the robbery must have been laid whilst Sinn Féin was engaged in talks about a possible peace settlement. This undermined confidence within the unionist community about the sincerity of republicans towards reaching agreement. In the aftermath of the row over the robbery, a further controversy erupted when, on RTÉ's Questions and Answers programme, the chairman of Sinn Féin, Mitchel McLaughlin, insisted that the IRA's controversial killing of a mother of ten young children, Jean McConville, in the early 1970s though "wrong", was not a crime, as it had taken place in the context of the political conflict. Politicians from the Republic, along with the Irish media strongly attacked McLaughlin's comments.[47][48]

On 10 February 2005, the government-appointed Independent Monitoring Commission reported that it firmly supported the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Garda assessments that the IRA was responsible for the Northern Bank robbery and that certain senior members of Sinn Féin were also senior members of the IRA and would have had knowledge of and given approval to the carrying out of the robbery.[49] Sinn Féin have argued that the IMC is not independent and the inclusion of former Alliance Party Leader John Alderdice and a British security head was proof of this.[50] It recommended further financial sanctions against Sinn Féin members of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The British government responded by saying it would ask MPs to vote to withdraw the parliamentary allowances of the four Sinn Féin MPs elected in 2001.[51]

Gerry Adams responded to the IMC report by challenging the Irish Government to have him arrested for IRA membership, a crime in both jurisdictions, and conspiracy.[52]

On 20 February 2005, Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Michael McDowell publicly accused three of the Sinn Féin leadership, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and Martin Ferris (TD for Kerry North) of being on the seven-man IRA Army Council which they later denied.[53][54]

On 27 February 2005, a demonstration against the murder of Robert McCartney on 30 January 2005 was held in East Belfast. Alex Maskey, a former Sinn Féin Mayor of Belfast, was told by relatives of McCartney to demand that Maskey "hand over the 12" IRA members involved.[55] The McCartney family, though formerly Sinn Féin voters themselves, urged witnesses to the crime to contact the PSNI.[56][57] Three IRA men were expelled from the organisation, and a man was charged with McCartney's murder.[58][59]

Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern subsequently called Sinn Féin and the IRA "both sides of the same coin".[60] The ostracism of Sinn Féin was shown in February 2005 when Dáil Éireann passed a motion condemning the party's alleged involvement in illegal activity. US President George W. Bush and Senator Edward Kennedy refused to meet Gerry Adams while meeting the family of Robert McCartney.[61]

On 10 March 2005, the British House of Commons in London passed without significant opposition a motion placed by the British Government to withdraw the allowances of the four Sinn Féin MPs for one year in response to the Northern Bank Robbery. This measure cost the party approximately £400,000. However, the debate prior to the vote mainly surrounded the more recent events connected with the murder of Robert McCartney. Conservatives and Unionists put down amendments to have the Sinn Féin MPs evicted from their offices at the House of Commons but these were defeated.[62]

In March 2005, Mitchell Reiss, the United States special envoy to Northern Ireland, condemned the party's links to the IRA, saying "it is hard to understand how a European country in the year 2005 can have a private army associated with a political party".[63]

Organisational structure

Sinn Féin poster in Dublin (Republic of Ireland)

Sinn Féin is organised throughout Ireland, and membership is open to all Irish residents over the age of 16. The party is organised hierarchically into cumainn (branches), comhairle ceantair (district executives), cúigí (regional executives). At national level, the Coiste Seasta (Standing Committee) oversees the day-to-day running of Sinn Féin. It is an eight-member body nominated by the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle and also includes the chairperson of each cúige. The Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle (National Executive) meets at least once a month. It directs the overall implementation of Sinn Féin policy and activities of the party.[citation needed]

The Ard Chomhairle also oversees the operation of various departments of Sinn Féin, viz Administration, Finance, National Organiser, Campaigns, Ógra Shinn Féin, Women's Forum, Culture, Publicity and International Affairs. It is made up of the following: Officer Board and nine other members, all of whom are elected by delegates to the Ard Fheis, fifteen representing the five Cúige regions (three delegates each). The Ard Chomhairle can co-opt eight members for specific posts and additional members can be co-opted, if necessary, to ensure that at least thirty per cent of Ard Chomhairle members are women.[citation needed]

