Republicanism still a potent link between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin

If they don’t form some kind of governing relationship I’ll eat my tricolour

Walking around the streets of my Dublin neighbourhood on Saturday, as the nation’s votes were being counted, I saw something I had never seen before: in some houses, tricolours were being displayed, discreetly in upstairs bedroom windows, or not so discreetly.

This is not the kind of neighbourhood where tricolours are unfurled before the Republic of Ireland plays a World Cup qualifying match, or even on St Patrick’s Day. It made me realise that indeed, a sea change has taken place in Irish politics. And part of it is the inevitability of Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil coming to some kind of governing arrangement, due to one, profound unifying principle: it’s the republic, stupid!

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