Sinn Féin to ‘dust ourselves off’ after it failed to reach electoral ambitions

Party got ‘a knock’ with poor performance this month, says Mary Lou McDonald

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald after speaking at Bodenstown cemetery, Co Kildare for the annual Wolfe Tone commemoration. Photograph: Damien Storan/PA Wire

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said her party will “dust ourselves off” after it failed to reach its electoral ambitions in the recent local and European elections.

Ms McDonald said Sinn Féin got “a knock” after the party put in a poor performance earlier this month.

Sinn Féin, who was widely seen as the government-in-waiting, suffered a setback when its support dropped well below what was projected.

Ms McDonald said the party has started a review into what went wrong in its electoral campaign, particularly as parties prepare for a general election, which could take place later this year.


“We know political struggle isn’t easy. Things don’t always go the way you want,” Ms McDonald told the annual Wolfe Tone commemoration in Co Kildare.

“This is a party built on incredible sacrifice and on that enormous reservoir of courage, resilience and hope that sees us through the tough times.

“We had a knock at the recent local elections. The result didn’t match the scale of our ambitions. But it’s how we respond to setbacks that determines the future. We will come back now with determination and belief.

“We’re often at our best when our backs are to the wall, when the going gets tough and when our political opponents write us off with glee. Let them.

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“The match is not over. The story is not finished.”

She said the Irish public have a choice at the next general election.

“More crises, more failure, more of the same under Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, or a government for real change led by Sinn Féin,” she said.

“We will approach this election with real purpose, confidence and energy.

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“My message to people is simple. Sinn Féinhas heard you. I have heard you.

“We will now work even harder to deliver the Ireland you deserve – a society and a nation that has the backs of ordinary people.

“The next opportunity to advance our vision of a new Ireland is happening now.” – PA