The ard fheis (national delegate conference) is the ultimate policy-making body of the party where delegates - directly elected by members of cumainn - can decide on and implement policy. It is held at least once a year but a special Ard Fheis can be called by the Ard Chomhairle or the membership under special circumstances.[citation needed]

Leadership history

Sinn Féin local office in Tralee, County Kerry
In 1923 the party split, with a majority of Sinn Féin TDs changing the name of the party to Cumann na nGaedhael
In 1926, de Valera resigned from Sinn Féin and launched Fianna Fáil
In 1970, there was another split, with one faction calling itself "Official Sinn Féin", and later Sinn Féin, the Workers' Party (1982), before settling on the Workers' Party (1982). The other faction was dubbed by media sources as "Provisionals" or "Provo's". Within two years the “Provos” secured control of the Republican Movement.[64]
In 1986, Ó Brádaigh left and set up Republican Sinn Féin.

Current policy

Most of the party's policies are intended to be implemented on an 'all-Ireland' basis which further emphasises their central aim of creating a united Ireland.

Sinn Féin usually refers to itself as a democratic socialist or left-wing party and aligns itself with the European United Left–Nordic Green Left. The party pledges support for minority rights, migrants' rights, and eradicating poverty, although it is not in favour of the extension of legalized abortion (British 1967 Act) to Northern Ireland. Though Sinn Féin state they are also opposed to the attitudes in society, which "pressurise women" to have abortions, and "criminalise" women who make this decision. Sinn Féin do recognize however that in cases of incest, rape, sexual abuse, or when a woman's life and health are at risk or in danger, that the final decision must rest with the woman.[65]

Sinn Féin urged a "No" vote in the referendum held in Ireland on 12 June 2008 on the Lisbon Treaty.[66]

Social and cultural

Sinn Féin's main polical goal is a united Ireland. Other key policies from their most recent election manifesto are listed below:

  • The 18 Northern Ireland MPs that sit in the Parliament of the United Kingdom to be allowed to sit in the Dáil Éireann as full Deputies as well,[67]
  • Ending academic selection within the education system,[68]
  • Support for a 'Minister for Children',
  • Diplomatic pressure to close Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant (in Britain),
  • Sinn Féin proposes a draft Irish Language Bill for the North (Northern Ireland),[69] a Bill that would give the Irish Language the same status that the Welsh language has in Wales
  • 'Plastic bag levy' to be extended to Northern Ireland,
  • To further Irish language teaching in Northern Ireland,

Economic policy

  • An 'All-Ireland-Health-Service' akin to the National Health Service in the United Kingdom,
  • Free breast screening (to check for breast cancer) of all women over forty - presumably in both Northern Ireland and the Republic,
  • Aiding the case for equal pay,
  • An end to 'mass-deportation' of asylum seekers across the whole of Ireland,
  • Oppose all water charges,
  • An 'all-Ireland' economy with a common currency and one tax policy,
  • Greater investment for those who are disabled,

International relations

Sinn Fein supports the creation of a 'Minister for Europe' - likely to be used in the Dáil. Support of scessionism in the Basque County from the Kingdom of Spain. Opposition to the US blockade of Cuba.[70] Sinn Féin are opposed to what they term "the illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel."[71][72]

Electoral performances 1982–1992

In the 1982 Assembly elections, Sinn Féin won five seats with 64,191 votes (10.1%). The party narrowly missed winning additional seats in Belfast North and Fermanagh and South Tyrone. In the 1983 Westminster elections eight months later saw an increase in Sinn Féin support with the party breaking the hundred thousand vote barrier for the first time by polling 102,701 votes (13.4%).[73] Gerry Adams won the Belfast West constituency with Danny Morrison only 78 votes short of victory in Mid Ulster.

