On the benefits of being an all-Ireland party…

One of the benefits of being an all-Ireland party-with members elected to Leinster House-is that RTE is obliged to show live coverage of Sinn Fein’s annual Ard Fheis. The National broadcaster showed live coverage of the event from 11am to 1pm today, as well as carrying live Gerry Adams’ presidential speech between 5pm and 6pm tonight.

The timing of the event could not have been better from a republican point of view, coming as it does in the final week of the Assembly election campaign. For those who missed Gerry Adams’ speech, the text can be viewed here.

  • time will tell

    God that speech was turgid, if Mr Donnelly felt the need to post this he is really clutching at political straws, and doesn’t Adams look really Old and Tired has anyone else noticed this

  • Sean Og

    Some speech! Preaching to the converted I think.

  • ian

    I thought it was a strong, confident speech from Adams.

  • Sean

    Was I the only one who noticed the “middle aged” profile of the nodding heads on the platform behind Gerry today?.

    I think Gerry blew it. He will not be winning many Southern votes on the basis of todays boring speech.

  • Glen Taisie

    Gerry doesn’t read “As Gaeilge” very well.

    His speech writers should minimise to cupla focal.

  • padraig

    I missed the show but I hope for his sake, he came across better than he did on the TV this week, (which was pretty crap really!)

    Michelle…, gun…, report…, police…,


  • slug

    Wonder how much of a boost it really is, do people really watch these speeches unless they are already total politics-heads? My sense is not.

  • Gerry doesn’t read “As Gaeilge” very well.

    It was positively eloquent compared to his Spanish 🙂

  • SuperSoupy


    I would agree many people watch it. It does get covered on RTE news and more people watch that.

  • SuperSoupy

    – not may people watch it

  • colin

    “Gerry doesn’t read “As Gaeilge” very well.”

    Durkan’s a great man for the native tongue !!!

  • GavBelfast

    I watched the start of it after the football.

    It was amusing that the Aertel subtitles on RTE said “Speaks in Irish” when he started off – not a great vote of confidence in the national tongue from the national broadcaster.

    It was much as expected, well-delivered, but sincere?

    Eddie Fullerton’s relation spoke well before Adams’ speech, and nice timing just as the live TV coverage started, but do Sinn Fein REALLY want TOTAL openness on ALL collusion?

  • Mary

    “Eddie Fullerton’s relation spoke well before Adams’ speech, ”

    Does Adams really think the Southern electorate are interested in this? I’ll be impressed the day Gerry invites Gerry Mc Cabes relatives to speak at this sham event.

  • Picador

    Unfortunately I think that Mary is right and that the mass murder of innocent civilians by the British government (and the disgraceful failure of successive Irish governments to object to it) is not of much interest to the average Free State me-féiner. Reading the Sindo saps their brains.

  • frank

    Why is McCabe more important than the relatives of Dublin/Monaghan ??

  • confused

    Did you notice Adams’ speech did not warrant a mention on the twelve o’clock news(BBC)last night or at nine o’clock this morning?
    It must have been boring.

  • Crataegus

    I am sure the party faithful and all the blinkered acolytes will be delighted for Gerry can do no wrong, and what he says will merely reinforce their sense of belonging.

    In truth, for the rest of us, these speeches are a complete waste of time and are an endless list of platitudes and rantings. No one in their right mind places one once of importance in them unless they announce something substantial or new. They are about rallying the party faithful and reinforcing political, tribal identity. Unless the person is a gifted orator they are mind numbingly boring for most sane people.

  • Gerenian Nestor

    It was absolutely sickening towards the end of the speech to hear Mr Adams talk about morality.
    From a man who thinks that strapping Patsy Gillespie into a truck bomb was justified. Please.

  • Mary


    “Why is McCabe more important than the relatives of Dublin/Monaghan ??”

    Because the Dublin/Monaghan murders were not carried out by people claiming to be Irish republicans working for a united ireland.

    Because the Dublin/Monaghan murders were not carried out by a party claiming to be acting on behalf of the Irish people.

    Because the Dublin/Monaghan murders were not excused by Gerry Adams who is trying to get his party into government in the south.

  • Redmo

    Mick, do you think that having Donnelly posting this sort of meaningless electioneering stuff is in the best interests of Slugger?

  • sdlp consistently inconsistent

    SDLP – for a united Ireland?

    Dear Editor

    I was unsure whether to laugh or cry after viewing the SDLP’s advertisement in the newspaper last week. The SDLP claimed to be ‘a united party for a united Ireland’. In the same paper I read a report about Enda Kenny TD, Fine Gael leader, visiting Newry to endorse Dominic Bradley and Sharon Haughey’s campaign. No doubt the SDLP would like to present this as a sign of their commitment to cross-border working, and that it therefore underscores their new-found fervour for a united Ireland. But let’s look at Kenny’s track record. When the Irish Government proposed giving even minimal speaking rights in the Dáil to Northern MP’s, Enda Kenny said: “Fine Gael rejects this undemocratic proposal, which goes far beyond the Good Friday Agreement and is an insult to the Unionist population in Northern Ireland.” So the SDLP are committed to a united Ireland by seeking the support of a 26-county party that doesn’t even want to give Northern nationalists a voice in all-Ireland politics?! As for the united party aspect, why don’t you ask SDLP MLA PJ Bradley who said in 2005: “I could envisage major political realignments which might include a Fianna Fail/SDLP axis at some point… and have grown up in a tradition in which De Valera and the principles of Fianna Fail were held in great esteem.” So, that’s what a united party is, South Down SDLP supporting Fianna Fáil and Newry and Armagh SDLP supporting Fine Gael. Keep up the good work, Dominic and Sharon, but perhaps you could change your party’s slogan to ‘consitently inconsistent’!

