Sinn Féin's university challenge
Sinn Féin's progress throughout Ireland is nowhere more evident than in third level institutions, where tremendous growth is evident, especially in the 26 Counties. Republican students have organised new societies or reorganised pre-existing ones, with such success that Sinn Féin is now the strongest political party on Irish campuses.
This growth is most readily apparent at the National University
of Ireland, Galway and the University of Limerick. At NUI Galway, Sinn Féin has become, from modest beginnings just a year ago, the strongest party society on campus. Their work providing intriguing guest speakers and promoting awareness of issues through protests caught the attention of the university students (and the Gardaí as well) and they won the campus award for the best new or improved society. University of Limerick Sinn Féin also won its campus-wide award. Both universities then competed for best improved society at national level. It was the first time that a political party society achieved such a feat and for it to occur twice at the same time is solid proof of the influence of Sinn Féin among students.
Though Sinn Féin is historically the oldest party on the island, it is also the youngest and most vibrant in its ideals. It is this enthusiasm that appeals to university students.
As support for Sinn Féin societies rises, none of them are content to rest upon their laurels. Sinn Féin at third level is providing a growing outlet for the swelling numbers of young people disaffected with corrupt party politics in Ireland and that strength bodes well for the future of the party.