Sinn Fein Is Now in the Driver’s Seat on Both Sides of the Irish Border

A man walks his dogs past election posters in West Belfast, Northern Ireland, May 5, 2022 (AP photo by Peter Morrison).
A man walks his dogs past election posters in West Belfast, Northern Ireland, May 5, 2022 (AP photo by Peter Morrison).

BELFAST, Northern Ireland—Sinn Fein’s historic victory in Northern Ireland’s elections last week, which made it the largest party in the state’s devolved parliament, is significant in numerous ways. For the first time in Northern Ireland’s 101-year history, a nationalist party is now dominant in a state that was specifically designed to ensure a pro-Union majority. But Sinn Fein is not simply a nationalist party. Having originated as the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, or IRA—the foremost paramilitary in the Northern Ireland conflict—it is a republican party that once supported armed struggle and vowed to destroy the very state […]

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