There is the realisation that the party despite its obvious progress over recent years still has an ugly taint of the past to overcome. Allegations of past involvement in murders, rapes and disappearances have
hounded the party over the recent years and this makes it difficult to emerge into a modern political
entity accepted by almost all as a legitimate political party. It also anchors the parties reputation as a
‘northern party’ which makes it difficult to fight on an all Ireland agenda. One of the difficulties was
having the controversial figure of Gerry Adams as President. Adams was regarded with obvious respect
by the party but was ‘tainted by the past’ by many of the Irish population and this was recognised.
Mary Lou McDonald as leader therefore has a number of key attributes which could transform Sinn Fein.
Mr John Wishart -