Sinn Féin is an Irish republican political party, but what does its name mean and what are the origins of the party?
What does Sinn Féin mean?
In English, its name translates to “(We) Ourselves”.
What is Sinn Féin?
There is an overall leader of Sinn Féin, which operates as a single organization across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Sinn Féin’s current president is Mary Lou McDonald, who was elected in 2018.
Before that, Gerry Adams had led the party for over 30 years.
In the 2019 general election, Sinn Féin won 22.8% of the Northern Irish vote, winning seven of Northern Ireland’s 18 seats.
The party currently holds seven seats in the House of Commons. However, Sinn Féin MPs refuse to take their seats as they would have to swear allegiance to the Queen to do so.
In the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont, Sinn Féin also currently holds 27 seats out of a total of 90, with another 105 councilors across Northern Ireland.
In the Republic of Ireland, Sinn Féin won 24.5% of the vote in the 2020 Dáil Éireann elections.
What are the origins of Sinn Féin?
Arthur Griffith helped found the Sinn Féin movement in 1905.
To achieve nationalist goals, he advocated passive resistance, with Irish MPs withdrawing from Westminster and forming a national assembly in Ireland.
He insisted on the need for high protective tariffs to enable Ireland to exploit its internal market, develop its own resources, support itself and stop emigration.
Sinn Féin gained notoriety for its anti-British propaganda and later, in wartime, its opposition to military recruitment.
It was widely held responsible in Britain and Ireland for the Easter Rising, although as an organization it had no part in it.
In the December 1918 general election, Sinn Féin won 73 of Ireland’s 103 seats.
Sinn Féin then formed the Dail government in Dublin in 1919 and declared Ireland an independent republic.
However, his political activities were overshadowed by the military campaign of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during the Anglo-Irish War (1919–21). It was a campaign that Sinn Féin helped but never effectively controlled.
In the 1970s, Sinn Féin was split over the issue of parliamentary abstention.
One wing of the party urged all elected representatives to take their elected seats and another wing strongly opposed it.
The anti-abstentionists split to form official Sinn Féin, later known as Sinn Féin – The Workers’ Party, then simply as the “Workers’ Party”.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s Sinn Féin shifted from its military focus to becoming more politically active. He won over 100,000 votes in the 1983 general election, with Gerry Adams being elected MP for Belfast West in 1983.
In 1986, the party decided to put an end to its policy of abstentionism in the Irish Dáil of Dublin.
When the Provisional IRA declared a ceasefire in 1994, Sinn Féin was initially allowed to join talks with the British government, but the dismantling of all IRA weapons was a condition to the continued inclusion of the party in the talks, which led to the end of the first. cease fire.
After the Labor Party was elected to government in 1997, peace talks resumed and a new ceasefire was announced.
Multi-party talks with the UK government resulted in the Good Friday Agreement.
This resulted in a permanent ceasefire and a new devolved Northern Irish administration known as the Northern Ireland Assembly.