Updated: 23/01/17 : 06:21:50
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editorial

Michelle marked absent in O-U-R health crisis

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor

JANUARY 2017 we were convulsed with a health crisis here in Ireland.

Well no, the Minister for Health in the (other) Cabinet, just up the road, didn't quite speak in such apocalyptic terms.

Interestingly, for a Sinn Fein minister Michelle O'Neill said little at all by way of policy or by way of a meaningful helping hand to us during our crisis.

'Our' crisis? Meaning us southerners, the little Irelanders. 

Michelle O'Neill had plenty to say otherwise all through the month of January. 

Much of was about the event(s) which ended the power sharing coalition at Stormont.

Helping Hand

She even took a different view than her party leader Gerry Adams on whether there should be a full public inquiry on the main item. 

O'Neill won that debate hands down and got her way...even as Shinners were on BBC Ulster saying an inquiry was not quite needed.

So far, so good for O'Neill. But -- always a but -- Sinn Fein is the only party which contests elections in the 32 counties of Ireland. So,.....

So, what was her policy initiative and where was Minister O'Neill's helping hand when we had a full blown health crisis on our hands down south, 'the Republic.'

In contrast, there is little doubt -- in fact NO doubt -- that the Shinners want the south establishment to enjoin it in a common platform on 'Brexit.'

In theory, 'Brexit' offers the prospect of a whole new lifeblood to the long-dead 'pan nationalist front.'

Is that a good thing? Even if it is, could the Shinners be trusted to be 'good TEAM players' in such a joint enterprise, huh?

Broaden Appeal

The dovetailed approach on 'Brexit' could happen, although I'd not be seeking odds on it from Paddy Power any time soon.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein continues to broaden its appeal to women in a world of Irish politics (still) dominated by men.

Look at its Euro line-up, look at its best performing new TDs and look at its leadership(s).