Elaine Byrne: How ‘new’ Sinn Féin is ditching its old ways – and preparing for government

The party is disengaging from entrenched positions to make itself more palatable to both the middle classes and potential coalition partners

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald celebrates after being elected at the RDS General Election Count Centre in the RDS in 2020. Picture: Leah Farrell

“The old Sinn Féin” is a phrase being used with increasing regularity in some Sinn Féin circles. “Old”, in this instance, means the Sinn Féin before the last general election of 2020.

Although Mary Lou McDonald’s party returned the largest share of the overall popular vote in that election, the prospect of her leading a Sinn Féin coalition government was implausible from the outset. There were feigned efforts at talks, but there was never any ...