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Mary Lou McDonald: 'Sinn Féin aren't crybabies, today is the Greens' day'

McDonald said she is disappointed with her party’s results.

SINN FÉIN LEADER Mary Lou McDonald has said her party will dust themselves off after today’s local election results. 

“Sinn Féin aren’t crybabies. We will dust ourselves down and get back at it because that is what political activism is all about,” said the party leader. 

Speaking to reporters at the RDS this afternoon, she said five years ago there was a Sinn Féin surge where they won 100 extra council seats.

“Of course in this campaign our objective was to hold each and every one of those 100 seats,” she said.

“That is not going to be the case. Today is the Greens’ day. They have surged on this occasion and more power to them. 

“It would be churlish not to acknowledge them and wish them well,” said McDonald.

McDonald said she never played the numbers game “because I knew when you are working from a very high base, following a huge surge five years ago, that the challenge is, in the first instance, to hold what you have”.

“I am disappointed for our people who ran and who served for the last five years and who I know wanted to continue that service for the community,” she added. 

“Some days the day is yours and tide is in and some days things are more challenging,” the Sinn Féin leader added.

McDonald said there are a number of factors why Sinn Féin party lost some seats, stating that the “huge surge to the Greens” is one of those reasons.

“There were many candidates that shared the broad politics that we represent, they performed well and fair play to them, I don’t begrudge any of them or any of the support they won,” she added.

When asked if today’s result will raise questions about her leadership, she said:

Leaders are charged with leadership come what may. So it is easy to lead and be a political activist when things go your way and the surge is on.

A significant majority of voters – 65% – polled in the RTE/TG4 exit poll said they would vote in favour of a united Ireland if a referendum was held tomorrow.

McDonald said she found the result very interesting and urged government to pay heed to the majority. 

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