The 1984 European elections proved to be a disappointment with Sinn Féin's candidate Danny Morrison polling 91,476 (13.3%) and falling well behind the SDLP candidate John Hume.

By the beginning of 1985 Sinn Féin had won their first representation on local councils due to three by-election wins in Omagh (Seamus Kerr, May 1983) and Belfast (Alex Maskey in June 1983 and Sean McKnight in early 1984). Three sitting councillors also defected to Sinn Féin in Dungannon, Fermanagh and Derry (the last defecting from the SDLP).[74][75][76] Sinn Féin succeeded in winning 59 seats in the 1985 local government elections, however the results continued to show a decline from the peak of 1983 as the party won 75,686 votes (11.8%).[76] The party failed to gain any seats in the 1986 by-elections caused by the resignation of Unionist MPs in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement, partly this was due to an electoral pact between Unionist candidates, however the SF vote fell in the four constituencies they contested.[77]

In the 1987 election Gerry Adams held his Belfast West seat but the party elsewhere failed to make breakthroughs and overall polled 83,389 votes (11.4%).[78] The same year saw the party contest the Dáil election in the Republic of Ireland, however they failed to win any seats and polled less than 2%.

The 1989 local government elections saw a drop in support for Sinn Féin.[79] Defending 58 seats (the 59 won in 1985 plus two 1987 by-election gains in West Belfast minus three councillors who had defected to Republican Sinn Féin in 1986) the party lost 15 seats. In the aftermath of the election Mitchell McLaughlin admitted that recent IRA activity had affected the Sinn Féin vote.[80]

The nadir for SF in this period came in 1992, with Gerry Adams losing his Belfast West seat to the SDLP and the SF vote falling in the other constituencies that they had contested relative to 1987.[81]

Electoral performances 2000s

European elections

In the 2004 European Parliament election, Bairbre de Brún won Sinn Féin's first seat in the European Parliament, at the expense of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). She came in second behind Jim Allister, then of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).[82] In the 2009 election, de Brún was re-elected with 126,184 first preference votes, the only candidate to reach the quota on the first count. This was the first time since elections began in 1979 that the DUP failed to take the first seat, and was the first occasion Sinn Féin topped a poll in any Northern Ireland election.[83][84]

Sinn Féin made a breakthrough in the Dublin constituency. The party's candidate, Mary Lou McDonald, was third in terms of first preference vote. She polled 14.32% or 60,395 votes, close behind the leading Fianna Fáil contender, Eoin Ryan with 61,681 (14.62%). McDonald was elected on the sixth count as one of four MEPs for Dublin, effectively taking the seat of Patricia McKenna of the Green Party.[85]

At the next European election in 2009, Dublin's representation was reduced to three MEPs. The contest was further complicated by the candidature of Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party and of the former Green MEP, McKenna. A collapse in the vote of the government parties (Fianna Fáil and the Greens) was thought to be enough to re-elect McDonald, who would benefit from the transfers of Higgins and McKenna on their elimination. In the event Sinn Féin's first preferences fell to 47,928 (11.79%), and McDonald slipped to fifth place behind Higgins, who was elected at the expense of both the sitting Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil MEPs.[86]

European Parliament elections 2004 and 2009
Constituency 1st preference votes 2004[85][87][88][89] Share of vote 2004[85][87][88][89] 1st preference votes 2009[86] Share of Vote 2009[86]
Dublin 60,395 14.32% 47,928 11.79%
East 39,356 8.68% 47,499 (2 candidates) 11.07%
North West 65,321 15.50% 45,515 9.19%
South 32,643 6.74% 64,671 12.98%
Total 197,715 11.10% 205,613 11.24%

Northern Ireland

The party overtook its nationalist rival, the Social Democratic and Labour Party as the largest nationalist party in the 2001 Westminster general election and local elections, winning four Westminster seats to the SDLP's three.[citation needed] The party continues to subscribe, however, to an abstentionist policy towards the Westminster British parliament, which would require its members to swear allegiance to the British monarch.[90]

Results in Northern Ireland from the past three UK General Elections. Sinn Féin has gained three constituencies in the west.

