Blinkered vision: Sinn Féin mask slips again

Irish people in America and Americans of Irish descent, many other Americans too, have made many contributions to this island. Some have been very positive, others not so. The negative, dark side of that relationship was represented by Noraid, an organisation that supported terrorism.

Noraid promoted a kind of antediluvian nationalism that seems lost in an age before relationships on this island became tolerant and even trusting so a better future might be built for all. Parity of esteem, apparently, remains anathema to what might be called the Noraid strand of Irish America.

Sinn Féin allowed the balaclava slip again this weekend when party leader — in name anyway — Mary Lou McDonald marched, smiling, behind an anti-English banner in New York’s St Patrick’s Day parade.

Her action was insensitive, stupid, and another indication of the calcified view of Irish society, North and South, Sinn Féin clings to. It also sounds a klaxon for moderate Northerners of all hues who might, post-Brexit, be more open to the idea of voting for a united Ireland. How blinkered, how sad.

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