Predict your next investment

See what CB Insights has to offer

Investments

1

Portfolio Exits

1

About Kevin Cunningham

Kevin Cunningham Headquarter Location

Predict your next investment

The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on venture capital, startups, patents , partnerships and news mentions to help you see tomorrow's opportunities, today.

Latest Kevin Cunningham News

‘Not if, but when’: Sinn Fein is on the path to power in Ireland

Jan 1, 2022

on the path to power in Ireland The party is riding high in several polls and could complete aseismic shift in Irish politics within the next three years By Lisa O’Carroll / The Guardian, Dublin Just 30 years ago, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had bombed Downing Street, launching three mortar bombs at No. 10 while then-British prime minister John Major presided over a Cabinet meeting. Sinn Fein, the political party associated with the IRA for much of the Troubles — a three-decade conflict between Irish paramilitary groups and British state security forces that began in the 1960s — moved into pole position last year to lead the Irish government in what could be the biggest shake-up of the state’s politics since its foundation 100 years ago. Ireland is three years out from the next general election, and a victory for Sinn Fein or any other party is far from assured, but the slow seismic shift in Irish politics has barely merited a mention outside the country despite the change in dynamics it is already creating. Illustration: June HSU “It is not a question of if, it’s when Sinn Fein will be in power,” said one prominent businessman who did not want to be named. Such is Sinn Fein’s transformation south of the border and the continued courting of the middle classes that it is creating tensions over the party identity north of the border. Before Christmas, one of Sinn Fein’s most respected members of the Irish legislature, spokesperson for housing Eoin O Broin, called on former party leader Gerry Adams to apologize for a Christmas sketch, joking about a slogan associated with the IRA. In a bygone era, this subordination would have been a matter of discipline. Commentators have attributed the party’s remarkable growth south of the border partly to the transformational powers of its leader, Mary Lou McDonald, who has no connection with the Troubles era and represents a radical break with the Adams era. However, it is also down to a change in tactics — putting issues such as housing, the economy and health ahead of a united Ireland and — that is seen as extending its appeal beyond the working-class estates that were formerly its stronghold. BREAKING THROUGH Poll after poll is showing Sinn Fein stretching its lead after a breakthrough year to compete with the two parties that have dominated Irish politics for a century. A poll last month said that support for Sinn Fein stands at 35 percent, a seemingly unbridgeable gap for the two main parties of the coalition government — Fianna Fail and Fine Gael — which were at 20 percent apiece. Previous polls have put Sinn Fein at 32 percent and 33 percent. The British Labour Party peer Andrew Adonis, who went to Dublin in October to observe the party at its conference and has written a 3,000-word piece for next month’s issue of Prospect on its rise, said: “You can see a political revolution taking place before your eyes.” “This is going to sound like an amazing thing to say, but it is true: The thirst for power and the discipline behind the leader to win power reminded me of New Labour in the 1990s,” he said. A leading businessman who asked not to be named spoke of how the party was polishing its electability day by day, making pronouncements to remove traces of links to pass darkness and announcing policies deliberately aimed at “detoxifying” Sinn Fein for the middle classes. Notably, the party did not fight the government on low corporate tax, and has said it would only increase taxes for “the top 3 percent.” McDonald told the party faithful gathered for its annual conference that the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed the broken housing system, a dearth of rental accommodation, an inadequate health service and the rising cost of living. Soon after, she flew to the US, where she gave speeches to the National Press Club in Washington and the New York Bar Association on the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland and the potential for the unification of the island of Ireland. The party has also been reaching out to business groups in an effort to improve its standing in corporate circles. A report in Ireland’s Sunday Business Post noted that while McDonald “likes to accuse the government of rolling out the red carpet for vulture funds and institutional investors,” its analysis of the lobbying register revealed that commercial entities that had avoided contact with the party were trying to open channels of communication. Sinn Fein is a secretive and highly disciplined party, with its members rarely out of step with what the leadership commands. The report also said McDonald instructed its members to reach out to businesses, unions and sectoral groups as part of preparations for government. The chance of a Sinn Fein in government in Dublin raises