Support for referendums hurt Sinn Féin in local elections, members say

Sinn Fein’s backing of the family and care referendums and Mary Lou McDonald’s promise to hold them again, if they failed, hurt the party in the local elections, members have said.

A front-bench Sinn Fein TD said the referendums came up on the doors: “People were saying ‘what were you at voting for that?’”

A Councillor, PJ Carey, said the party leader’s promise came up on the doors more than immigration. Ms McDonald later backtracked after the referendums resoundingly failed.

“[The public on the doors] were annoyed, they told me they would not vote for Sinn Féin because of it,” said Cllr Carey.

“I would say it was a mistake to suggest running a referendum again if you didn’t get the favoured result. I wouldn’t see any great sense in that. Maybe we are seen now as a mainstream party as opposed to the opposition.

“Maybe some felt a bit of resentment or anger over that.”