Despite the relentless focus on state failures in a bid to justify the terrorism of the Troubles, Sinn Fein’s historical association with the IRA probably explains why the party did not make the advances it had been anticipating last week.
Its vote soared on 2011, from 10% to 14%.
But the party was well short of the 20% it had been getting in some of the pre-election polls.
Given that fringe or protest parties are doing well in the angry environment that is apparent across the western world, Sinn Fein could well have polled much better.
Interventions from people such as Austin Stack, whose prison officer father Brian was murdered by the IRA, are still doing the party damage in the Republic.