Gerry Adams’s speech to Sinn Fein’s Ard Fheis lays out some important strategic themes.
Sinn Féin, he said, had to:
:: concentrate on the current negotiations to advance the peace process and ensure the Good Friday Agreement was implemented in full including resolving the issue of policing.
:: develop an entirely new relationship with unionists, deepening and broadening the party’s engagement with that community.
:: build support in Britain for the unification of Ireland.
:: promote an Ireland of equals, emphasising the cross-border agenda.
:: build up Sinn Féin as a party, giving a more prominent role to women.
He follows it with a pitch to the moderate non Sinn Fein vote:
The Sinn Féin president said he believed there were many good people within unionism who cared about their community and wanted stability, peace and prosperity. These included people in Mr Paisley’s DUP, the loyalist Progressive Unionist Party and the Ulster Unionists who had worked with Sinn Féin in elected bodies. In a pointed challenge to the Reverend Ian Paisley, he asked in his leader’s speech televised live in the Irish Republic: “Are you ready to begin the process of building a shared future?