Following a week in which Sinn Féin TDs approved parts of the proposed abortion legislation that goes well beyond anything which was agreed to at its Ard Fheis, Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín finally had enough and announced his resignation.
He was already under suspension and his letter to Party Chair Declan Kearney requesting clarification on whether there was “a future for me and republicans like me to contribute to the development of the party” was ignored.
The fact that his letter was not responded to either by Kearney or McDonald or Leinster House whip Aengus Ó Snodaigh speaks for itself. His letter of resignation also refers to his having been gradually excluded from speaking time and the media.
Sinn Féin in the meantime were setting in train the process of replacing Peadar as the party candidate for the next general elections. They had no shortage of lap dogs to assist in that. They know that whoever they select has no hope of winning the seat, but whoever does run will be happy enough to have secured the fickle favours of the bosses. The sole objective is to prevent Peadar being re-elected, and the candidate selected is irrelevant. Just another useful idiot.
Of course, as the dozens of former elected representatives north and south including people who were and are TDs, MLAs, and councillors as well as several hundred members, who have resigned in the past few years under similar treatment or been expelled attests, this is nothing new.
The party leadership’s, public and hidden, arrogance and thirst for power at any price brooks no resistance. They were stupid enough to believe that they could make a pitch to replace the Labour Party as the main social democratic liberal party while assuming that the base would be retained.
Well, as the recent Presidential election results showed, with the embarrassing performance of the former TG4 presenter, that assumption may have been premature.
Constituencies in which Sinn Féin are strong were notable by the almost complete absence of posters and canvassers. In only one constituency where SF has a current TD did their candidate get more votes than Peter Casey who they had spent most of the last two weeks of the campaign ridiculously calling a fascist.
Anyone wishing to vote for a vacuous liberal pro abortion devotee of the Castro gang had a far better choice if that was their wish, and even the majority of those identifying in exit polls as Sinn Féin voters chose Higgins or Casey.
Of course it would be preferable if Peadar now faded into the background. That has generally been the, not always voluntary, fate of those who have fallen foul of the commissars. Peader it seems is intent on being part of a republican alternative.
He has been invited to speak at a commemoration in Ballymore Eustace on Saturday, November 24 in honour of Frank Driver. Driver was a former vice President of Sinn Féin whose activism in the party and Óglaigh na hÉireann dated back to the 1918 election. He was one of the “foundational Provos.”
As good a place as any to begin a debate on the way forward.