  • Henry94

    Now that is on the money.

  • a 26-county party that doesn’t even want to give Northern nationalists a voice in all-Ireland politics

    This of course is also the party that only a few years ago refused to accept an applicant in County Down on the grounds that she “lives outside of Ireland”.

  • Joe

    Chris Donnelly’s posting does not meet the usual standard of postings. Chris meeds to be reminded that this site does not exist to host SF press releases.

    According to the RTE website today, Adams says that he will not be running for election in the South……then why is his photo on posters all over the Republic???

  • confused

    As a unionist I always perceived SDLP as a Republican Party.
    When it was formed the aim of a united Ireland was contained in its Constitution in stark contrast to SF first meeting in Dublin 100 years ago which ended by singing God Save the King.

  • Elvis Parker

    I’m sure the shinners back home enjoyed tuning in to spot their mates in the crowd – but despite all the protesting over the years and the much better reception throughout the north – RTE fails to get much more than 4% of the viewing figures – it’s down there with Channel Five – so hardly a media coup!
    This is because most people in the north – regards of their background happily CHOOSE to watch UK media.
    Indeed sure half of what RTE puts out is UK material.
    It unfortuantely blows away the myth that British and Irish identities are incompatible and that a UI is ‘essential’.
    Nationalism is based on this simple lie and doomed to failure because of the truth.

  • kensei

    “Indeed sure half of what RTE puts out is UK material.
    It unfortuantely blows away the myth that British and Irish identities are incompatible and that a UI is ‘essential’.”

    Probably as much is America. Does that mean we should have a Union with America?

    Get a grip.

  • Elvis Parker

    Are we in agreement – no need for union with USa or down south?

    Why do we need an UI? Nationalists have spouted on so much about Must Have that they have not relaised that there is no coherent argument in favour. In fact there is a stronger logic for south joining UK.
    SDLP ‘North – South makes sense’ – the figures show that East West Makes Money.
    SDLP wants All Ireland Assets Recovery – facts show all Ireland – and Britain would make sense.
    SDLP all Ireland sex offender register – again facts and commonsense show need for one encompassing the entire Common Travel Area.

    I dont support forcing the south to join btw – politically I accept it isnt on.
    Just as NI joining south isnt

  • kensei

    “Are we in agreement – no need for union with USa or down south?”

    That is a 180 from the point you made earlier.

    “Why do we need an UI? Nationalists have spouted on so much about Must Have that they have not relaised that there is no coherent argument in favour. In fact there is a stronger logic for south joining UK.”

    Only if you are on crack. The only region over the past 20 years to match the SE of England on these islands is the Republic of Ireland. Coincidently the only one that has had independence. There are hugely sensible economic reasons for uniting Ireland, from more appropriate policy to cost reductions to unified messages on things like tourism.

    But aside from the economic case, there is the greatly increased say in government you would get, the protection of a written Constitution, a much less authoritarian state and one much less likely to be targeted by Islamic terrorism due to participation in dubious foreign wars. No monarchy, Lords, or titles by birthright and more democratic institutions. Oh and probably the chance to negotiate the bits you don’t like in the event of a successful referendum.

    And that’s without going into the shared culture, history and identity that Nationalism shares with the rest of the island. Even Unionism has links South and shared history.

    You may find the case for the Union more compelling but that doesn’t mean that one for unification doesn’t exist. Personally, I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone wants ruled over by another country, with policy tailored for it. I can’t understand monarchy and the House of Lords and god knows what else. I try to avoid rants lie yours though.

  • sean

    Sound speech, although SF are playing easy for the sake of the unionist audience. Unionists always took pride in ‘northern ireland’ as an economic state that never existed in the first place. It was UK (second world war stuff) propaganda – sucessful to such a degree that even the natives believed it.

    The ship yard was a unionsit soup kitchen in reality. Ervine was, I believe, the only unionist to accept this, the ‘surocko works’ away, short well going that way, get real the 6 counties could not stand up anywhere as an economic entity, even with UK handouts a massive failure but the propaganda was exceptional.

    Today an all ireland economy is the only viable future. I’m happy to argue.

    Tax increases for health – its the only survey where people said they’d be happy to pay extra taxes for an improved service as it effects us all or our families/friends at some stage of our lifes.

    Same with education. Policing more than happy with SF stance, we all need an accountable, transparent service.ie feeling free to call them for a break in without them drawing a diagram of the house layout. The PSNI have a lot of work to do to prove they are worthy of nationalist support – it’s not hug a cop time just yet.

    The druggies do however need still to be dealt with, and I’d imagine vigilanti’s in antionalist area’s yet despite SF. Doubt if you’d see any in loyalist area’s.

    Good enough speech as a start.

  • blabby6

    Gerry Adams talks some SH1T.