Sinn Féin

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Sean Get Your Gun.

Sinn Féin (translation guide:Shin Feign) is an Irish Nationalist movement that thinks everyone else in Ireland is wrong - including themselves. The party is currently led by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, both from Northern Ireland and with harsh 'brick-through-the-window accents' to match. Adams is now an elected representative in the Republic of Ireland after a non-career as a British parliamentarian (he took the money but didn't attend) whilst McGuinness is now Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland.

Previously Sinn Féin had been led by Southern Irish and as a consequence wasn't taken seriously by the British Government who thought they were talking in limericks. Adams and McGuinness put that stereotype to the sword and armalite.

edit Where did they come from?

Sinn Féin claim the political heritage of Irish heroes like Niall of the Nine Hostages, Brian Boru, Wolfe Tone and Mr Potato Head. An earlier outing were called simply 'The Fenians' and advocated general bad ass approach to the British for their crimes in Ireland. A tradition maintained by the USA Democrat Party today. The original Fenians were executed or beaten to death and for some years Irish nationalism became the ownership of Charles Parnell and his three piece suited supporters. Younger nationalists thought this the Great Cop Out and advocated a tougher approach.

edit Easter Rising

In 1905 Arthur Griffith organised the party inside Paddy Power's Bar in Dublin. First leader was going to be Leopold Bloom until the writer James Joyce admitted he had made that person up. Despite a great clamorous manifesto suggesting Sinn Féin would lead the rebellion for Irish Independence, they were overshadowed by other parties in Ireland and dismissed as something of an Irish language memorial society than a serious party.

Their fortunes changed in 1916 when many Sinn Féin members were involved in a rebellion in Dublin. What could have been dismissed with the offer of free drinks at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, descended into death and destruction. The Brits resolved to teach the 'treacherous Micks' a lesson and shot the ring leaders of the rebellion. To the British this was considered a 'concession' as they didn't hang them as traitors.

edit War, Independence and Civil War


Vote early, vote often.

In 1918 Sinn Féin swept away their rivals in the British General Election, leaving just them and the Irish and Ulster Unionists. Sinn Féin refused to take their seats in the House of Commons in London and instead said they were now the new government in Ireland and the British should 'feck off'. British Prime Minister David Lloyd George disagreed. There then followed a war which saw shootings and ambushes and a general collapse of British authority. Only in Ulster did the British really control and even that was patchy.

Since Sinn Féin believed in a United Ireland, they wanted Ulster too but the war eventually ended in a peace treaty - excluding Ulster. This caused the biggest barney in Sinn Fein with half of the government supporting the settlement and the other half screaming 'betrayal'. Hours of talking were then followed by war as former Sinn Féin comrades set about shooting each other until the 'anti-partion' group lost. However, for obscure reasons, they hung on to the name 'Sinn Féin' whilst those who had beaten them had to chose another party name 'Cumann_na_nGaedheal' - which since no one could really talk in Irish, became known as Society of Gaels or 'Fine Gael' as it is today.

edit More Splits and then Obscurity

The anti faction remained Sinn Féin but to show their petulance at the outcome of the civil war, the party chose to sit outside parliament and complain it was a 'House of ijits' and not fit to fly the Irish tricolour. This changed in 1926 when Sinn Fein's leader Eammon de Valera left his own party and started a new one called 'Fianna Fáil' which sounded an appropriate name for what seemed a bunch of opportunistic losers.

A rump was left with the name 'Sinn Féin' but even that was later challenged. The party in effect closed down and went home to sleep off the hangover. Those who wanted more excitement and loved the smell of gun powder enlisted into the IRA. The rest became involved in Gaelic Football and the Irish tourist industry.

edit What they believe in


All explained by an English author.

Sinn Féin approach politics in the manner of a religious nationalist movement. This makes them the mirror image of the DUP. Though the British and the Ulster Unionists are either occupiers or unwanted immigrants, those who are Irish and don't support Sinn Fein are heretics and schismatics. Sinn Féin used to believe the following:

  • We Ourselves, Alone and I
  • Football is the devil's work
  • Rugby is ok
  • Gaelic Football is the soul of Ireland
  • The Irish are the Blacks of Europe
  • Full confidence and control for Catholic priests and education
  • Virgin Mary retired to Ireland
  • Take the money and don't turn up for work ('absentionism')

Since 1998 Sinn Féin now say they accept the following:-

  • Sharing the bar tab with members of the British Government and Royal Family
  • Ensure they get equal first dibs on all the power of patronage in Northern Ireland
  • Gerry Adams for Irish President

edit Recent developments

Since 1970 Sinn Féin has split three more times. Usually on generational grounds. The older ones think about their pensions and decide to become full time politicians. This leads to calls of 'sell out' and 'betrayal'. In 1970 the IRA (where 'Sinn Féin was now living) split into the Officially Nasty IRA and the Provisionally Evil IRA. There was a Sinn Féin Workers party which believed in entering political office. The Provisional Sinn Féin themselves split in 1986 with one group calling themselves Republican Sinn Fein and claiming that it was they who were the true Christians and everyone else up to their elbows in politically compromised sin.

edit Sinn Fein today


Republican Sinn Féin. Hardest of the hard.

Sinn Féin (the compromised wing of the Irish Republican movement) currently co-run Northern Ireland with the DUP. Nothing ever gets done as a result but at least Belfast is peaceful (relatively) to allowed the swords and nudity tv series Game of Thrones to be filmed there. Across the border in the Republic, Sinn Féin is up against their erstwhile political family members Fine Gael and Finna Fail. They may get to replace one or both of those parties in future.

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