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I just heard that the Dublin mayoralty is be revolved among the five largest groups on the city council. Christy Burke will be mayor this year as representative of the Independents. In 2016 Sinn Fein will hold the mayoralty. As the largest party on the Dublin City Council, I guess it’s fair enough that the Shinners get to choose when their person is mayor, but it does stick in the craw to think these renegades from republicanism will hold the mayoralty on the 100th anniversary of the Rising. They bear much more relation to Arthur Griffith’s Sinn Fein of 1916 – which, of course, opposed the Rising – than they do to Connolly, Clarke, Pearse and their comrades.
On the other hand, Gerry’s united Ireland of 2016 will be not one step closer as a result of all the compromises made by him and his cabal. Them holding the mayoralty of Dublin in 2016 – and I guess they’ll have the mayoralty of Belfast at the same time – is, in my view, likely to be the highpoint of New Sinn Fein (or should that be Old Sinn Fein, given they’ve reverted to Griffithism). After that, where do they go?
Alternatively, they could make a big show of letting a Unionist be mayor of Belfast in 2016, to indicate how in favour they are of ‘diversity’ and ‘respect for difference’, even when the ‘difference’ happens to be an utterly reactionary, pro-imperialist, sectarian, and fundamentally anti-working class tradition like Unionism.
By 2016, of course, they could also be in government in the 26-county state. Bridesmaid to the DUP in the north and bridesmaid to Fianna Fail in the south. But that would be the highpoint of their career. The Unionists won’t consent to unification, the southern bourgeoisie has no interest (material or nostalgic) in a united Ireland and, while the Brits might sometimes feel like getting shot of the north, they’re not going to willingly agree to the complete break-up of the British state.
That leaves the only realistic road to a united Ireland as the socialist-republican one.
In the meantime, it is Christy Burke, someone who has maintained his republican and working class credentials from what I can see, who should be mayor in 2016.
Posted on June 6, 2014, in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Irish politics today, Partition, Provos - then and now, twenty-six counties. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Dublin mayoralty.
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