Newton Emerson: Sinn Féin’s presidential bid risks leaving it exposed

The symbolic all-Ireland posturing of SF’s 2011 campaign will heighten tensions in 2018

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin’s official reason for running a presidential candidate is that the Irish people deserve a choice – a stance given sting by the unvoiced fact that President Higgins promised not to run again.

Political opponents have replied that Sinn Féin always appoints its party presidents by coronation – a riposte given sting by the fact that, as far as is known, it still considers itself the true government of Ireland.

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