Couple of interesting posts out there on the theme of Fianna Fáil’s latest moves to organise in the North, which I picked up at OurKingdom on Sunday.
Mick Fealty has sparked a lively debate on Slugger by asks whether the names of the party’s two new cumainn signify an intent to reach out to Northern Protestants. Back at OK, Conn Corrigan looks at the possible wider impact on the Northern party system.
Sinn Féin’s response to the latest developments, in a speech by Senator Pearse Doherty, is also worth noting:
“This weekend Fianna Fáil announced that they have registered as a party in
the Six Counties. It will take far more than a bit of paper from the
Electoral Commission to make them an all-Ireland party. If Fianna Fáil are
truly to become an all-Ireland party and move beyond a rhetorical position
on Irish re-unification If they are really interested in Irish unity they
need to begin the practical preparations now.
“2016 shouldn’t just be about commemorating our past, it should be about
shaping the future. And that means more than lofty speeches. It means
expanding the work of the All Ireland Ministerial Council, it means removing
the impediments to all Ireland economic development, it means northern
representation in the Oireachtas, it means putting in place a practical
strategy for re-unification. Only time will tell how serious they
really are. And we will see what position they take on the measures we
will be putting forwad in the Dáil and Seanad on preparing for unity and
independence." (Sinn Féin press release)
No doubt, if Fianna Fáil does build up a significant organisation in the North, their own members will be raising some of those issues.