Colin Murphy: Sinn Féin‘s voter database likely to be a template for the other parties

Irish politics now has a choice to either follow Sinn Féin’s ever-more sophisticated profiling of voters, or return to traditional reliance on local intelligence

Mary Lou McDonald: the Sinn Féin leader claimed the party was using the electoral register to compile its database

There are 2.8 million Irish drivers’ licences. Facebook has 2.9 million users in Ireland. There are 3.1 million employees in Revenue's PAYE system. There are 3.5 million people on the electoral register.

This is misleading, though, as the electoral register is not one database. Those 3.5 million voters are spread across 31 registers of electors, one kept by each local authority.

There appears to be just one centralised and amalgamated copy of these electoral registers ...