Special Report

The right turn? Inside Sinn Féin’s shift on immigration as make-or-break elections loom

To maintain its poll position ahead of a potentially historic general election, Sinn Féin now faces a dangerous balancing act on the divisive issue of immigration

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald speaking at the scene of the horror stabbing in Dublin city centre in October last year. PA

Angry protests are ordinarily reserved for the government parties of the day but late last year Mary Lou McDonald, the Sinn Féin leader, was confronted by furious anti-immigration campaigners in the heart of her own Dublin Central constituency.

“What about the illegal aliens,” one man screamed as McDonald was rushed from the Sean O’Casey community centre in East Wall and into the back of a waiting car.

“You don’t care about the people,” another shouted. ...