Terry Prone: Sinn Féin became boring and predictable, and voters responded accordingly

Sinn Féin spent far too much effort pleasing its core supporters via social media — when it's the floating voters that all political parties need to get them over the line.

10th Jun 2024
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One of the election leaflets in my postbox last week, from a long-term councillor, offered four pages worth of the achievements of my local county council, none of which scratched me where I itch.

I itch over the beautiful place on Dublin’s extreme northside where I live being defaced by visually assaultive structures.

Within one small area at Portrane beach sit three such atrocities. The first consists of huge concrete pipe sections allegedly designed to prevent the beach sand from disappearing. Great objective. Pity about their ugliness which is so atrocious, it would make you want to avoid that particular beach, with or without sand.

Not 20 metres away is a Rehab line-up of garish tanks for the disposal of clothing, bottles, and cans.

I would modestly suggest that these tanks, ubiquitous throughout the country, are so spectacularly ugly that no local authority should permit them to exist, and yet they are a given, everywhere, surrounded by bags of detritus dumped in front of them because they’re always stuffed to the orifice.

They testify to lowered expectations.

Two hundred years ago, we expected public utilities like drinking water pumps to be elegant and pleasing. It’s been ugliness all the way down since.

The third edifice destroying the spectacular beauty of this particular view is a four-throne toilet in a navy shed.

Now, to be fair, public toilets have, for almost a century, been out on their own as examples of vile architecture, but this set surpasses the bad norm, and also seems to have faulty doors, so you get, for free, a clear view of one actual toilet as you pass. If any decent public servant had a look at it, they could not but be ashamed.

Now, because no candidate came near my domicile during the campaign, I had no chance to tell them that if they promised a pilot public improvement plan affecting loos, orange one-eyed recycling tanks, and abandoned concrete pipes, they’d have my vote.

Not too much to ask for, right?

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