Provisional Sinn Fein accept Leinster House - 2 Nov 1986
Sixteen years ago, on 2nd November 1986, a group led by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness voted to recognise the legitimacy of the Leinster House. Abstentionism ended for Provisional Sinn Fein. Those who stood with the ideals of Sinn Fein sided with Daithi O Conaill and Ruairi O Bradaigh and walked out of the 1986 Ard Fheis. About 100 major Provisional supporters walked out right along with those men.
This was a path started that has led to sitting in Stormont and the acceptance of the GFA. This is something projected following the Anglo Irish Agreement of only a year prior to this decision to drop a long standing Republican principle. Concession after concession has put hundreds of Republican weapons in concrete and not put Ireland a step closer to being united. There are still great divisions amongst the people of the Six Counties and this is not going to change any time soon.
The next step is for Sinn Fein to join the policing board, followed by sitting in Westminster. A long line of principle breaking decisions that have not gained a significant thing. There is no power-sharing, there is nothing that can be considered a step closer to a United Ireland. It's all been for shite.