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The High Table Interview

Mary Lou McDonald: 'I'm not exactly a shrinking violet'

Watch an extended interview with the Sinn Féin deputy leader at’s offices this week.

Video / YouTube

Camera and editing: Michelle Hennessy/

“AS YOU’VE PROBABLY gathered at this stage, I’m not exactly a shrinking violet,” Mary Lou McDonald says with some degree of understatement.

She’s sitting in‘s offices in Dublin on a Thursday afternoon just a few hours after another entertaining and fiery exchange with Tánaiste Joan Burton in the Dáil.

Their regular Thursday morning exchanges are being dubbed ‘Jousts with Joan’ around Leinster House which can be a bit of a sexist place at times, according to McDonald.

The Sinn Féin deputy leader is one of the most prominent political figures in Ireland right now and this week she took time out of her schedule to chat to us about…

  • Where exactly Sinn Féin stands on water charges 
  • What the party is going to do about its inability to gain sufficient transfers in many elections
  • The latest claims around Gerry Adams’s handling of the case of Maíria Cahill.
  • Which party, if any, Sinn Féin would NOT be prepared to go into coalition with.
  • Why questions about her Fianna Fáil past are “silly”.
  • Whether she’d like to be the first female Taoiseach 
  • And why women are good at politics 

Check out the extended interview above 

Watch more from The High Table Interview series here > 

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