Sinn Féin vows to regroup to be 'formidable force' in next general election

Sinn Féin Vows To Regroup To Be 'Formidable Force' In Next General Election
Mary Lou McDonald said the party had ‘not met the scale of our ambition’ in Ireland’s local and European elections. Photo: PA Images
Share this article

Cillian Sherlock, PA

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has said her party will regroup and be a “formidable force” in the next general election.

The Dublin parliamentarian admitted that they did not have the local and European election results they had wished for, despite making gains.


Voters headed to the polls last Friday to choose 949 local councillors, 14 MEPs and the States’s first directly elected mayor in Limerick.

The party had hoped to significantly increase its number of councillors, but came back with just 21 extra seats. It increased its number of MEPs from one to two, but lost its sitting MEP Chris MacManus.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald celebrates as Kathleen Funchion is elected in the European elections
Mary Lou McDonald celebrates as Kathleen Funchion is elected in the European elections (Brian Lawless/PA)


Speaking at the launch of Sinn Féin’s UK general election campaign, Ms McDonald said “we did not meet the scale of our ambition”.

“But just to be clear, we come from the election with more councillors, with more MEPs, with very solid footing and foundation, with the determination to reflect and learn and grow, to regroup.

“And here we are, we’re fighting this campaign. And when the general election comes south of the border, we will be a formidable force, and we will present again the solutions to the problems that bear down on people all across the island.

“We talked about them here: health, childcare, the cost of living, all of these things, giving our young people in particular, the chance that they deserve at home to build futures here, or if they’re away, to come back home.


“All of that we will do with this spirit of confidence, but also the humility to know that each election is different, and you never take a result or a vote for granted.”


She was speaking after a marathon count of election ballots ended in the early hours of Friday.

In the Midlands–North-West constituency, outgoing Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus lost his seat, while running mate Michelle Gildernew, a former Northern Ireland MP, came sixth in the five-seater.

“I am disappointed that she wasn’t elected,” Ms McDonald said.

Fianna Fáil doubled its presence in the European Parliament to four, with Fine Gael also on four – down one from its previous showing in 2019.


Labour has one seat, the Independent Ireland party claimed one and two non-party aligned independents fill the remainder.

Dublin’s electorate selected Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews, Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan, Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty and Labour’s Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, who topped the poll in Midlands North West
Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan topped the poll in Midlands North West (Conor McKeown/PA)

Ireland South elected Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly, independent Michael McNamara, Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion and Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher and Cynthia Ni Mhurchu.

Left-wing independent Luke 'Ming' Flanagan topped the poll in Midlands North West, with Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen, Fine Gael’s Nina Carberry and Maria Walsh, and Independent Ireland candidate and former RTÉ correspondent Ciaran Mullooly, elected to the constituency.

Five MEPs have lost their seats: Mr MacManus, the Green Party’s Grace O’Sullivan and Ciaran Cuffe, as well as independents Mick Wallace and Clare Daly.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by