13 September 2001 Edition

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Newry/Armagh plots further advances

Over 100 republican activists from throughout the Newry/Armagh constituency listened intently as Belfast Assembly member Alex Maskey from Belfast outlined Sinn Féin's analysis of the current political situation last Saturday, 8 September. Sinn Féin was holding an internal conference in Tí Chulainn, Mullaghbán, South Armagh.

Following a question and answer session, the rest of the morning was taken up by workshops on policing.

After lunch, local Assembly member Pat McNamee chaired a discussion on elections. Delegates from all areas within the constituency gave detailed reports about the recent local and Westminster elections. Sinn Féin now has 15 councillors and 2 Assembly members elected to represent Newry/Armagh. They are backed up by offices in Newry, Camloch, Keady, Crossmaglen and Armagh. Sinn Féin is now the largest political party in the Newry and Armagh area, having polled 19,777 votes in the local government elections and Councillor Davy Hyland was elected as chairperson of Newry & Mourne District Council after topping the poll in Newry town.

Everyone was pleased with the overall results and especially the fact that Sinn Féin is now the largest political party within the nationalist community in the Six Counties, but Pat reminded everyone that much more work needs to be done.

Later on that evening, several more workshops involved discussions on women, youth and councillor development.

As the fastest growing political party in the constituency, this conference allowed republican activists to plan the way forward for Sinn Féin and republican political development in Newry and Armagh constituency for the next five years.


SF expansion in Meath


Several new cumanns in Meath are evidence of Sinn Féin's continuing national growth. The Thomas Ashe Cumann has recently been set up in Ashbourne, the first republican organisation in the area since Ashe himself led the Ashbourne Easter Rising in 1916.

Ashe is particularily relevant today, in this 20th anniversary year of the 1981 hunger strike, since he died in 1917 after being brutally force fed in an English prison.

Ashbourne has the youngest average population in the 26 Counties and given Sinn Féin's growing popularity with young voters, the potential for growth and youth mobilisation is enormous. Along with new cumanns in Dunsaughlin and east Meath, the Thomas Ashe cumann will play a crucial role in the drive to get Navan Sinn Féin councillor Joe Reilly elected in the next general election.

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