Initially surprising but in the wake of Arthur Morgans decision not to run, everything makes a bit more sense.
Interesting move from Sinn Fein and not one that I quite understand for a few reasons. Morgan was popular enough, getting 15% of the vote in Louth (though, that means he scraped in on the last seat relatively speaking) and raised SFs public profile by being…noticable in the Dail.
But suddenly he’s stepping down for vaguely defined reasons and here comes Gerry Adams. Combined with the inevitable rise in Sinn Fein support as a result of Labour transfers, Fianna Fail unpopularity and Adams celebrity status, I can predict, without too much unease, that he will get elected.
But what then? What does Adams hope to achieve down south? He will be the main voice of Ireland’s fringe Dail party, the one that no one in the chamber listens too. Max number of seats they could realistically pick up in the next election is around 10-12. That won’t be enough to effect the powerplay between the “big three”.
So Adams, like Morgan, will just be another loud voice that bothers the Ceann Comhairle from time to time. He won’t be able to get anything done here. I say this because he could get things done in the north, where his party have a much greater degree of power. He can pull things of on a national level there. Why try the Republic political game?
Is it an ego thing? I remember Sinn Fein’s insistence, a few years back, that Adams would be running for the Presidency in 2011, a laughable scenario. Maybe Adams just wants to see if he’s as popular down south as he thinks he is. And if he’s forced out Morgan, that’s bound to cause problems within the party.
As for Morgan, not sad to see the back of him. He must hold the record for number of times he was thrown out of the Dail for his loud mouthed, aggressive antics this past term. Oh, and the fact that he was, and is very open about how he was, a member of a terrorist organisation for which he carried out operations during the seventies and for which he was convicted.
I guess Louth voters were able to look past that and theirs is the most important voice. I know I couldn’t. Morgan is the epitome of why SF will never be more than the small fry of the Dail. Loud, irrelevant and with blood on their hands.