Looking at today's election result, one thing is clear. While the parties of the left have generally had a good day, SF are likely to lose their only MEP in this country and will be very lucky to hold the council seats that they won five years ago. This comes at a time when the electorate is looking for any alternative to FF. The very gradual decline seen in the 2007 election now continues and it's hard to see SF ever regaining the momentum that they had up to five years ago.
Is the party tainted for the Republic's electorate by the SF leadership's role in the IRA terrorist campaign, that sullied the name of Ireland for decades? Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, the party is likely to top a poll for the first time (thanks in no small part to Unionist apathy). Has the time come for SF to do the unthinkable, and split into two parties? One that can go in Northern Ireland, where the electorate is a lot less squeamish and one that can find a leadership, born and raised in the Republic, with no blood on their hands?