Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Gail Walker: This isn’t just a political partition, this is a Sinn Fein partition

A bit like M&S, there's recognition of partition, then there's Sinn Fein recognition of partition...

This weekend, following a string of disappointing election results in the Republic and muted debate within party circles, Gerry Adams crowned Mary Lou McDonald as the new leader of the party in the south.

Somehow, while Ms McDonald is the new Numero Uno, the Head Honcho, in the Republic, Mr Adams’ position remains unaffected.

But perhaps that's primarily a question for the best theologians and philsophers. So now we have two leaders, and presumably two leadership cadres, responding to two different sets of circumstances, but still, metaphysically, a single all-Ireland party.

It should be interesting to see how this beast evolves. Adams conceded that his Belfast base was a problem on the Republic's doorsteps — and by extension the ‘northernness' of Sinn Fein leadership was aproblem with voters:

“Of course it's an issue, that's why we're looking to build a southern based leadership.” Look to build a southern-based leadership?

Sounds like the south and the north are going to be around for a while yet.

Peter Robinson must be the happy man today...

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