Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald (left) and President Michael D Higgins
Anthony Sheridan writes:
Sinn Féin’s decision to field a candidate to challenge the current President has wrecked the cosy arrangement between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour to keep their man in the office. But consider what would have happened if the following scenario had evolved.
Imagine if Sinn Féin had decided to support the conservative centre and then, dramatically, a leading member of the party broke ranks and attempted to force the leadership to change its decision by putting himself forward as an independent candidate.
Here’s exactly what would have happened:
There would have been an immediate wall to wall, seven days a week attack on the party by the establishment media led by the government broadcaster,
RTÉ. Sinn Féin members from Mary Lou McDonald down to local councillors would be relentlessly paraded, harassed and questioned across the establishment media for reactions and explanations.
So here’s my question.
Why is the establishment media completely silent on the dramatic decision by Éamon Ó Cuív to challenge his party’s presidential election strategy by putting himself forward as an independent candidate which, by extension, constitutes a direct and very serious challenge to Michael Martin’s leadership?
Here’s the answer.
The establishment media does not serve the interests of Ireland or its people. Their loyalty lies entirely with the ruling political class made up of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour.
The undemocratic attempt by these three parties to keep their man in the Park received strong and widespread support from the establishment media.
Across radio, television and print the people were arrogantly told that they would not be getting an election, that it would be too expensive, that it would distract from Brexit and sure wasn’t ‘Michael’ doing a great job anyway.
But Sinn Féin’s strategy put a stop to all that patronising, insulting guff.
Now, the establishment media has just one aim – to protect the interests of the corrupt centre of Irish politics by preventing a powerful outside force such as Sinn Féin from occupying what the ruling political class have always considered to be their personal fiefdom in the Phoenix Park.
To that end, the Irish people are about to witness the biggest, most ruthless anti-Sinn Féin propaganda campaign ever mounted by the establishment media.
The campaign will, as always, be led by the cheerleader of the establishment media – the government broadcaster, RTÉ.