4 March 2004 Edition

Equality Commission not working

4 March 2004

Equality and Human Rights continue to be the cornerstones of Sinn Féin policy and of republican ideology as a whole. Towards that end, delegates spoke on a wide range of related issues, including the lack of provision for children with special needs - particularly those in rural or deprived areas, the rights of women, racism, and the rights of asylum seekers. Free article

Engaging the Irish people in defining the New Ireland

4 March 2004

Appropriately enough, the 2004 Ard Fheis opened with resolutions relating to the All-Ireland Agenda, which Martina Anderson, the party's All-Ireland Co-ordinator, introduced as "providing a framework through which we can engage the people of Ireland in defining the New Ireland they want. Free article

Vibrant debate on cannabis laws

4 March 2004

The Ard Fheis debate on justice, drugs and community covered a vast range of issues, including legal reform, corruption, and drug and alcohol abuse. Sinn Féin again called for the British and Dublin Governments to honour their commitments to the Good Friday Agreement and enact fundamental changes to the criminal justice system. Free article

McCreevy's failures laid bare

4 March 2004

"This Ard Fheis deplores the seventh Budget of Inequality introduced by Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy for 2004." The message from this year's Ard Fheis couldn't have been clearer. When Charlie McCreevy introduced his seventh budget in early December of last year, Sinn Féin did not mince words. It was "a budget of inequity which does nothing to narrow the gap between the wealth and poverty,'" said TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin at the time. Free article

No acceptable level of poverty

4 March 2004

Sinn Féin cannot build an Ireland of equals without eradicating social exclusion and poverty. Towards that end, this year's Ard Fheis reaffirmed its commitment to the elimination of poverty in all its forms. In its discussion paper, Eliminating Poverty - a 21st Century Goal, Sinn Féin noted that one in four adults and one in three children are living in poverty in Irish society, and while energy companies continue to make huge profits, over 200,000 Irish households suffer from fuel poverty. Free article

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An alternative vision for Europe

4 March 2004

Sinn Féin has an alternative, radical vision for Europe; a vision that corresponds to the party's agenda for change in Ireland. Addressing the Ard Fheis during the EU and Neutrality debate on Friday evening, EU parliamentary candidate Bairbre de Brún set out the party's policy on the European Union. Free article

Gender quotas debated

4 March 2004

During the debate on the party's organisation, constitution and rules, the thorny issue of the positive discrimination in the election of women to the Ard Chomhairle and other positions in the party was raised once again. The party's current policy, that 50% of the Ard Chomhairle must be made up of women members, was up for debate. Free article

Sellafield and incinerators rejected

4 March 2004

The Ard Fheis passed a wide range of important resolutions on protection of our environment and on waste management. Resolutions also reflected an increasing concern at government neglect of alternative sources of energy, and the abject failure of the Dublin Government to even attempt the introduction of policies to enable Ireland to comply with our Kyoto commitments to reduce CO2 emissions. Free article

Huge turnout for 16th Anniversary Vols Burn/Moley Commemoration

4 March 2004

A huge turnout of more than 1,200 republicans gathered at Creggan on Sunday last to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the death of IRA Volunteers Brendan Moley (30) from Newry Road, Crossmaglen, and Brendan Burns (30) from Dorsey. Bairbre de Brún, Six-County European Parliamentary candidate for Sinn Féin, addressed the large crowd at the spot where the two young men were so tragically lost. Free article

Colombia Three highlighted

4 March 2004

Cristín McCauley, wife of Martin McCauley, one of the three Irishmen currently awaiting a verdict in Colombia on charged of training FARC guerrillas, addressed a packed RDS hall during the international session. Cristín spoke of the complete lack of evidence against the men and of her family's anger at their ordeal at the hands of British Intelligence and the Colombian authorities, saying "nobody can give us back the last three years". Free article

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