Deirdre Heenan: Sinn Féin’s days of getting away with doublespeak are numbered

Such things were tolerated from an opposition party, but if it wishes to wield power, it will have to make up its mind on crucial issues such as abortion rights

While Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill and Mary Lou McDonald proclaim the party’s pro-choice credentials, its actions in the Assembly have dismayed women’s rights activists. Picture: Getty

At the beginning of this month, a proposal to ban the hunting of wild animals with dogs was defeated in the Stormont assembly by 45 votes to 38. If it had passed, the private member’s bill introduced by John Blair, an Alliance assembly member, would have brought the North in line with the rest of the UK on the issue.

While other parties allowed their representatives a free vote, Sinn Féin whipped its assembly members ...