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 Sinn Fein - changing political landscape in Northern Ireland

  • The rise of the Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill, as the first nationalist First Minister of Northern Ireland.

  •  Its an indication of how the region’s political landscape is changing

  • If the Sinn Fein, which began as the political arm of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

  • It was on the fringes for decades, it is now a powerful political force in Northern Ireland (part of the U.K.) and the Republic of Ireland (an independent country and European Union member). 

  • In the 2020 elections, the Sinn Fein won the largest share of votes

  • And in 2022, it emerged as the largest party, with 29% of the vote share, in elections in Northern Ireland, while the pro-U.K. Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) finished second with a 21.3% vote share

  • According to the 1998 Good Friday agreement, which ended three decades of sectarian violence known as the Troubles, Northern Ireland’s government should include representatives of the largest and second largest political blocs (unionists, who are largely Protestants, as well as republican nationalists, who are mostly Catholics). 

  • After the 2022 vote, Northern Ireland saw chaos with the DUP refusing to join hands with the Sinn Fein to form the government, citing its opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which London had agreed on with Brussels to manage post-Brexit trade between the U.K. and the EU. 

  • The DUP alleged that the Protocol, which introduced checks on goods being transferred from Britain to the island of Ireland, weakened the union.

  • In a realistic assessment of the situation, the DUP decided to return to the power-sharing agreement after London agreed to reduce

customs checks on the Irish border and spend some £3 billion in Northern Ireland to steady the region’s finances. 

  • The Sinn Fein, which campaigned on bread and butter issues and promised to address immediate administrative challenges, is now formidable, and delaying the power-sharing agreement will not weaken the nationalists

  • For the Sinn Fein, which is still committed to the unification of the two Irelands, taking over the office of the First Minister is historic

Location of Ireland



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Sinn Fein UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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