Peadar Tóibín And The Unravelling Of New Sinn Féin

Matt Treacy delves into the choppy waters in which Sinn Fein sail, after Peadar Toibin went overboard. 

Peadar Tóibín
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.

Republican Army is also available @ Amazon. 

Matt Treacy blogs @ Brocaire Books. 

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

13 comments to ''Peadar Tóibín And The Unravelling Of New Sinn Féin"

  1. I can imagine how the article will be received by the stupid,idiotic,vacuous,Castrotic gangs. Tempers will be flying but I can see many of those falling into line behind Toibin the evangelist. By the way did Toibin leave because of a moral stance i.e. abortion of Provisional Sinn Fein or was it because of how the party is/was run? Surely Toibin was whipped into line on many, many questionable activities in the past without a whimper one of the biggest being the GFA.

    Toibin is the biggest profile Sinn Fein member to quit the party and in my view very capable politician and will have major consequences. I can imagine he will take many Sinn Fein members with him and possibly high profile ones at that. However, I can also envisage him getting much support from the rank and file Fianna Failers. I would say there are many in the respective parties not enamored with McDonald or Martin.

    I am delighted to see it and as a republican the sooner I see the demise of SF the better. They have done untold damage to the cause. Unfortunately, I am skeptical whether Toibin or his co conspirators have learnt the full extent the malaise in SF.

  2. Does this now make Peader Tobin a Dissident’s Dissident

  3. James, I am not sure Catholic Sinn Fein is going to make the impact that some might hope for. Toibin's stance is swimming against the wider societal tide. He should not have been suspended and should have been afforded his right to have a view on the matter but it is largely yesterday's issue. SF might draw in as many people as it loses by way of reaction to the Toibin brand. They will end up screwed by the leadership for sure who are career focussed rather than ideationally driven.

    Boyne Rover, I think they will label him a disciple.

  4. AM,

    where's the point or mark of distinction between "ideationally driven" and idolatry? And for how long can the aforementioned ideationality claim validity before it morphs into idolatry?

  5. Henry Joy,

    the two may converge but there is no necessary link. Toibin would seem to have ideas whereas SF has positions. Toibin appears to believe in things that he articulates, while what SF articulates is not something it believes but something that will give it an advantage in the endless pursuit of office.

  6. SF is on the road to aping the British SWP which has more ex members than members.

  7. Mick - how is the SWP faring out now? Some great activists in Belfast at one time. McCann also. I thought they were too much like a cult unfortunately.

  8. Matt Treacy says

    It remains to be seen what will come of this. On paper, with the amount of councillors, TDs, former MLAs (not aware of any current ones) along with hundreds of members, there is potential for a significant organisation. I don't think the intent is to focus exclusively on opposition to abortion, nor to make that a requirement, but I would imagine that would be overall tenor of the new party if it gets off the ground.

    Hopefully, it will add to the debate among republicans and nationalists generally - not necessarily confined to people who were in SF or other groups - and that the debate will focus on ways to push past the current "backstop" of the GFA which even its supporters have reduced to some vague hope that Catholics will outbreed Protestants and enough of them vote for "unity" at some distant date in the future.

    The Brexit crisis presents opportunity to look at other options including the proposals in the original Éire Nua, which themselves were not meant to be the final word, but rather an opening into a wider discussion involving as diverse strands as possible.

  9. Matt - the project reminds me more of Renua than anything else in recent times.

    Anti-EU certainly adds to the spice of it but as one the two kites that are being flown - the other being anti-abortion - these are issues that have minority support. That does not make them wrong per se but is there enough runway there to permit takeoff or shall the project be grounded as a result?

    I think Peadar Toibin would be much more effective as an independent TD. His constituency knew what he was before it elected him and is unlikely to turn against him. He is a very capable performer - urbane and competent: everything that say Dessie Ellis is not and which the voter can clearly see. He might also consider going for a European seat.

    He needs to remember the fate of Lucinda Creighton - lot going for her until she formed Renua. Now on the board of Horse Sport Ireland.

  10. Matt,

    your hopes for Tobin's new counter movement, like Tobin's own, will most likely be perceived and regarded by most as merely an emotional response to experienced hurts, slights, and frustrations. I think AM's succinct assessment, much more accurately reflects the limited potential of his move. The probability of him effecting a nascent challenge to SF's established hegemony is extremely limited. Even if he could pull off a European seat, would it represent any greater challenge to Sinn Féin than that of Neil Blaney's to Fianna Fáíl when he held a European seat?

    You may put new coaches onto the same old circular track Matt but they won't get you anywhere but the same old destinations.

  11. Heard Peadar Tobin on with Sean O'Rourke this morning; anything he had to say only confirmed AM's label of 'Catholic Sinn Féin'. Peadar named significant supporters for his new party, one of Martin McGuinness's brothers, Dr. Anne McCloskey and the Brollys.

    Sounds to me like a political front for the Knights of Columbanus!

  12. And now to boot an article in support of his moves from Breda O'Brien in today's Irish Times!

  13. No surprise - Breda is very much an unreconstructed Catholic and member of the Iona Institute. I would have been surprised had she not have backed the move. The Iona institute while clever enough does not have the appeal or the pull to stop the flow.


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