Newton Emerson: Sinn Féin is not a radical party

The party's record in power in the North is characterised by caution

Sinn Féin’s relationship with the IRA raises serious questions North and South, one of which is whether Provisional IRA membership should still be an offence. Legalisation might help sort out the political from the criminal, which will take on a new urgency if Sinn Féin is included in a sovereign government. Photograph: Alan Lewis/Photopress

Sinn Féin’s relationship with the IRA raises serious questions North and South, one of which is whether Provisional IRA membership should still be an offence. Legalisation might help sort out the political from the criminal, which will take on a new urgency if Sinn Féin is included in a sovereign government. Photograph: Alan Lewis/Photopress

Sinn Féin’s rise in the polls south of the Border has nothing to do with Northern Ireland, or a united Ireland, let alone with developments at Stormont.

That is no excuse for not looking at the party’s record in Stormont to judge how it might perform in the Republic, either in government or supporting a minority government.

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