Sinn Féin

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Sinn Féin
We ourselves
Sinn Féin logo
Party leader Mary Lou McDonald
Party leader Mary Lou McDonald
Secretary General Dawn Doyle
vice-chairman Michelle O'Neill
founding 1905
Headquarters 44 Parnell Street, Dublin 1
Youth organization Ógra Shinn Féin
newspaper Phoblacht
Alignment Irish Republicanism
Democratic Socialism
Colours) green
Parliamentary seats
Republic of Ireland

Dáil , 2020 :

Seanad , 2020:

Local government:
United Kingdom British House of Commons , 2019 :

Northern Ireland Assembly , 2017 :

Local government
in Northern Ireland :
MEPs Republic of Ireland :
EP Group Confederal Group of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL)
Éamon de Valera (approx. Mid-1920s)
Bairbre de Brún in the Strasbourg European Parliament (2008)
Gerry Adams, party leader from 1983 to 2018
Martin McGuiness (2009)
Michelle O'Neill, Northern Ireland Party Chair since 2017, Party Vice Chair since 2018 (2012)

Sinn Féin ([ ˌʃinʲ ˈfʲeːnʲ ] or [ ˌʃinʲ ˈheːnʲ ], Irish for ourselves ) is an Irish Republican movement and party founded in 1905 and the only political party that is significantly active in both the north and south of Ireland. In Northern Ireland , Sinn Féin has been the strongest party among the Catholic population since 2005, and in the Republic of Ireland it has been represented in Parliament since 1997. The party has historical political roots, especially in the border regions with Northern Ireland.


Sinn Féin's main goal is to end the partition of Ireland. According to the program, the party is striving for a “new national democracy” that is to be created and shaped by consensus of all population groups.

Representation in parliaments

In the British general election on June 8, 2017, seven MPs were elected for the House of Commons , while the Social Democratic and Labor Party , which was formerly also heavily anchored in the Catholic electorate, lost its last seats. The lower house MPs of the Sinn Féin refuse to take their seats because they would have to swear an oath of loyalty to the British Queen.

In the Parliament of the Republic of Ireland (the Dáil Éireann ), Sinn Féin has 23 members.

In the 2004 European elections , Sinn Féin won one seat each for Dublin ( Mary Lou McDonald ) and Northern Ireland ( Bairbre de Brún ). The two MEPs are members of the group of the European United Left , in which numerous socialist and communist parties have come together. After the European elections in 2009 , only the Northern Irish MP retained her seat, but resigned in 2012. Her successor was Martina Anderson , who was able to defend her mandate in 2014 and 2019 and did not leave the EU until the United Kingdom left the EU on January 31, 2020. In 2014 , a Sinn Féin candidate was elected in each of the three constituencies in Ireland: Lynn Boylan for Dublin, Liadh Ní Riada for the south and Matt Carthy (Midlands-North-West). In 2019 , only Carthy was able to defend his mandate, which was elected in the elections for Dáil Éireann in February 2020. Chris MacManus was the successor .

In the Northern Ireland Assembly , Sinn Féin has had 28 MEPs since the last election (previously: 24). From 1998 to 2003, when the executive was working, the party provided two ministers. The strongest British Protestant party, the Democratic Unionist Party , signed a power-sharing agreement with Sinn Féin on March 26, 2007 (St. Andrews Agreement). Since May 8, Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuinness has been Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister . Furthermore, with Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin has a member of the Irish House of Lords ( Seanad Éireann ) in the Committee on Agriculture and Gráinne Mhic Géidigh for County Donegal a member of the Organization for Social, Economic and Cultural Development Údarás na Gaeltachta .

Relationship with the IRA

Sinn Féin is historically linked to the Provisional Irish Republican Army and was therefore sometimes referred to as the "political arm of the IRA". Sinn Féin thus also played a particularly important role in the peace process in Northern Ireland. The Irish government accuses the opposition party of having loosely organizational ties with the IRA. In 2005 the Justice Secretary (in connection with the UK's subsequent decision) went beyond the charge by saying that some leading members of the party were also leading members in the IRA. Sinn Féin denied the allegations. After a bank robbery in Belfast in late 2004 , the perpetrators of which were not identified, the IRA was charged with the robbery (which they denied). The House of Commons (United Kingdom) decided in March 2005, with a majority of votes, to withhold parliamentary funds from the Sinn Féin MPs there for a year (e.g. to finance travel and employees).


Sinn Féin was founded on November 28, 1905 by Arthur Griffith in Dublin . With the founding of the party, Griffith originally wanted to establish a separate parliament for the whole of Ireland within the United Kingdom. The model for the party and its program were the national movements in Eastern Central Europe. Griffith oriented himself in particular to the structure in Austria-Hungary with a monarch and two parliaments. Between 1905 and 1908 the playwright Edward Martyn was first chairman.

