Sinn Féin and the EU


A chara, – Lynn Boylan (May 13th) takes issue with Stephen Collins’s characterisation of Sinn Féin as an anti-European party (Opinion & Analysis, May 9th). Here the “duck test” is useful – if something looks, walks, and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck. Sinn Féin looks, acts, and talks like an anti-European party.

Sinn Féin looks like an anti-European party because it has allied with the Danish “People’s Movement Against the EU” and the fiercely anti-EU French Communist Party in the European Parliament.

Sinn Féin talks like an anti-European party when it blames national failings on “Brussels elites” and repeatedly spreads disinformation about the non-existent EU army (as its MEPs have done during this very election campaign), tactics straight out of the Ukip playbook.

Most importantly, Sinn Féin acts like an anti-European party. It has called for a No vote in every single European referendum we have held, even opposing our joining Europe in the first place.

Ms Boylan’s party calls for powers we pooled for greater effect to be brought back to Ireland, while also demanding Brussels solves deeply complex problems like unemployment and climate change in a way that would require it to have all those powers and more.

This confused and contradictory approach isn’t just dishonest, it is a cynical attempt to discredit European solutions.

Ms Boylan may reject the label of Eurosceptic for her party. However, unless and until Sinn Féin stops looking, acting, and talking like an anti-European party, I will remain a Sinn Féin-sceptic. – Is mise,