Dan O’Brien: What has led to the explosive rise in support for Sinn Féin?

The answer could lie in the algorithms of social media platforms which have become generators and amplifiers of anger, driving followers to blame anything and everything on the politicians in power

Mary Lou McDonald, president, Sinn Féin: when the votes were counted in the February 2020 general election, Sinn Féin had won more votes than either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, the first time that has happened in a century of elections. Picture: Getty

The current decade has been eventful in many ways. Along with pandemic and war, one of the biggest and most sudden changes in Irish politics in decades has taken place since the start of the 2020s.

At the beginning of the last general election campaign, just weeks into the new decade, nobody was predicting an earthquake at the polls, least of all Sinn Féin. The party, whose constitution commits it to establishing a Democratic Socialist ...