During the Easter Rising of 1916, Sinn Féin first appeared as a violent movement and in the following years, under the new President Éamon de Valera, developed into the leading organization of the movement for “national self-determination” for the Irish. In 1918 it had its first resounding success in the House of Commons elections: It provided 73 of the 105 Irish MPs. In 1919 she proclaimed the first Irish parliament, the First Dáil , in Dublin, from which the Irish War of Independence and the first partition of the island in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1922 developed.

Sinn Féin then split above all on the oath of allegiance to the British king required in the treaty, and less on the division. Those in favor of the treaty represented a slim majority in the Dáil and a slim minority in the party. Under the leadership of WT Cosgrave, they formed the new Cumann na nGaedheal party , which later became part of the Fine Gael . The strict Republican majority of the members did not want to accept this condition. In the Irish Civil War , both sides fought bitterly. After the armistice in 1926, Sinn Féin split again over a fundamental question: Should one accept the status quo and recognize the new Free State of Ireland as the first step on the way to a republic, or should one stick to the standpoint of the fundamental opposition? The less radical opponents of the Éamon de Valera treaty formed the new Fianna Fáil party at the end of this dispute . The remaining, fundamental republican Sinn Féin only appeared as a splinter movement after the civil war and disappeared from the Dáil Éireann for half a century after the June 1927 elections, with a small exception in the 1957 elections . Similarly, it disappeared from the Parliament of Northern Ireland and the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.

In the 1960s, Sinn Féin temporarily pursued a Marxist course.

In the 1970s there was an internal reform of the party. It increasingly saw itself as the political wing of the IRA . A new generation of politicians such as Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, as well as a Northern Irish-dominated class of functionaries, led the party back to its political capacity to act. An armistice in the mid-1970s made the Sinn Féin an acceptable negotiating partner for other parties.

Since 1970, Sinn Féin has published its own magazine, An Phoblacht , which initially appears monthly and now (2010) weekly.

However, the party only achieved major electoral successes and thus political power after the hunger strike of prisoner IRA members in 1980/81 for the Sinn Féin lower house candidate Bobby Sands . The election campaign for him and his death a few weeks after the election made the party very popular.

On January 28, 2007, at a special party conference in Dublin, the Sinn Féin recognized the Northern Irish police in a historic vote by 2000 delegates . In doing so, it removed an important obstacle to the restoration of a Northern Irish regional government. According to party chairman Gerry Adams , she “created the opportunity to change the political landscape on this island forever”. In return, the British government promised to limit the role of the MI5 secret service in the province.

List of party leaders

In 1923 a significant number of the members became Cumann na nGaedheal
In 1926 de Valera resigned from Sinn Féin and founded Fianna Fáil
  • John J. O'Kelly (Sceilg) (1926-1931)
  • Brian O'Higgins (1931-1933)
  • Ms. Michael O'Flanagan (1933–1935)
  • Cathal Ó Murchadha (1935–1937)
  • Margaret Buckley (1937-1950)
  • Pádraig Mac Lógáin (1950–1953)
  • Tomás Ó Dubhghaill (1953–1954)
  • Pádraig Mac Lógáin (1954–1962)
  • Tomás Mac Giolla (1962-1970)
In 1970, Sinn Féin split into two parties, both of which saw each other as the only legitimate Sinn Féin
  • Sinn Féin (Gardiner Place), more often called the Official Sinn Féin. The party renamed itself to Sinn Féin, the Workers Party (1977), later it was called Workers Party (1982).
  • Sinn Féin (Kevin Street), more commonly called Provisional Sinn Féin. This grand piano is now commonly known as "the" Sinn Féin .
1986 Ó Brádaigh left the party and founded Republican Sinn Féin

Well-known politicians

Election results

Northern Ireland

The election results in the following table are based on Northern Ireland (also for the all-British elections). General elections were carried out consistently by majority voting , elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly from 1998 and elections to the European Parliament by preferential suffrage .

