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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 10 August, 2020

Stephen Donnelly is all on his own in the Dáil chamber after quitting the SocDems

Okay, not quite ‘on his own’ – but six degrees of separation away from his former colleagues.

WHEN IT’S OVER, it’s over.

So the old saying goes.

It’s certainly true in Irish politics – as the picture below from today’s Dáil session demonstrates (we apologise in advance for the clumsy Paint job).

soc5 Source: Oireachtas/

Stephen Donnelly, of course, announced on Monday that he had left the Social Democrats, in a shock move.

The SocDems were only formed in July of last year. Though candidates performed better than expected in some constituencies in this year’s general election, the party failed to increase its Dáil representation – returning in spring with the same three TDs.

“It is a fact that some partnerships, in every walk of life, simply don’t work no matter how hard all of the parties to that partnership try to make it succeed,” Donnelly said in his break-up statement.

Speaking later, he refused to rule out joining another party or grouping. Odds released by Paddy Power today put him at 13/8 to join Fianna Fáil by the end of the year, and at 6/1 to join up with any other party.

The journey to a distant bench is one many Irish politicians have had to make before – either when changing parties (former Labour turned FF politician Colm Keaveney, for instance) or parting company with the government (like Donnelly’s colleague in the Social Democrats, Roisin Shortall, who left Labour in 2012).

To further demonstrate how quickly politics can move on, when it’s ‘over’ – the Vine below was taken around 20 seconds after former Fine Gael minister James Reilly was eliminated from the count in Dublin North, during February’s election…

Read: Gerry Adams says Apple tax appeal ‘has as much credibility as a heap of horse manure’ >

Read: Stephen Donnelly won’t rule out joining another party after Soc Dem departure >

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