Close
Close

Daniel Finn

Daniel Finn is features editor for Jacobin and the author of One Man’s Terrorist: A Political History of the IRA.

From The Blog
10 February 2020

Nobody expected this outcome, least of all Sinn Féin. The party leadership thought they’d struggle to hold onto some of the seats they won in 2016. Last year’s local and European elections saw Sinn Féin lose two of its three MEPs and nearly half of its councillors. Because of its defensive strategy, which seemed prudent when the election was called, the party won’t have a seat share that matches its vote: the Irish electoral system has multi-seat constituencies, and in many places Sinn Féin could have taken a second seat if it had run more than one candidate. They won’t make that mistake again.

‘The BBC’s Irish Troubles’

Daniel Finn, 18 May 2016

The​ Conservative politician Airey Neave was a man whose life touched many bases. A Second World War veteran who became a close friend and ally of Margaret Thatcher, he was killed by Irish republicans when a bomb attached to his car exploded as he left the underground car park at the Palace of Westminster. Speaking to the Media Society in 1977, Neave had pitched his idea for a...

Diary: Ireland’s Election

Daniel Finn, 17 March 2011

Four years ago, when Fianna Fáil was returned for a third consecutive stint in office, electoral pundits could barely find enough superlatives for the role played by Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen in the party’s triumph. Ahern, they said, was a ‘political tsunami’, and Cowen, if anything, even more formidable. This time around, neither Ahern nor Cowen was standing,...

The Official IRA

Daniel Finn, 7 October 2010

In May 1977, Ian Paisley was in a television studio in Belfast when he bumped into Malachy McGurran, a leader of the Official IRA in Northern Ireland. At that time, Paisley was attempting to orchestrate a repeat of the loyalist workers’ strike that had defeated the Sunningdale power-sharing agreement three years earlier. Paisley was demanding a return to unfettered Orange rule and...

In Belfast

Daniel Finn, 27 August 2009

‘Get out of our Queen’s country before our bonfire night and parade day, other than that your building will be blown up.’ The message was sent to Muslim, Polish and Indian community centres in Belfast at the start of July. Having driven more than a hundred Romanians from the Queen’s country the previous month, Belfast’s Aryan fraternity must have felt they were...

Short Cuts: Tax Havens

Daniel Finn, 9 July 2009

There was an awfully genteel protest organised by the Tax Justice Network in Jersey earlier this year. The TJN had joined up with a group of Jersey campaigners who would like the island to wean itself off its dependence on the more creative aspects of modern finance. Christian Aid have estimated that Southern countries lose at least $160 billion every year in unpaid taxes as a result of dodgy...

Diary: IRA Splinter Groups

Daniel Finn, 30 April 2009

It’s difficult to fathom the enthusiasm for armed struggle among hardline Republicans: if the British establishment wasn’t prepared to withdraw in 1972, when the Provos killed a hundred soldiers and wounded more than five hundred, why would they capitulate now to groups incapable of fighting a war at that pitch?

After Ahern

Daniel Finn, 31 July 2008

Bertie Ahern’s evidence soon took a melancholy turn when he appeared before the Mahon Tribunal of Inquiry into Certain Planning Matters and Payments after resigning as Ireland’s taoiseach. ‘I was out working, out doing my job as a political leader of this country, working my butt off,’ he said. ‘Not trying to make other than my own income and the few sums of...

From The Blog
12 June 2017

As Britain woke on Friday morning to discover that Theresa May had flushed her Commons majority down the drain, people found themselves having to learn about an unfamiliar party on which May (or her successor) would be relying to get anything done. The titles of the hastily commissioned primers – ‘So, Who Are The DUP?’; ‘Who are the Democratic Unionists and what do they want?’ – told their own story. The Democratic Unionist Party is Northern Ireland’s largest political force and was until recently the principal coalition partner in one of the UK’s devolved governments. But most of the time, what happens in Belfast or Derry is deemed irrelevant to political life on the other side of the Irish Sea.

