11 March 2010 Edition

The Irish people deserve better

11 March 2010

"A half a million citizens unemployed. Social welfare payments cut. Wages cut. Health and Education in crisis. Families facing eviction. Mass emigration back again. Parts of the country under water. In other parts the drinking water is unsafe. Billions of taxpayers money gifted to a dysfunctional, toxic banking system. Free article

New thinking and new ideas

11 March 2010

On Thursday evening I organised a meeting between Shaun Woodward and the Bloody Sunday families. There is an expectation in Derry that finally after all the years of campaigning the truth of what happened on that day is close to being acknowledged. The Bloody Sunday families are an example to all of us, their commitment, their perseverance and their dedication to uncovering the truth has been unswerving and I pay tribute to them from this Ard Fheis. There can be no further delay on publishing the Saville Report. Free article

Time for coalition to stand down

11 March 2010

The job creation debate saw delegates identify the government's lack of strategy on employment; the fallout of that ineptitude - particularly emigration - and the need for this government to be decommissioned. Senator Pearse Doherty, speaking directly to one of the worst outcomes of recession in Ireland, emigration, said "jobs are far from a priority for this government". The coalition, he said, "has no plan and no strategy on job creation. We all know people who have lost their jobs while they see banks bailed out." The unemployed, Doherty said, "are angry that nothing is being done to help them. They are struggling to get by on reduced unemployment benefits and some are facing the repossession of their homes while others are packing their bags." Free article

Community safety, accountability and child protection raised

11 March 2010

Policing Board member Alex Maskey addressed the Ard Fheis discussion on justice, policing and community safety, describing the Hillsborough agreement that secured a date for the transfer of powers on policing and justice as a "truly welcome development" that showed Sinn Féin are "delivering on our mandate". Free article

A new economic vision

11 March 2010

Opening the economy and workers' rights section on Saturday, ICTU and SIPTU President Jack O'Connor said that "the cause of Ireland has become the cause of bankers". After referencing the James Connolly quote, O'Connor added: "Indeed, in many ways we have exchanged subservience to British rule for subservience to the financial markets." Free article

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Advancing the Irish Unity agenda

11 March 2010

The Ard Fheis adopted an emergency motion welcoming the agreement reached at Hillsborough between Sinn Féin and the DUP. The motion recognised the deal as delivering on the mandate as adopted by the special Ard Fheis on policing in January 2007. Proposing the motion, Martin McGuinness said that in 2009 he advised the Ard Fheis that he was concerned that a minority of Unionist politicians opposed to change were undermining the will of the majority: Free article

The Irish Unity Pledge and Canada

11 March 2010

This year's Ard Fheis heard an address by Warren Allmand, former Canadian Attorney General, human rights activist and longtime supporter of peace, unity and justice in Ireland. Allmand first visited the Six Counties in 1966 as part of a Canadian parliamentary delegation and returned on several occasions in the 1990s as an international observer monitoring contentious Orange Order parades. Free article

Ard Fheis receives international greetings

11 March 2010

Sinn FÉin's Director of International Relations Padraic Wilson introduced three keynote international speakers at the party's Ard Fheis on Saturday 6 March. Executive Committee member of the PLO Professor As'ad Abdul Rahman addressed delegates, followed by Baleka Mbete, a national chairperson and former deputy president of the ANC, and Katalina Madriagia, a pro-independence left former MP from the Basque Country. Free article

Fringe meeting discusses Palestine solidarity

11 March 2010

SINN Féin delegates participated in a packed fringe meeting on Palestine during the party Ard Fheis which was addressed by an executive member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Doctor As'ad Abdul Rahman. Free article

Equality and Human Rights high on agenda

11 March 2010

Equality and human rights were high on the agenda of this year's Ard Fheis, with a number of important motions supported by delegates. One such motion outlined the party's support for the Equality and Human Rights Alliance. The motion attacked the government's record on social and economic rights and asserted that equality and rights must be at the heart of national economic recovery. Free article

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