Sinn Féin increased its share of the nationalist vote in the 2003 and 2007 Assembly elections, with Martin McGuinness, former Minister for Education, taking the post of deputy First Minister in the Northern Ireland power-sharing Executive Committee. The party has three ministers in the Executive Committee.

Northern Ireland Executive Ministers (from 2007)

Portfolio Name
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP MLA
Junior Minister
at Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister
Gerry Kelly MLA
Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle Gildernew MP MLA
Education Caitriona Ruane MLA
Regional Development Conor Murphy MP MLA

Republic of Ireland

Dáil Éireann

The party had five TDs elected in the 2002 Republic general election, an increase of four from the previous election. At the general election in 2007 the party had expectations of substantial gains,[91][92][93] with poll predictions that they would gain five[94] to ten seats.[95] However, the party lost one of its seats to Fine Gael. Sean Crowe, who had topped the poll in Dublin South West fell to fifth place, with his first preference vote reduced from 20.28% to 12.16%.[96]

General Election, May 2007[96]
Region 1st Preference votes 2007 Share of vote 2007
(increase or decrease on 2002 vote)
TDs elected 2007
Connacht-Ulster 43,943 10.65% (+2.64%) 1: Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan)
Dublin 35,256 6.97% (-1.94%) 1: Aengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central)
Rest of Leinster 32,301 5.92% (+0.26%) 1: Arthur Morgan (Louth)
Munster 31,910 5.30% (+1.11%) 1: Martin Ferris (Kerry North)

Local government

Sinn Féin is represented on most county and city councils.[citation needed] It made large gains in the local elections of 2004, increasing its number of councillors from 21 to 54, and replacing the Progressive Democrats as the fourth-largest party in local government.[97] At the local elections of June 2009, the party's vote fell by 0.95% to 7.34%, with a net loss of one seat.[86] Three of Sinn Féin's seven representatives on Dublin City Council resigned within six months of the June 2009 elections, one of them defecting to the Labour Party.[98]

Local Elections
County or City Total Seats Seats won 1999[97] Seats won 2004[97] Seats won 2009[86] Percentage of 1st preference vote 2009
(increase or decrease on 2004)
Carlow County Council 21 0 0 0 1.94% (+0.40%)
Cavan County Council 25 2 3 3 10.85% (-0.77%)
Clare County Council 32 0 0 0 0.29% (-1.56%)
Cork City Council 31 1 2 4 10.80% (+2.51%)
Cork County Council 48 0 1 1 6.37% (+0.31%)
Donegal County Council 29 0 4 4 12.94% (-0.57%)
Dublin City Council 52 4 10 7 11.97% (-7.40%)
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council 28 0 0 0 2.58% (-1.10%)
Fingal County Council 24 0 1 0 4.91% (-0.30%)
Galway City Council 15 0 1 0 3.03% (-5.36%)
Galway County Council 30 0 1 1 4.97% (+0.93%)
Kerry County Council 27 1 2 2 10.41% (+2.55%)
Kildare County Council 25 0 0 0 0.97% (+0.24%)
Kilkenny County Council 26 0 0 0 3.54% (+0.86%)
Laois County Council 25 0 0 1 8.17% (+4.41%)
Leitrim County Council 22 2 2 2 12.53% (+1.37%)
Limerick City Council 17 0 0 1 7.16% (+6.02%)
Limerick County Council 28 0 0 0 1.40% (-0.08%)
Longford County Council 21 0 0 0 2.25% (-1.45%)
Louth County Council 26 1 5 6 17.45% (+0.57%)
Mayo County Council 31 0 1 2 7.21% (+2.98%)
Meath County Council 29 1 2 1 7.93% (-1.52%)
Monaghan County Council 20 6 7 7 27.63% (-3.42%)
Offaly County Council 21 0 0 0 3.02% (+1.75%)
Roscommon County Council 26 0 1 1 4.23% (+1.38%)
Sligo County Council 25 1 1 1 7.7.95% (+0.22%)
South Dublin County Council 26 2 3 3 11.06% (-2.39%)
North Tipperary County Council 21 0 0 1 2.43% (-0.45%)
South Tipperary County Council 26 0 0 0 1.63% (-2.46%)
Waterford City Council 15 0 2 1 9.17% (-4.37%)
Waterford County Council 23 0 1 2 5.50% (+2.55%)
Westmeath County Council 23 0 0 0 3.91% (-1.15%)
Wexford County Council 21 0 3 0 7.56% (-1.36%)
Wicklow County Council 24 0 0 2 8.21% (+1.56%)
Total 883 21 54 53 7.34% (-0.95%)

