4 March 2004 Edition

Governments still indulging unionist intransigence

4 March 2004

At last year's Ard Fheis the debate on the Peace Process centred on delegates' frustration at the lack of a pro-active approach on the part of the Dublin Government; their outrage at the suspension of the institutions by the British Government and its wilful failure to live up to its obligations under the Agreement; dismay at the demand for sanctions against Sinn Féin being made by unionists; and anger about the lack of demilitarisation. Free article

Cormac

4 March 2004

Policing is a battle-a-day

4 March 2004

Addressing the Ard Fheis on one of the key issues of the Peace Process, Sinn Féin's spokesperson on policing, Gerry Kelly, MLA for North Belfast, said that the desperately needed new beginning to policing in the Six Counties could only be achieved if outstanding issues on the matter were urgently addressed. Free article

An alternative globalisation is possible

4 March 2004

Dublin TD and International Affairs spokesperson for Sinn Féin Aengus Ó Snodaigh opened the International motions debate. This year, they dealt with globalisation and solidarity; the oppression suffered by Tibet's inhabitants under Chinese occupation; the war against and the occupation of Iraq and the situation of the prisoners in US's Army base of Guantanamo Bay; opposition to the construction of the Apartheid Wall on Palestinian land and the continuous violence suffered by its people on the hands of the Israeli occupiers; support for Bretons and Catalans, and Basques in their struggle for self-determination; denunciation of the situation suffered by trade unionists in Colombia at the hands of corporations like Coca-Cola and the Colombian Government; and opposition to the boycott against Cuba and support for the release of the Miami 5. Free article

INTERNATIONAL GUESTS

4 March 2004

Once again the voices of the Basques, Palestinians and South Africans were present at Sinn Féin's Ard Fheis to talk about solidarity, empathy and freedom. Pernando Barrena and Esther Agirre travelled from a very troubled Basque Country, as representatives of the banned political organisation Batasuna. Free article

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A vision for Irish farming

4 March 2004

This Ard Fheis reflected the growing concern of the party with agricultural and rural development issues, and delivered a strong message and growing awareness that, as Bairbre de Brún phrased it, "the wellbeing, indeed the very survival of Irish agriculture depends on developing the industry on an all-Ireland basis". Free article

Delegates sick of health problems

4 March 2004

One or two motions in the health debate may have proved contentious last weekend, but the overall tone from all the delegates was one of unconcealed anger at the problems in the health sector both North and South of the border. Spokesperson for health in the 26 Counties, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD opened the debate, and lashed into shocking health record held by the Fianna Fáil and Progressive Democrats Government. Free article

Local government gets a lashing

4 March 2004

Corruption and the absence of any real power were the two issues that dominated the debate on Local Government on Friday night. With Sinn Féin on the verge of fighting local elections in the South, the debate proved to be one of the more passionate of the weekend. Constant reference was made to the growth the party is going to experience in the local government sector come June, and delegates expressed a strong desire to see change come about on councils throughout the island, when that happens. Free article

Housing is a right

4 March 2004

Housing was one of the more emotive issues debated on Saturday. This topic was very popular among many of the younger delegates, who all know first-hand about the housing crisis throughout this island. But it was also addressed by several senior figures, all eager to voice their anger at the problems associated with the issue. Free article

Education Minster failing special needs children

4 March 2004

Dublin TD Seán Crowe kicked off the debate on education last Friday, and came down hard on the Dublin Government over the issue of special needs education. Speaking in favour of a motion slamming the unacceptably slow processing of the claims by schools for special needs and resource teacher funding, Crowe said "the sad reality is that this Government is not implementing the legislation it has already enacted. Free article


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