the prospect of the republican party rising to power north and south of the border, something that could change the relationship with the UK dramatically and influence the debate, which is gathering pace south of the border, on the prospect of a united Ireland. Polls show that it has a chance of being the largest party in the May elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly. THE 2020 TURN Its rise in the Republic was first signaled in February 2020, when it won the most first-preference votes in a general election after a surge in support. The results did not translate into power because the party fielded 42 candidates in a race for 159, but “generated momentous shifts within the political landscape,” said Agnes Maillot, a politics lecturer at Dublin City University and author of Rebels in Government, a new book about Sinn Fein. “Until 2020, its progress could be described as a protest vote,” she said. Historian Diarmaid Ferriter said that 2020 marked greater success with middle-class and affluent voters, and the party had evolved by “compromising and adapting.” “This is the party of Gerry Adams’ legacy. In many respects he is the architect of this in the sense that he adapted Sinn Fein for constitutional purposes,” he said. “[Adams] qualified their purist positions at various junctures from the 1980s onwards.” Ferriter said the expediency of Sinn Fein was nothing new. The party used to abstain from politics in Westminster and Dublin, abandoning its stance on the latter in the late 1980s. Another important juncture was the 1998 referendum, removing an article in Ireland’s constitution that claimed sovereignty over 32 counties and paved the way for the Good Friday agreement. “Their acceptance of the existence of Northern Ireland was another juncture as they were accepting the principle of consent. All these compromises made them more palatable,” Ferriter said. Sinn Fein’s future success depends on how it fares in opposition over the next three years, as popular policies on housing and health come under more scrutiny, and the question of its past gets pushed to the fore. Ferriter drew parallels with Fianna Fail in the wake of the civil war and independence in 1921. It was marked as a party “in the shadow of the gunmen,” but “got over that fairly quickly by emphasizing they had impeccable conservative credentials and they weren’t communist and they weren’t godless,” he said. “Sinn Fein will obviously be dealing with the legacies from the Troubles, which crop up every so often, but it doesn’t seem to dent their momentum, which suggests that this change is generational,” he added. Kevin Cunningham, a former targeting and analysis manager for the British Labour Party, and who is a lecturer in politics at Technological University Dublin, sees Sinn Fein’s rise as a function of a nation growing in confidence, and shifting away from the politics of civil war that created the two main parties on the island. “Since around 1980 and the decline in religiosity of Ireland, you see a fairly steady rise in the number of people voting for, or supporting, political parties that identify themselves on the left,” Cunningham said. “Fianna Fail plus the Fine Gael vote stood at around 80 percent all the way up to 1980, and then decade after decade it just steadily declines.” “Other parties existed on the left through those years. The [Social] Democrats and the Labour party, in particular, have been unbelievably weak, but at the same time there has been a subset of the population self-identifying as being on the left, and Sinn Fein is capturing that, and to some extent that is the kind of normalization of politics in Ireland,” he said. “When we ask people why they vote for Sinn Fein the dominant reason is that they want a change from Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Very few people cite anything that the party or its leader is promoting,” Cunningham added. Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

Kevin Cunningham Investments

1 Investments

Kevin Cunningham has made 1 investments. Their latest investment was in Tango Health as part of their Series A on November 11, 2010.

CBI Logo

Kevin Cunningham Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

11/17/2010

Series A

Tango Health

$3M

Yes

Date

11/17/2010

Round

Series A

Company

Tango Health

Amount

$3M

New?

Yes

Co-Investors

Sources

Kevin Cunningham Portfolio Exits

1 Portfolio Exit

Kevin Cunningham has 1 portfolio exit. Their latest portfolio exit was Tango Health on November 17, 2021.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

11/17/2021

Acquired

$99M

1

Date

11/17/2021

Exit

Acquired

Companies

Valuation

$99M

Acquirer

Sources

1

Discover the right solution for your team

The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on vendors, products, partnerships, and patents to help your team find their next technology solution.

Request a demo

CBI websites generally use certain cookies to enable better interactions with our sites and services. Use of these cookies, which may be stored on your device, permits us to improve and customize your experience. You can read more about your cookie choices at our privacy policy here. By continuing to use this site you are consenting to these choices.