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Suzanne Breen

2020 a year Sinn Fein would probably like to forget

Suzanne Breen


Poor election results and fallout from the Bobby Storey funeral were low points but rivals envy its youthful southern base, writes Political Editor Suzanne Breen

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Controversy: Mary Lou McDonald, Gerry Adams, and Michelle O’Neill arrive at St Agnes’ Church in west Belfast for the funeral of Bobby Storey in June

Controversy: Mary Lou McDonald, Gerry Adams, and Michelle O’Neill arrive at St Agnes’ Church in west Belfast for the funeral of Bobby Storey in June

Controversy: Mary Lou McDonald, Gerry Adams, and Michelle O’Neill arrive at St Agnes’ Church in west Belfast for the funeral of Bobby Storey in June

For most of 2020, it has been a tale of two Sinn Feins. The party in the South has gone from strength to strength with record opinion poll highs that will likely sweep it into government after the next election.

Up north, where it is actually in power, the situation couldn't be more different. In what has been an annus horribilis for the big two in the Executive, the only saving grace for Sinn Fein is that the DUP has had a much worse year.

The buzzwords 'golden circle', 'cosy club', and 'old boys' network' that the Shinners have so successfully employed in the Republic can't be used in Northern Ireland where the party has been part of the Stormont circle/club/network for two decades without shaking it up, let alone overthrowing it.


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