Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 May 2016

Sinead O'Connor ditches plans to join Sinn Fein following meeting

By Niall O'Connor

Published 28/01/2015

Sinead O’Connor said Sinn Fein persuaded her not to join the party
Sinead O’Connor said Sinn Fein persuaded her not to join the party

Singer Sinead O'Connor has decided not to join Sinn Fein following a meeting with party officials.

The performer had previously declared her intentions to become a party member last month and said she wanted the entire Sinn Fein leadership to step down.

Her plans to join the party raised eyebrows within Sinn Fein circles, and attracted criticism from abuse victim Mairia Cahill, who was raped by a suspected IRA figure.

Mairia wrote at the time: "I had no explanation for how a woman who has been so vocal about child abuse could have chosen to join a party which has been in the headlines for their handling of this issue since my own story broke on BBC Spotlight." In a letter to Ms Cahill last month, Ms O'Connor claimed she wanted to join Sinn Fein because she wanted to reframe "what it means to be a republican".

"The very fact it is considered appalling to join Sinn Fein is why the elders should step down and is also why new people should join," she said.

Ms O'Connor told party officials last week that she would not be proceeding with the membership application after all.

While a Sinn Fein spokesman refused to comment on the discussions that took place with Ms O'Connor, a source said that her membership has not been processed. "I can confirm that the party has met with Sinead O'Connor but we don't comment on our discussions with people who apply to join the party," the spokesman said.

While Ms O'Connor did not comment yesterday, she said on her official Facebook page that she has been dissuaded from joining the party.

The singer said: "They persuaded me that I'd be bored s***less, pretty much waiting for them to get into government before being able to help generate any national discussion on the issue of ending partition.

"It was said to me that people like myself are more useful 'working alongside' since we can say what we like," she added.

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