Sinn Fein Celebrates Historic Election Win in Northern Ireland
Northern Island is a part of the United Kingdom, and it has been politically separated from the rest of Ireland for over 100 years. But, that may soon change, as the Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein, which seeks the unification of the island of Ireland, has won the largest number of seats in Northern Ireland’s Assembly for the first time, giving it a powerful majority. After the votes were counted, Sinn Fein was awarded 27 of the Assembly’s 90 seats. The Democratic Unionist Party lost control of the Assembly for the first time in two decades, capturing only 24 seats. This means that Sinn Fein, will be able to place its own candidate as first minister in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.
Sinn Fein has historically been known as the political arm of the Irish Republican Army, one of the main participants in the violent political period known as “the Troubles.” However, Sinn Fein’s representatives have strongly advocated unity and cooperation. “Today ushers in a new era,” Sinn Fein’s Vice President Michelle O’Neill said in a statement. “Irrespective of religious, political, or social backgrounds, my commitment is to make politics work,” she said.
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1. How long has Northern Island been politically separated from the rest of Ireland?
2. What does Sinn Fein wish to accomplish?
3. How did the Democratic Unionist Party lose control of the Assembly?
1. What are some of the problems that would arise from unification of Ireland?
2. What are some of the benefits that would arise from unification of Ireland?
3. Do you wish to see unification in other parts of the world? Where? And why?
4. Following question 3, what are some changes that would arise from the unification of the chosen country?