Sinn Féin must end abstentionism to achieve a united Ireland
Noel Whelan: The party needs to hurry up and take its seats in Westminster
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and deputy leader Michelle O’Neill. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA
Sinn Féin MPs voting at Westminster is an idea whose time has come. The arguments that Sinn Féin leaders still advance against doing so do not stand up against rational examination or precedent.
Abstentionism has been associated with Sinn Féin since Arthur Griffith set up the original party 113 years ago, proposing that Irish MPs follow the Hungarian example of not sitting in the imperial parliament.