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ The Irish Times, 19 January 2010
  3. ^ Politics in the Republic of Ireland, John Coakley & Michael Gallagher, Routledge, 2005, ISBN 9780415280662 pg.205, The New Politics of Sinn Féin, Kevin Bean, Liverpool University Press, 2008, ISBN 9781846311444 pg. 76, Sinn Féin: A Hundred Turbulent Years, Brian Feeney, O'Brien Press, 2002, ISBN 9780862786953 pg. 230, New Sinn Féin: Irish republicanism in the Twenty-First Century, Agnès Maillo, Routledge, 2005, ISBN 9780415321969 pg. 103
  4. ^ "The political counterpart of PIRA": entry under Provisional Sinn Féin, W.D. Flackes & Sydney Elliott (1994) Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1993. Belfast: Blackstaff Press
  5. ^ Niall Ó Dónaill (1977). (advisory ed. Tomás de Bhaldraithe). ed (in Irish). Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla [Irish-English Dictionary]. Dublin: An Gúm. pp. 533, 1095. ISBN 1-85791-037-0. 
  6. ^ a b MacDonncha (2005), p.12
  7. ^ The first Sinn Fein party
  8. ^ Griffith, The Resurection of Hungary, p. 161
  9. ^ Brian Feeney, Sinn Féin: a hundred turbulent years, pp. 49-50
  10. ^ Feeney, pp. 52-4
  11. ^ Feeney pp. 56-7
  12. ^ Michael Gallagher, Political Parties in the Republic of Ireland, p. 41
  13. ^ Tim Pat Coogan, The IRA, pp. 77-8
  14. ^ Michael Laffan, The resurrection of Ireland: the Sinn Féin Party, 1916-1923, p. 443
  15. ^ Laffan, p. 450
  16. ^ Ireland Since 1939, Henry Patterson, Penguin 2006, Page 180
  17. ^ Robert William White, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh: the life and politics of an Irish revolutionary, p. 119
  18. ^ Joe Cahill: A Life in the IRA, Brendan Anderson, O'Brien Press, Dublin 2002, ISBN 0 86278 674 6, pg.186
  19. ^ J. Bowyer Bell, The Secret Army: The IRA, pp. 366-8
  20. ^ Peter Taylor, Provos, p. 87
  21. ^ Gerry Adams, Before the Dawn, p. 149
  22. ^ Feeney p. 252
  23. ^ Feeney, p. 260
  24. ^ Feeney, p. 261
  25. ^ Feeney, p. 271
  26. ^ Taylor, p. 104
  27. ^ Feeney, p. 272
  28. ^ Taylor pp. 184, 165
  29. ^ Feeney pp. 277-9
  30. ^ Feeney p. 275
  31. ^ Feeney 290-1
  32. ^ a b Taylor (1997), pp.281-2
  33. ^ Feeney p. 321
  34. ^ "Sinn Féin man admits he was agent". BBC. 16 December 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  35. ^ "Donaldson murder scene examined". BBC. 6 April 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  36. ^ Angelique Chrisafis (25 November 2004). "Paisley hints at movement on IRA". The Guardian.,3604,1358877,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  37. ^ "Sinn Féin rejects 'shadow' Assembly". RTÉ. 2 September 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  38. ^ "Sinn Féin ends policing boycott". 28 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  39. ^ "Sinn Féin 'must show visible support for policing'". 28 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  40. ^ "Former IRA prisoner to stand against SF". 29 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  41. ^ Irish government allegations about IRA army council
  42. ^ SF leadership denies army council membership.
  43. ^ Brendan O'Brien, the Long War, the IRA and Sinn Fein (1995) ISBN 0-86278-359-3 p128
  44. ^ Press Briefing: 3.45 pm Monday 21 February 2005 10 Downing Street website.
  45. ^ Guardian 7 January 2007
  46. ^ Guardian 9 October 2008
  47. ^ "Resignation call rejected". BBC. 19 January 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  48. ^ Katie Mingey (24 January 2005). "Fallout from bank raid". Irish Emigrant. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  49. ^ "Fourth report of the Independent Monitoring Commission" (PDF). Independent Monitoring Commission. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  50. ^ Conor Murphy (27 February 2006). "IMC should be scrapped". Sinn Féin. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  51. ^ "Sinn Féin facing raid sanctions". BBC. 22 February 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  52. ^ "Adams challenges Ahern to have him arrested". RTÉ News. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 2006-04-27. 
  53. ^ Tom Brady & Senan Molony (21 February 2005). "McDowell: These men are leaders of the IRA". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  54. ^ Peter Taggart (21 February 2005). "Dublin: Sinn Féin chiefs in IRA". CNN. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  55. ^ "Give up killers, people's protest tells IRA". The Times. 28 February 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  56. ^ Angelique Chrisafis (28 February 2005). "How pub brawl turned into republican crisis". The Guardian.,,1426976,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  57. ^ Angelique Chrisafis (26 February 2005). "IRA expels three over McCartney murder". The Guardian.,,1425969,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  58. ^ "IRA expels three after killing". BBC. 26 February 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  59. ^ "Two remanded in McCartney killing". BBC. 4 June 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  60. ^ "Sinn Féin must prove it supports the rule of law". Belfast Telegraph. 9 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  61. ^ Garry Kelly (14 March 2005). "Senator Kennedy snubs Adams as US recoils at IRA crime". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  62. ^ "SF stripped of Commons allowances". 10 March 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  63. ^ "Sinn Féin chief says IRA may cease to exist". MSNBC. March 12, 2005. Retrieved 2006-04-27. 
  64. ^ Feeney (2002) p.252"
  65. ^ "Sinn Féin on the Assembly debate on Abortion". Sinn Féin. 22 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  66. ^ Irish Times, 26 May 2008
  67. ^ Sinn Féin lobbies for Northern Ireland MPs to sit in Dáil Éireann
  68. ^ Belfast Telegraph, 16 April 2008
  69. ^
  70. ^ Sinn Féin website, International Department
  71. ^ Flickr: Discussing Ireland calls for boycott of Israel!!! in Free Palestine
  72. ^ SF press release, 16 March 2006
  73. ^ 1983 Westminster election result
  74. ^ The three were S. Cassidy (Dungannon), J. J. McCusker (Fermanagh) and W. McCartney (Derry)
  75. ^ 1981 local election results
  76. ^ a b 1985 local election results
  77. ^ 1986 by-election results
  78. ^ 1987 Westminster election results
  79. ^ 1989 local election results
  80. ^ quoted in Gordon Lucy, The Northern Ireland Local Government Elections of 1993, Ulster Society Press
  81. ^ 1992 Westminster election results
  82. ^ Northern Ireland Elections, ARK
  83. ^ "Sinn Fein tops poll in Euro count ", BBC News
  84. ^ "History made - Sinn Féin is now the largest party in the Six Counties",
  85. ^ a b c Christopher Took & Seán Donnelly ( "European Election 2004: Dublin". Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  86. ^ a b c d e "Elections 2009: How Ireland Voted". Irish Times. 9 June 2009. 
  87. ^ a b Christopher Took & Seán Donnelly ( "European Election 2004: East". Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  88. ^ a b Christopher Took & Seán Donnelly ( "European Election 2004: North West". Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  89. ^ a b Christopher Took & Seán Donnelly ( "European Election 2004: South". Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  90. ^ "Sinn Féin press release". Sinn Féin. 18 December 2001. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  91. ^ Sinn Fein 29 April 2007 accessed 27 July 2009
  92. ^ AnPhoblacht 29 March 2007
  93. ^ Sinn Fein 17 May 2007
  94. ^ Daily Telegraph 21 May 2007
  95. ^ Guardian 27 May 2007
  96. ^ a b "Results 2007". Irish Times. 28 May 2007. 
  97. ^ a b c Christopher Took and Seán Donnelly. "2004 Local Election: Seats per Party per Council". Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  98. ^ "Defecting councillor says SF has become directionless in South". Irish Times. 12 January 2010.  Retrieved 2010-01-15


