Exclusive: Being Mary Lou . . .

Exclusive: Being Mary Lou . . . View Gallery
Mary Lou McDonald at her constituency office on Amiens Street in Dublin 1 Picture: Fergal Phillips

What drives Mary Lou McDonald, who has overcome numerous setbacks to become arguably the most prominent left-wing politician in Ireland?

It’s just after 11am on a Thursday morning when Mary Lou McDonald and three Sinn Féin staffers gather around a small table in her surprisingly cramped Leinster House office. They’re deciding which issue to raise at Leaders’ Questions, the set-piece event of any Dáil week. This is especially true of this particular day, which is the last of the term.

“They’ve decommissioned Richard Bruton, have they?” McDonald says in...

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