Agnès Maillot
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The United Ireland party
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This chapter studies the manner in which Sinn Féin has prioritised and strategised its ultimate, and fundamental, objective – the reunification of Ireland – which underlies most of its political decisions, election campaigns and policy programmes. After having set the historical context of this ideal, an assessment of how Sinn Féin put this ideal at the centre of its peace process strategy is provided. While Sinn Féin is not the only Irish political party that believes in Irish unity, it is unique in the way it conditions all other policies and objectives to this ideal. Since the 2016 Brexit referendum, Sinn Féin is more convinced than ever that this prospect is within reach. The departure of the UK from the EU, while opposed by the party during the referendum campaign, is seen as having the potential to change the situation and to push forward the United Ireland agenda. Undoubtedly the conundrum of the Irish border, exemplified in the controversies generated by the backstop and the Northern Ireland Protocol, has caused a level of resentment and anxiety among Unionism, and in Sinn Féin’s view, has accelerated what they now term an ‘unstoppable’ conversation across the island on the prospect of Irish unity.

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Rebels in government

Is Sinn Féin ready for power?


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