Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin

Nationalist political party in Ireland. It was founded by Arthur Griffith and others in 1902, and its policy involved passive resistance to the British, withholding of taxes, and establishing an Irish ruling council. The party had little impact until after the Easter Rising (1916), when the demand of its leader Eamon de Valera for a united, republican Ireland won the party 73 out of 105 seats in the 1918 election. Its power diminished after 1926, when de Valera founded Fianna Fáil, which absorbed most of Sinn Féin's membership. The party continued as the political arm of the Irish Republican Army, actively supporting Irish unification. Under the leadership of Gerry Adams in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Sinn Féin participated in the peace talks on Northern Ireland and became one of the leading Roman Catholic parties in Northern Ireland. In the 2007 elections, Sinn Féin finished second to the Democratic Unionist Party. Once bitter adversaries, the two parties formed a power-sharing government. Sinn Féin made party history in 2010 when, for the first time, it received the most votes in Northern Ireland in a British general election.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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