In the past, liberal commentators superficially asserted that Ireland had escaped the political turbulence that has rocked the rest of Europe. But no longer. Now Ireland had caught up with a bang.
With Sinn Fein coming out on top, the election results are a political earthquake that has shaken the Irish ruling class. Sinn Fein's victory was achieved on the basis of a programme of left-wing, class-based demands, which found an echo amongst workers and youth, who are tired of sky-high rents and crumbling public services.
At the same time, Sinn Fein's rise now puts the question of a border boll and Irish reunification firmly back on the agenda. A new period of instability and intense class struggle now lies ahead in Ireland - one in which the masses will rediscover the revolutionary traditions of James Connolly and socialist Republicanism.