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Sinn Féin facts for kids

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Sinn Féin
President Mary Lou McDonald
Vice President Michelle O'Neill
Chairperson Declan Kearney
General Secretary Ken O'Connell
Seanad Leader Niall Ó Donnghaile
Founder Arthur Griffith
  • 28 November 1905; 117 years ago (1905-11-28) (original form)
  • 17 January 1970; 53 years ago (1970-01-17) (current form)
Headquarters 44 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, Ireland
Newspaper An Phoblacht
Youth wing Ógra Shinn Féin
LGBT wing Sinn Féin LGBTQ
Overseas wing Friends of Sinn Féin
Ideology Irish republicanism
Democratic socialism

Left-wing nationalism
Political position Centre-left to left-wing
European Parliament group The Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL
Dáil Éireann
36 / 160
Seanad Éireann
4 / 60
Northern Ireland Assembly
27 / 90
House of Commons
(NI seats)
7 / 18
European Parliament (RoI seats)
1 / 13
Local government in the Republic of Ireland
80 / 949
Local government in Northern Ireland
104 / 462

Sinn Féin ( shin-_-fayn, English: "[We] Ourselves") is an Irish republican and democratic socialist political party active throughout both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The original Sinn Féin organisation was founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith. Its members founded the First Dáil and the revolutionary Irish Republic during the Irish War of Independence. The party split in the aftermath of the Irish Civil War, giving rise to the two traditionally dominant parties of Irish politics: Fianna Fáil, and Cumann na nGaedheal (which became Fine Gael). The current Sinn Féin party took shape in 1970 after another split, the other faction eventually becoming the Workers' Party. During the Troubles, Sinn Féin was associated with the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). For most of the conflict, there were broadcasting bans on Sinn Féin in the Irish media and in the British media. Although the party sat on local councils, it had a policy of abstentionism for the British parliament and the Irish parliament Dáil Éireann, standing for election but vowing not to take their seats. When Gerry Adams became party leader in 1983, electoral politics became increasingly important. In 1986 it dropped its abstentionist policy for the Dáil; some members formed Republican Sinn Féin in protest. In the 1990s, Sinn Féin—under the leadership of Adams and Martin McGuinness—was involved in the Northern Ireland peace process. This led to the Good Friday Agreement and created the Northern Ireland Assembly. In 2006 it co-signed the St Andrews Agreement and accepted the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Sinn Féin is the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, having won the largest share of first-preference votes and the most seats in the May 2022 election, the first time an Irish nationalist/republican party has done so. From 2007 to 2022 it was the second-largest party in the Assembly, after the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and its members served as deputy First Minister in the power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive. In the UK House of Commons, Sinn Féin holds seven of Northern Ireland's seats; there, it continues to abstain from parliament. In Dáil Éireann it is the joint-largest party and is the main opposition, having won the largest share of first-preference votes in the February 2020 election.

The current party president is Mary Lou McDonald, who succeeded Gerry Adams in 2018.


The phrase "Sinn Féin" is Irish for "Ourselves" or "We Ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone" (from "Sinn Féin Amháin", an early-20th-century slogan). The name is an assertion of Irish national sovereignty and self-determination, i.e., the Irish people governing themselves, rather than being part of a political union with Great Britain under the Westminster Parliament.

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