Letter: Sinn Fein shuns Commons seats

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The Independent Online
Sinn Fein shuns Commons seats

Sir: Messrs Adams and McGuinness (letters, 16, 19 May) were elected to the Commons on the understanding by their supporters that they would not be taking their seats, in accordance with the "republican" article of faith known as abstentionism, which for many years was applied both to the Dublin Dail and Westminster. Sinn Fein regarded both parliaments as illegitimate institutions and for over 60 years did not take up the (few) seats won in the Dail

There was no question of swearing allegiance to the Crown in the Dail and it is clearly wrong to base the Westminster argument purely on that aspect of the process of becoming an MP. Would they have taken the seats if the UK was a republic? No.

DAVID WILLIAMS

Solihull, West Midlands

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