Stephen Collins: Fianna Fáil would regret sharing power with Sinn Féin

One of the big lessons of recent history is that SF devours those who do business with it

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

The declaration by more than half of Fianna Fáil’s TDs that they are willing to consider coalition with Sinn Féin after the next election represents a serious loss of nerve that has profound long-term implications for the party and for Irish politics.

The only conclusion that can be taken from the response of Fianna Fáil TDs to questions from The Irish Times is that they have lost confidence in the current political strategy of Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Since becoming leader of Fianna Fáil in 2011, Martin has based his entire approach on rejecting the aggressive nationalism of Sinn Féin and seeking to purse a policy based on the concept of a shared island. That is in stark contrast to the drive for a Border poll and a united Ireland being pursued by Sinn Féin.

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