Sean Mallory argues that the Croppies are lying down no more.
Across the election hall and in the Green room celebrations continued unabated throughout the weekend as shock at such a victory and its extent continued to astonish even the most long term ardent party supporter.
Adams, recalled by himself from Co Louth to lead SF's campaign from behind Ms O’Neill, pulled strings here and there when the need arose. The old maestro was back and he was dancing! Continually nurtured by Unionist bigotry and stupidity and lying dormant for years, the Croppy awoke.
Weary and wary of the political stagnation offered up by Stormont, and the self-belief that they were incapable of affecting change, the Croppy, having witnessed such Unionist arrogance and bigotry many, many times before, and having watched their elected leaders cower and acquiesce to their feudal Unionist lords suddenly awoke and decided enough was enough. Out they came to vote and by God, vote they did!
McGuinness having selected O’Neill as his replacement north of the British border and having also hinted at Adams’ pending replacement by Mary Lou McDonald South of the British border needed to assess the astuteness of his final decision in selecting O’Neill .... especially before Adams should agree to the same with Mary Lou.
Realising that the grass roots were in revolt and much to their delight, he pulled the plug on Stormont and set in motion a process that consumed one leader, turned another persona non grata and allayed his own fears in selecting O’Neill. Shortly after the results, Mary Lou began writing her acceptance speech!