Sinn Féin has again flip-flopped, this time on the issue of vaccine passports, once again proving themselves to be the least effective opposition in Irish history.
If you cast your mind back to a few months ago, when the vaccine passport law was originally introduced, there were significant protests outside the Convention Centre where the Dáil was sitting, with thousands of people taking to the streets to oppose the proposed move.
Thousands of protesters assembled outside the Convention Centre in Dublin to say #NoVaccinePassports and oppose the Dáil bill on the subject. Chants of "Freedom!" and "Shame on you!" could be heard throughout. People say #EnoughIsEnough. pic.twitter.com/oSRyLpY6pU
— Ben Scallan 🇮🇪 (@Ben_Scallan) July 14, 2021
Around this time, when public sentiment was largely against the certs, Sinn Féin, who have never failed to jump on a bandwagon, made sure to make a big show of their opposition to vaccine certs, dubbing them “discriminatory.”
Taoiseach hits back after Sinn Féin leader brands indoor hospitality plans ‘discriminatory’ https://t.co/7Lw3jTeHY4
— Independent.ie (@Independent_ie) July 13, 2021
At the time Mary Lou McDonald said:
“What we need is a plan to include everyone, not a plan to exclude some. That is fundamentally wrong and flawed, and it’s wrong to force it through in this rushed manner.”
Notably, they even voted against it in the Dáil, which was a significant and welcome change from their previous behaviour: abstaining on every essential piece of legislation, including a Seanad vote on extending Covid powers.
Sinn Féin consistently demanded stricter measures from the start.
Now they complain about extensions, but abstained from voting in the Seanad.
Then, in the Dáil, only 32 of their 37 TDs voted, allowing it to pass by 5 votes.
They are the definition of controlled opposition. pic.twitter.com/3pLT43FYtx
— JRD (@JRD0000) June 2, 2021
Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson David Cullinane even bragged in the Dáil about how “remarkably supportive” his party had been to the government on lockdown.
David Cullinane, Sinn Féin, boasting about how remarkable the opposition parties in the Dáil have been in not opposing the oppressive measures introduced by the government throughout the course of the response to covid. #EnoughisEnough #Covid19Ireland pic.twitter.com/u6aMFhypvH
— JRD (@JRD0000) May 26, 2021
So, by opposing the vaccine passport law, it finally seemed like Sinn Féin was doing their job as the opposition – that is, actually opposing bad government policy.
That is, until yesterday.
Cullinane, while speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland to presenter Mary Wilson (timestamp: 50:20), expressed the view that vaccine passports “have to be enforced” going forward.
“The use of the Covid certs,” said interviewer Wilson.
“Do you think there is a need for…rigorous enforcement of those certs?”
Cullinane replied: “Well, obviously, if the Covid certs are in place, they have to be enforced. And what we have to do is make sure that we can get the re-openings that we want.”
“There seems to be flexibility in the public health advice, which I welcome. So obviously if there are additional infection control measures needed, the government needs to heed that.”
So, to recap, Sinn Féin’s view of vaccine passports is:
A) They are “discriminatory”
B) They’re “fundamentally wrong and flawed”
C) They were “rushed” through the Dáil
And last but not least:
D) Ah sure look, we have them now, so they need to be “rigorously enforced”
Absolute geniuses, our politicians are. Yet another u-turn from a party which can’t seem to decide its position on anything.
Apparently voting for “The Party of Change” involves getting exactly what the current government offers, only with less consistency and clarity (if that’s even possible). At this point I just want to know when they’re going to drop this whole “enemies” act and just start openly holding hands in the Dáil chamber.