It is a measure of our determination to provide a real alternative to the consensus for cuts being pushed by the other parties. Ireland needs political change. We need change in the Dáil. We need more voices that will stand up against the consensus for cuts – more voices that will stand up for ordinary people. We need new politics. We need a political realignment.
As the peace process has settled down in recent years, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has often looked bored. There is no longer a new political crisis every week in Belfast. As a result, Mr Adams has a reduced workload and a much lower profile. That may not be the main reason he has decided to run for the Irish parliament, but it may well be a factor. While his right-hand man Martin McGuinness has, as deputy first minister, become the face of Sinn Fein at Stormont, Mr Adams has had a peripheral role. He spends a lot of time south of the border, but as an unelected politician he is effectively shouting from the sidelines. At 62, he has decided to try to re-invent himself. If elected he would try to lead a surge in support for Sinn Fein in the south. If he loses, it could spell the end of his long political career.
Mind you the potential Dail General Election has also provided a surprise in Ulster-Scots circles as i have also just heard that Dr Billy McWilliams intends to stand in Donegal for the the Dail elections. Fair Fae Ye Billy, Fair Fae Ye.