Ireland is the first country in the European Union in which the euro financial crisis has forced new elections.
Gerry Adams and his Northern Irish party Sinn Fein are gaining ground in the Republic of Ireland.
The governing Fianna Fail has been sharply criticized for the economic downturn on the Emerald Isle. Smaller parties such as the eurosceptic Sinn Fein are gaining ground as a result. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen called new elections in the wake of criticism of his leadership in the crisis. His party is accused of single-mindedly focussing on the financial and property sectors. Since the financial crisis began, public debt in Ireland has ballooned. Many normal families now fear they will slide into poverty.