This is from, the Cedar Lounge, Revolution, Worth a Read, ask Shane Ross? Maybe ask, Marc MacSharry?

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: ” Been reading through the Shane Ross book (I do this for you!), and there’s some really fascinating bits in it. Fascinating in that they speak more of Ross (and one presumes some of his intended audiences perceptions) than they do of Sinn Féin.

Party discipline

WorldbyStorm
Oct 20
Been reading through the Shane Ross book (I do this for you!), and there’s some really fascinating bits in it. Fascinating in that they speak more of Ross (and one presumes some of his intended audiences perceptions) than they do of Sinn Féin. For examples; Sinn Féin never had much time for its Dáil deputies. To this day, they are treated as little more than lobby fodder. They read speeches written elsewhere and vote as instructed from on high. If they refuse to wear the boots, they get the boot. Ask Peadar Tóibín or Carol Nolan, both TDs who held sincere pro-life views. They upped sticks and left the party, disillusioned that Sinn Féin’s diktat on the issue of the right to life should overrule their personal beliefs.Isn’t that what a political party is about – it’s not up to individual TDs alone to make policy. Almost all political parties have annual conferences or ard fheiseanna. There’s nothing at all surprising about. One could rewrite the above for, well, say Fine Gael in the 2010s. Ask Billy Timmins and Terence Flanagan, both TDs who held sincere pro-life views. They upped sticks and left the party, disillusioned that Fine Gael’s diktat on the issue of the right to life should overrule their personal beliefs.No wait. They didn’t up sticks and leave the party. They were expelled by Fine Gael in 2013 along with Walsh and Mathews for voting against the then government’s legislation. This is basic basic stuff but somehow it flies under the radar of any serious critique.Perhaps Ross thinks, as someone who tangled briefly with party politics and then went on to found, admittedly, one of the most successful vehicles for independents who sought government office (albeit briefly) in the history of the state, that this is the way it should be, that TDs are above and beyond mere party memberships. But if so that’s a very limited view and understanding of much more complex dynamics. One can say, entirely correctly, that SF appears very leadership dominated. But one could also say, and again entirely correctly, that the history of Irish republicanism is one where any time a leaderships moves too far ahead of the membership the party tends to split. That hasn’t happened to any great degree with Sinn Féin as it is now. That tells us something

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