26 February 2009 Edition

'Politics of Mé Féin has failed' - Mary Lou McDonald

26 February 2009

IN a keynote address on Friday evening, outgoing Party Chairperson and Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald told the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis: "Incompetent government, corrupt bankers and greedy developers have brought this state to the edge of an economic abyss. "In the blink of an eye we have gone from boom to bust. The years of budget surpluses have been squandered. Those who claimed that they, and they alone, knew how to run the economy have been exposed for the fraudsters that they are." Free article

Irish unity is an economic imperative

26 February 2009

The economic necessity of Irish unity was very much to the fore at the Ard Fheis as the party renewed its commitment to its central aim and reflected on it in the light of the current economic crisis. Free article

Support for policing 'not a blank cheque'

26 February 2009

THE Ard Fheis underlined the urgent need for the long overdue transfer of policing and justice powers from London to Belfast. An emergency motion from the Ard Chomhiarle committed the party to continue the process now underway that will achieve democratic accountability for policing and justice. Free article

Fixing the economy

26 February 2009

AS the Price Waterhouse Cooper and Anglo Irish Bank annual reports gave more damning evidence of fraudulent activities in the financial sector, Sinn Féin delegates and public representatives queued in large numbers to vent their anger at the Government's decision to continue protecting the banking executives. Free article

Call for files to be released on McAnespie murder

26 February 2009

THE section on equality and human rights saw delegates debate motions across a range of issues, including the way older people are treated by Government and discrimination and hate speech against people of different sexual orientations. And, on what was the 21st anniversary of the murder of Aidan McAnespie by the British Army, there was also an emergency motion from Monaghan Comhairle Ceanntair calling on the Irish and British governments to release all files on the 1988 killing. Free article

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Honest, transparent policing needed

26 February 2009

THE Ard Fheis saw a comprehensive Ard Chomhairle motion 18 on policing and community safety. Alex Maskey MLA said that Sinn Féin's decision to support new policing structures in the North did not and does not bridge the gap of suspicion that has grown up over many years between policing and citizens, particularly within the nationalist and republican community. Free article

From a DUP oxymoron to a 21st century Sinn Féin

26 February 2009

IT COULD BE a shape of things to come in Sinn Féin: the section on Party Development started and ended on time even though 28 speakers were crammed into the slot. The Ard Fheis sections on Culture, Party Development, Constitution and Rules were at the end of the Friday evening session and were all the more remarkable for the nearly full hall as tellers were called for some of the votes. Free article

Minister Ruane commended

26 February 2009

INTRODUCING the Education discussion, Senator Pease Doherty commended the work of the Minister of Education Caitríona Ruane. He compared the progress that is being made in the North under a Sinn Féin minister to that of the state of education in the 26 Counties. "Contrast the £700 million Schools Modernisation Programme of investment in the schools estate over the next 3 years that Caitríona has launched to the chronic underfunding of education in the 26 Counties," Doherty said. Free article

Union leader urges united left and all-Ireland action

26 February 2009

AS over 120,000 workers gathered at Parnell Square to protest against the Government's handling of the economic crisis, John Douglas, General Secretary of the Mandate trade union, found the time to address the Ard Fheis in what is likely to be one of most difficult periods that workers have ever faced. Free article

Gaza and Lisbon Ard Fheis focus

26 February 2009

TWO key themes dominated the International and European Union sections of the 2009 Sinn Féin Ard Fheis, namely Gaza and the Lisbon Treaty. Speaking on Friday evening, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD proposed the Ard Chomhairle emergency motion on Gaza. West Belfast MLA Paul Maskey urged people to support a related motion criticising the BBC and Sky TV for failing to broadcast the Gaza Emergency Appeal advertisement. Free article


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