year choice Share of votes Seats
1982 Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland Northern Ireland Assembly 1982 10.1%
1983 United KingdomUnited Kingdom General election 1983 13.4%
1984 EuropeEurope European elections in 1984 13.3%
1987 United KingdomUnited Kingdom General election 1987 11.4%
1989 EuropeEurope European elections 1989 9.0%
1992 United KingdomUnited Kingdom General election 1992 10.0%
1994 EuropeEurope European elections in 1994 9.9%
1997 United KingdomUnited Kingdom General election 1997 16.1%
1998 Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland Northern Ireland Assembly 1998 17.7%
1999 EuropeEurope European elections 1999 17.3%
2001 United KingdomUnited Kingdom General election 2001 21.7%
2003 Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland Northern Ireland Assembly 2003 23.5%
2004 EuropeEurope 2004 European elections 26.3%
2005 United KingdomUnited Kingdom General election 2005 24.3%
2007 Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland Northern Ireland Assembly 2007 26.2%
2009 EuropeEurope European elections 2009 25.8%
2010 United KingdomUnited Kingdom General election 2010 25.5%
2011 Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland Northern Ireland Assembly 2011 26.3%
2014 EuropeEurope European elections 2014 25.5%
2015 United KingdomUnited Kingdom General election 2015 24.5%
2016 Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland Northern Ireland Assembly 2016 24.0%
2017 Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland Northern Ireland Assembly 2017 27.9%
2017 United KingdomUnited Kingdom General election 2017 29.4%
2019 EuropeEurope European elections 2019 22.2%
2019 United KingdomUnited Kingdom General election 2019 22.8%

Republic of Ireland

year choice Share of votes Seats
1982 February IrelandIreland Dáil Éireann 1982 February 1.0%
1984 EuropeEurope European elections in 1984 4.9%
1987 IrelandIreland Dáil Éireann 1987 1.9%
1989 IrelandIreland Dáil Éireann 1989 1.2%
1989 EuropeEurope European elections 1989 2.2%
1992 IrelandIreland Dáil Éireann 1992 1.6%
1994 EuropeEurope European elections in 1994 3.0%
1997 IrelandIreland Dáil Éireann 1997 2.5%
1999 EuropeEurope European elections 1999 6.3%
2002 IrelandIreland Dáil Éireann 2002 6.5%
2004 EuropeEurope 2004 European elections 11.1%
2007 IrelandIreland Dáil Éireann 2007 6.9%
2009 EuropeEurope European elections 2009 11.2%
2011 IrelandIreland Dáil Éireann 2011 9.9%
2014 EuropeEurope European elections 2014 19.5%
2016 IrelandIreland Dáil Éireann 2016 13.8%
2019 EuropeEurope European elections 2019 11.7%
2020 IrelandIreland Dáil Éireann 2020 24.5%

See also


  • T. Ryle Dwyer: Michael Collins. ISBN 3-928300-62-8 (German).
  • Michael Collins : The Path to Freedom. ISBN 1-85635-148-3 , Mercier Press (English).
  • Danny Morrison : From the labyrinth. Writings on the Road to Peace in Northern Ireland. ISBN 3-89771-000-5 .
  • Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling (Hrsg.): Northern Ireland - History, Landscape, Culture & Tours. The workshop, 1996, ISBN 3-89533-177-5 .
  • Pit Wuhrer: The drums from Drumcree. Northern Ireland on the Edge of Peace, Rotpunktverlag, 2000 ISBN 3-85869-209-3 .
  • Brian Feeney: Sinn Féin - A hundred turbulent years. The O'Brien Press Ltd. Dublin, 2002 ISBN 0-86278-770-X .
  • William O'Reilly, Andrea Penz: Freedom and independence as imperative postulates. National movements in Ireland and Hungary in comparison 1780–1870. Graz University Press , 2006 ISBN 3-7011-0061-6 .
  • Dominic Vogel: Between Terrorism and Politics - Sinn Féin in Transition. Deutscher Hochschulverlag, 2009, ISBN 3-8366-7576-5 .

Web links

Commons : Sinn Féin  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Sinn Féin: Towards an Agreed and Reconciled Future. Sinn Féin Policy on Reconciliation and Healing - June 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  2. ^ The Independent: McGuinness and Adams on IRA army council, says Dublin. February 21, 2005.
  3. ^ SF stripped of Commons allowances . March 10, 2005. Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved on March 7, 2011.
  4. archive: Sinn Fein recognizes the Northern Irish police. January 28, 2007.
  5. Nicholas Whyte: Who Won What When and Where? In: January 1, 2015, accessed March 8, 2015 .
  6. ^ Martin Melaugh, Fionnuala McKenna: Results of Elections Held in Northern Ireland Since 1968. In: February 9, 2014, accessed March 8, 2015 .
  7. ^ European Election: Northern Ireland Result. BBC News, June 14, 2004, accessed March 8, 2015 .
  8. European election 2009. BBC News, June 8, 2009, accessed March 8, 2015 .
  9. Vote 2014: Northern Ireland European election result. BBC News, May 27, 2014, accessed March 8, 2015 .