10 March 2005 Edition

International solidarity

10 March 2005

This year's Ard Fheis, as usual, saw the attendance of many international friends and allies of Sinn Féin. Representatives from France, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Cyprus, Catalonia, South Africa, the Basque Country, Portugal, England, Sweden, Canada, the US and Scotland met with many of the delegates and attended many of the policy sessions during the three-day conference. Free article

Greetings from US labour leader

10 March 2005

Terry O'Sullivan is President of the Laborers' International Union in the United States, representing over 800,000 members. The Irish American trade unionist was a guest speaker at this year's Ard Fheis. Free article

Opening address buoys Ard Fheis delegates

10 March 2005

The buzz of excitement in the Ard Fheis registration hall last Friday evening was palpable. After months of listening to attacks on their party, it was clear, as Sinn Féin members picked up their delegate badges and visitor cards, that a weekend of positive messages and inspirational speeches was more than welcome. Free article

Advancing towards Irish unity

10 March 2005

The all-Ireland agenda section, which came immediately before the Presidential address on Saturday, was a key section of the Ard Fheis. It dealt with the commitment of the party to advance the campaign calling on the Dublin Government to start building towards Irish unity and it dealt with resolutions endorsing the all-Ireland Agenda projects to initiate widespread consultations to engage communities in framing the New Ireland they want to achieve. Free article

We need cutting edge legislation to fight discrimination

10 March 2005

In the wide-ranging Equality and Human Rights section of the Clár, delegates debated more than 30 motions covering such diverse subjects as the establishment of the Northern Human Rights Commission; racism and sectarianism, including anti-Traveller racism; equality legislation; parental rights; terminology; ageism; and the rights of women and same sex couples. Free article

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Catch yourself on, Hugh Orde

10 March 2005

Opening the key debate on policing on Sunday, Sinn Féin's Policing and Justice spokesperson, Gerry Kelly, told the Ard Fheis that for generations the police force in the Six Counties had been a "partisan, political, Protestant and paramilitary force" which had been used as an "instrument of political repression, counter-revolution and terror". Free article

Status quo, stalemate not an option

10 March 2005

There were some recurring themes during the debate on the Peace Process. The spiteful vindictive bitterness of Michael McDowell, the 11th hour withdrawal and subsequent backtracking of the DUP from the negotiations last December, the failure of the British and Irish Governments to uphold and implement the Good Friday Agreement were the topics touched on often from the podium. Free article

Reviewing the rules - updated Constitution passed

10 March 2005

Last year, Sinn Féin Vice President Pat Doherty gave the Ard Fheis an interim report outlining the establishment in 2003, and work since then, of the Constitution and Rules Review Group. This year, Doherty was before the delegates again, this time asking them to vote on the revised and updated version of the party's constitution. Free article

Call for Irish names for new estates

10 March 2005

The Culture, Heritage and Language section of the Ard Fheis Clar opened up with a motion from Monaghan calling on Sinn Féin elected reps to do everything possible to ensure new housing developments are given Irish names. Free article

Support for Colombia Three family

10 March 2005

Ann O'Sullivan, from the POW Department, introducing the section of the Ard Fheis on prisoners. She said "it is important that we remember our imprisoned comrades in Ireland and abroad and those fighting extradition. We send solidarity greetings to them and their families. Free article

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