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Power play: How Sinn Féin got onside with Ireland Inc

From meeting with former PD leader Mary Harney to assuring multinationals of their economic credentials, Sinn Féin is attempting a delicate balancing act of talking tough in public while being more amenable to big business in private

Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Féin party leader: the party could find itself in government after the next election. Picture: Getty

Mary Harney and Sinn Féin would never be considered natural political bedfellows. But that didn’t stop David Cullinane from meeting the former Progressive Democrats leader late last year to pick her brains on Irish health policy.

Over coffee in Buswells Hotel near Leinster House, the Sinn Féin spokesman on health and the former minister in this portfolio had a wide-ranging discussion on the health system and the nature of government. The two politely exchanged opposing ...