Sinn Fein Ard Fheis may not be televised

Conspiracy Theory No. #:
It was quite a surprise to hear Bertie Ahern change his mind about holding the Meath and Kildare-North by-elections on the same day as Fine Gael demanded until one realises that RTE is now seeking legal advice over screening the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis as it takes place the weekend before the by-elections.

The Irish Independent reports that “loss of live television coverage will be a major blow to the party, as the ard fheis takes place the weekend before the Meath and Kildare North by-elections.

The decision to seek legal advice arises because the by-elections are so close to the ard fheis weekend, which is from March 4 to March 6.

Senior executives in RTE have to take account of the fact that the provision of normal coverage for the ard fheis could be regarded by other candidates as conferring an unfair advantage to Sinn Fein in an election atmosphere.

One of the difficulties facing RTE is that this may be the first time there has been a clash between the timing of an ard fheis and by-election campaigns.

It is understood that Sinn Fein has already opted for an hour-long slot between 5pm and 6pm on Saturday March 5 for live coverage of the presidential address by Gerry Adams on RTE One, rather than 30 minutes between 8.30pm and 9pm.”

  • aquifer

    Could they give SF a longer special after the election if they have to restrict coverage before?

    It would be good to see the policy behind the soundbites and complaints.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Any news on the revolution though?

  • Davros

    It would be interesting to hear the debates about the new constitution ( The SF one, not the proposed European one ! )

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    It was the parties of government who confirmed the date.
    Let them suffer the consequences of their ill timed remit.

  • Gay

    As the other entitled parties have had their broadcasts and associated opinion poll rise already to deny SF the same opportunity would be unfair? They chose the date after the announcement of the Ard Fheis so it is their responsibility to accept the conditions in place during those dates.

  • DessertSpoon

    Damn! I had my VCR all set up! Do you think they will release it on DVD with special features – Deleted Scenes, Sinn Fein bloopers etc – might have to be a special edition boxset.