  • Mícheál MacDonncha, ed (2005) (in Irish / English). Sinn Féin: A Century of Struggle. Dublin: Sinn Féin. ISBN 0 9542946 2 9. 
  • Michael Laffan, The Resurrection of Ireland: The Sinn Féin Party 1916—1923 (Cambridge, 1999)
  • The Secret Army: The IRA, J Bowyer Bell, Poolbeg Press Ltd. Ireland 1997 (revised Third Edition), ISBN 1853718130
  • Sinn Féin: A Hundred Turbulent Years, Brian Feeney, O'Brien Press, Dublin 2002, ISBN 0862786959
  • The I.R.A., Tim Pat Coogan, HarperCollins Publishers London 2000, ISBN 0006531555
  • Northern Ireland: A Chronology of the Troubles 1968-1993, Paul Bew & Gordon Gillespie, Gill & Macmillan, Dublin 1993, ISBN 0717120813
  • The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000, Diarmaid Ferriter, Profile Books, London 2005, ISBN 9781861974433
  • Ireland: A History, Robert Kee, Abacus, London (Revised Edition 2005), ISBN 0349116768
  • Eyewitness to Irish History, Peter Berresford Ellis, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Canada 2004, ISBN 0471266337
  • Joe Cahill: A Life in the IRA, Brendan Anderson, O'Brien Press, Dublin 2002, ISBN 0862786746
  • The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000, Diarmaid Ferriter, Profile Books, London 2005, ISBN 9781861974433

