Dail takes note of the nature of Sinn Fein’s bargain basement ‘win’ in the #EUReferendum…

It’s a bit of a red letter day when Slugger gets read into the record of any of our legislatures. So far we’ve made it into the Seanad, and the House of Lords, now we’re in the official record of the proceedings in Dáil Éireann. This snippet (and it’s exchanges) is worth sharing:

Deputy Brendan Howlin: The people of Northern Ireland voted to remain part of the European Union. The largest nationalist party in Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin, failed to register for the Brexit campaign with the United Kingdom Electoral Commission. According to Mick Fealty registering with the Electoral Commission allows a party or an individual to become a registered campaigner and to spend more than £10,000 on referendum campaigning during the election period. That the largest nationalist party in Northern Ireland decided it did not want to spend more than £10,000 on the campaign indicates that it did not take the campaign seriously. It was taken for granted.

Deputy Gerry AdamsWe won the campaign.

Deputy Dessie EllisWe won it.

Deputy Maurice QuinlivanWhat campaign did the Labour Party run?

Deputy Brendan HowlinI have looked at the register. Every political entity, including all the tiny parties all over the United Kingdom, registered because they wanted to spend more than £10,000 on their campaigns because this was such an important issue. It is remarkable that Sinn Féin did not do that. Registration not only allowed parties to spend money, it allowed them access to polling stations and so on.

The net effect of Sinn Fein’s bargain basement ‘win‘ was to depress turnout: including West Belfast which had the lowest turnout of any constituency in the UK. For the DUP (who did actually win) it was a very different matter, regarding which more later this morning.

Discover more from Slugger O'Toole

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

We are reader supported. Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger. While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.