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'Enda uses Sinn Féin's ideas as something to beat us with'

Jonathan O’Brien doesn’t care though.

SINN FÉIN HAS made serious gains in recent years, now consistently polling (opinion-wise, at least) on a par with the biggest party in the country, Fine Gael.

Despite their surge in support, Jonathan O’Brien said the government “criticise everything” Sinn Féin proposes and use their ideas as “something to beat us with”.

By doing so, he said Fine Gael and Labour are “doing a disservice to politics in general”, but here he explains why he’s “not bothered” by it:

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

O’Brien is the party’s education spokesperson and said special needs education is an area he’s particularly interested in, noting he wants to see more aspects of the Epsen Act implemented.

He said he’s in favour of junior cycle reform, but not in the way Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan is proposing.

O’Brien thinks exams need to be graded externally so the results are “transparent” and “above reproach”.

As for O’Sullivan’s suggestion that a 10% cap be placed on school places reserved for the children of past pupils, he thinks this figure should be 0% – as recommended by the education committee.

He is in favour of places being allocated to children whose siblings already attend a certain school, however.

Gerry Adams

We also asked O’Brien if he and others sometimes feel overshadowed by some of the bigger personalities in Sinn Féin such as Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty.

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Sinn Fein Gay Marriage Equality Referendums Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Check out what he has to say about leadership within the party, and if he one day sees himself in Gerry Adams’ shoes.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

More from our High Table Interview with O’Brien:

‘I lost the rag to make Joan Burton wake up’

Originally published: 6.08am

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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