From The Blog
3 March 2016

When Michael Noonan, the finance minister in Ireland’s outgoing Fine Gael-Labour coalition, said that ‘party allegiances are reverting back to what was the norm over the years,’ he might as well have been clicking his heels together and murmuring ‘there’s no place like home.’ The 2016 general election marked another stage in the disruption of the old political order, leaving Irish politics more fragmented and unpredictable than ever before.

From The Blog
4 June 2014

It was meant to be the day on which normal service was resumed. Having followed the path of economic virtue mapped out by Draghi, Merkel and the IMF, Ireland’s governing parties would reap the rewards at the ballot box. Failing that, a strong performance by Fianna Fáil would show that the inherent conservatism of the Irish people had reasserted itself, as they lurched from one centre-right party to another and back again.

From The Blog
29 October 2013

Irish politicians have spent the last few years telling anyone who cares to listen that ‘Ireland is not Greece,' but in some respects the country appears only too keen to imitate its fellow PIG. As soon as the news about 'Maria' made international headlines, concerned citizens were on the look-out for blonde-haired children living with Roma families; two children who matched the profile were taken into care by police in Dublin and Athlone before you could say ‘witch-hunt’.

From The Blog
31 October 2011

Never let it be said that Irish republicans are slow to jump onto a passing bandwagon. As the Occupy protests spread from city to city, the Real IRA issued a statement claiming credit for two bomb attacks on Northern Irish banks. Santander branches in Newry and Derry City were targeted over the summer. According to the group’s leadership, 'such attacks are an integral part of our strategy of targeting the financial infrastructure that supports the British government’s capitalist colonial system in Ireland,' and would 'send out the message that while the Irish national and class struggles are distinct, they are not separate.'

From The Blog
22 June 2011

Barcelona was an incongruous setting for Pulp’s return last month, the first of a batch of summer gigs after a decade’s hiatus. The Sheffield group belong so firmly in the tradition of Grim Up North social realism that it’s hard to square their pasty, charity-shop image with the Mediterranean backdrop of the Primavera Festival. But Jarvis Cocker showed no signs of awkwardness, and the Primavera crowd of mostly twentysomething indie fans might as well have been designed for the band.

From The Blog
20 May 2011

For a country that appears to show no great regard for highbrows, Ireland has had its fair share of intellectuals in government office, from Justin Keating and Conor Cruise O’Brien in the 1970s to Michael D. Higgins and Martin Mansergh more recently. Yet none rose as far as Garret FitzGerald, the two-term taoiseach who died yesterday. FitzGerald began his career as an academic economist before entering the Dáil and assuming leadership of Fine Gael, and never quite lost his donnish air.

From The Blog
1 November 2010

In his History of Contemporary Italy 1943-80, Paul Ginsborg quotes an American officer based in the peninsula after the war who found the skewed priorities of the natives rather disturbing: ‘The Italians can tell you the names of the ministers in the government but not the names of the favourite products of the celebrities of their country. In addition, the walls of the Italian cities are plastered more with political slogans than with commercial ones.’ In contemporary Bolivia the ratio of political slogans to commercial ones is at least ten to one, and that’s being generous to the ad hoardings.

From The Blog
24 August 2009

When the Swedish furniture giant IKEA decided to build one of its cavernous stores in Dublin, Ireland’s property boom was at its extravagant peak. By the time of the grand opening at Ballymun on 27 July – there was a log-cutting ceremony – thousands of unsold apartments stood empty within a few miles of the place. Yet the slump hasn’t put a stop to IKEA’s gallop. On the first morning of business, a few hundred people turned up before it opened, hoping to be the first to get their hands on the self-assembly bookshelves. So far, on average, 15,000 people have crossed its threshold every day. The canteen served 137,000 Scandinavian meatballs in one week.

From The Blog
10 June 2009

There seems to be one clear message from last Friday's voting in Ireland: people liked their Celtic Tiger, and now that it's gone, they want somebody to pay. Elections for the European Parliament were held alongside local council polls, and there were a couple of Dublin by-elections thrown in for good measure, so the opportunities to stick it to the ruling coalition were delightfully varied. Fianna Fáil had an awful day, their worst since the 1920s. They were overtaken by Fine Gael on a national scale, but the details of the defeat must have made it particularly galling for Ireland's one-time vote-harvesting machine.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences