Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Friday 31 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Niall Carson Gerry Adams
# abstentionism
Adams hits back at 'hurler on the ditch' Martin over Sinn Féin abstentionism
“Sinn Féin stand in British general elections on an abstentionist platform. This is not a new policy.”

SINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams has hit out at his Fianna Fáil counterpart Micheal Martin over the party’s Westminster abstentionism.

After taking seven seats in the UK elections, Sinn Féin MPs will not take their seats in Westminster, continuing the party’s policy of not taking an oath of allegiance to the British monarch.

However, with the DUP now holding the balance of power, Martin said that stance was letting the Northern Irish electorate down.

According to, Martin accused the party of “refusing to take part”.

“It shows a party that is just focused on the election and on count day. But beyond count day they are not taking part in governance.”

“It is illogical.”

But Adams has hit back at those comments, saying that Martin should instead focus on Fianna Fáil’s presence in the North.

Brexit PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Adams described Martin as “a champion hurler on the ditch” and he called on the Fianna Fáil leader to end his party’s “abstentionism from the North of Ireland.”

What kind of self-respecting Irish republican would ask anyone to ignore their electoral mandate and swear loyalty to the English Queen or legitimise the British Parliament’s role in Ireland?

“When it comes to the North, the Fianna Fail leader is a champion hurler on the ditch. If they gave out all-Ireland medals for making zero effort on matters of importance to northern citizens, Micheál Martin would be an All Star every year.

Sinn Féin stand in British general elections on an abstentionist platform. This is not a new policy. This position was once again resoundingly endorsed by the electorate on Thursday. The citizens of the North who voted for Sinn Féin had a choice of candidates. They supported Sinn Féin. By so doing they turned their backs on Westminster entirely.

The DUP’s ten seats will be enough to give Theresa May a wafer-thin majority in the House of Commons. The two sides will discuss a deal early next week.

Read: ‘I was clearly wrong’: How Jeremy Corbyn confounded expectations in the UK’s election

Read: May to hold cabinet meeting as she tries to overcome election backfire

Your Voice
Readers Comments