Sinn Fein ‘determined’ to move forward after poor performance in elections

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald has said the party is “determined” to move forward in a positive way following its poor performance at the recent elections.

The party’s national body – Ard Chomhairle – met in Dublin on Saturday to discuss the outcome of the European and local elections.

Senior party members from across the Republic and Northern Ireland spoke about the impact of the disastrous result.

The party suffered a huge number of casualties including two of its three European seats after Lynn Boylan and Liadh Ni Riada failed to get re-elected.

The party also lost almost half of its council seats across Ireland.

Speaking before the meeting, which was closed to the pubic and media, Ms McDonald said it will reflect about the election result.

“It’s very clear that we have a job to do, that we have to set out alternatives in terms of those very big issues that affect people’s lives,” she said.

“Whether it’s housing or health, whether it’s the cost of living, we are very determined to move forward in a very positive way to represent working people and families right across the land.

“Obviously the election was a very difficult election for us.

“But notwithstanding that we are still a very considerable political force right across the island and we know we have a responsibility to use that strength in a positive way, to present alternatives and make it clear to people that all the big dilemmas that beset Irish society have solutions and answers.

“We in Sinn Fein want to be part of bringing that about.

“The reality is that politics will always be full of challenges and for this political party we have a set of policies, of options, of solutions to offer the Irish people.

“I think we simply come back by setting that out in a positive way, by setting out solutions and answers to people and to communities who at this stage might not believe that there is actually an answer to the housing crisis.

“We know that’s not true and we have a responsibility and we have an important job to do to offer leadership and alternatives and to offer direction during a time of great challenge for many people and families.”