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09th Jun 2024

Sinn Féin leader admits it ‘hasn’t been our day’ but has no plans to step down

Simon Kelly

Sinn Féin leader disappointment

“I will step up. I will learn, I will listen.”

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou Mcdonald has admitted that it “hasn’t been our day” as her party saw disappointment at the local elections, but has no plans to step down.

Speaking to the media on Sunday afternoon, the opposition party leader thanked voters and her candidates – a record number of 335 – across Ireland.

“Obviously we are disappointed that we didn’t manage to get more of them elected,” she said. “We have made some gains, they are modest, but they are there.

Sinn Féin is set to finish with more councillors than in 2019, however the gains are substantially fewer than what the party expected.

Mary Lou McDonald admits it ‘hasn’t been our day’ but has no plans to step down as Sinn Féin leader

“It hasn’t been our day,” said Ms McDonald at the RDS counting centre.

“Clearly frustrations, anger indeed, with government policy on this occasion has translated into votes for independents and others.”

She went on to say that her party “have a job to do” and must “take time to reflect” after the campaign.

When asked whether she would consider stepping down from her role as Sinn Féin leader, Ms McDonald said: “I will lead this reflection and this process.

“You know when the going gets tough, that’s the point at which leaders step forward, they don’t step down.”

“I will step up. I will learn, I will listen. We will regroup, we will be back better and stronger than ever and I look forward to the general election.”

During the general election in 2020, Sinn Féin were criticised for not running enough candidates and missing out on votes in some constituencies.

However, it seems that this time around, the opposite is true, and the party ran too many, splitting the vote in some constituencies where three or four candidates ran.

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