Further reading

  • Gerry Adams, Before The Dawn (Brandon Book, 1996)
  • Tim Pat Coogan, The Troubles (Arrow, 1995, 1996) ISBN 009946571X
  • Tim Pat Coogan, Michael Collins (Hutchinson, 1990) ISBN 0091741068
  • Brian Feeney, Sinn Féin: A Hundred Turbulent Years (2003) HB: ISBN 0299186709 PB ISBN 0299186741
  • Roy Foster, Ireland 1660-1972
  • Geraldine Kennedy (ed.) Nealon's Guide to the 29th Dáil and Seanad (Gill and Macmillan, 2002) ISBN 0717132889
  • F.S.L. Lyons, Ireland Since the Famine
  • Brian Maye, Arthur Griffith (Griffith College Publications)
  • Dorothy Macardle, The Irish Republic (Corgi edition, 1968) ISBN 55207862X
  • Sean O'Callaghan, The Informer (Corgi 1999) ISBN 0-552-14607-2
  • Patrick Sarsfield, S. O'Hegarty & Tom Garvin, The Victory of Sinn Féin: How It Won It & how It Used It (1999) ISBN 1900621177
  • Peter Taylor, Behind the Mask: The IRA & Sinn Féin ISBN 1575000776
  • Robert Kee, The Green Flag: A History of Irish Nationalism (Penguin, 1972–2000), ISBN 0140291652
  • Robert W. White, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, the Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary (Indiana University Press, 2006, ISBN 0253347084

External links

Official websites

Other links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also Sinn Fein



Proper noun

Sinn Féin


Sinn Féin

  1. Alternative spelling of Sinn Fein.



  • IPA: [ʃɪnʲ fʲeːnʲ]

Proper noun

Sinn Féin (genitive Shinn Féin)

  1. Sinn Fein


Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
Sinn Féin Shinn Féin
after "an", tSinn Féin
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Simple English

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