Sinn Fein Ard Fheis Live Blog…

This live blog should be live from about 10.45 and coverage will be live on RTE from 11.00 with Martin McGuinness’s opening address. I won’t be around all day, but (if it works) we’ll try leave the blog rolling all day with tweets and messages coming in from pre-approved live bloggers. If you want to be on that list, then {encode=”mick.fealty@gmail.com” title=”drop me a line”}. The Ard Fheis will conclude with a Presidential address from Gerry Adams at 5pm. According to the Irish Times we can expect little coverage of Northern Irish issues.Relevant stories:

Pat Doherty, outgoing Vice President (of 20 years standing) gave the opening speech…

Northern Ireland had its coverage last night, when Alex Maskey criticised the Chief Constable… You can comment on his speech here…

Gerry Kelly managed to get headlines in the Daily Mail by drawing back a little on his statement on HardTalk recently that the £12,000 payment to victims was a mistake..

Deaglan De Breadun in yesterday’s Irish Times absolutely nails the party’s concurrent strength and weakness in the Republic’s politics, the unapologetic focus of this year’s Ard Fheis:

Formerly little more than a cheerleader for the IRA, Sinn Féin is now a serious entity in its own right. It is a prime partner in the governing process north of the Border and a small but far from negligible player in the political game in the Republic. The last general election was a fairly wretched experience for the Shinners. Party leader and republican icon Gerry Adams turned out to have feet of clay on economic issues. The unforgiving environment of the television studio exposed his weaknesses in a way that would never have occurred in Castlereagh detention centre.

The media (those stupid question merchants) get in the neck from some of the motions…

Conall with some thoughts on Paritition from Jim Fitzpatrick…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty