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=”” 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…

  • Belfast Gonzo

    You can also see the conference live on the BBC here. RTE ain’t working properly for me, for some reason.

  • josephine

    you don’t have to read too many of those blog comments to realise that all this site has done is to have afforded sinn fein the opportunity to manipulate public opinion via a well organised effort to flood the blog with favourable, pro sinn fein commentary. i would like to challenge the people who run this site to track down the IP numbers of contributors and tell us how many supposedly different contributions were in fact emanating from the same computer!
    what did the guy in ‘all the president’s men’ call this type of operation? rat-fucking, i think it was.
    sinn fein claims to be a party of principled politics, yet all too often its reveals itself to be just a shoddy, if very irish imitation of richard nixon and his fondness for dirty tricks.

  • Glen Taisie

    The emperor has no clothes,
    Bi-lingual cliche after bi-lingual cliche.

    Move over Gerry, quarter of a century “Time to GO !!!”


  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Having taking one hell of a beating for their economic policy before the last election- Grizzly and co are now in the extermely unlikely position of being able to say -I told you so – and to be able to say “Nationalise the banks” etc without snorts and guffaws of laughter from the outside world.

    They have now begun to sound palusible – not something they could have been accused of previously.

  • Mick

    For what it is worth Sammy,

    The plausibility only remains so long as you don’t look too closely at the reality. When did SF TDs not vote with Labour last September against the bottomless pit the loan guarantee scheme represents?

    Most of the things SF require from future government are now not doable since the nation’s wealth has been gambled away (for the 3rd time in a generation and a bit)… Had they stuck with Labour (and they were not compelled not to by any apparent force) the claim to have been a small still voice in the night would cohere slightly more convincingly.

    There were some good people speaking today, and the loading of the speakers towards youth was an encouraging sign. But compare the political literacy of smart young southerners who are confronted with real politics of an independent state, with the old stagers and grand county councillors of Northern Ireland; then ask yourself which is the tail and which the dog, you have your problem.

    Too many of the claims being made about the party’s performance are dishonest… That won’t matter to the RTE audience as such, but it commes over in the slightness of the claims being made. Some how the party needs be able to articulate a story of success in Northern Ireland of getting things done that translates to a southern audience.

    Partition is not simply a curse for the Republican ideal; its both a blessing (in that few in the south get to appreciate the extent of your mistakes) and a curse (it is difficult to trumpet your successes).

  • Dave

    I think they’ll pick up a few seats from Ireland’s fastest-growing constituency (the unemployed) if the government fails to serve its full term.

    Spouting left-wing slogans about nationalising the banks shows how divorced from reality these people actually are. Indeed, if anyone actually thought they were serious about that policy, then it is the rich who should vote for them and the poor who should reject them. The poor do not have large sums of money on deposit, so they are being asked to work for the rest of their lives in order to repay any losses that the rich may suffer.

    If the Irish government’s state guarantee scheme was aimed at providing cover the ordinary citizen and not for a small wealthy elite, then the amount would be limited to the amount it was limited to before it was made unlimited, i.e. 100,000. That guarantee at least has the advantage that it makes the participating banks the first port of call for the creditors of any defaulting bank and not the Irish taxpayer, whereas nationalisation makes the Irish taxpayer the first port of call for creditors. Nationalisation is simply a free underwriting service that is provided by the taxpayer for the benefit of those small wealthy elite.

    With socialists like that, who needs a plutocracy?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    in these unprecedented times plausability, even on the surface, may well be good enough. When the herd changes direction SF may simply need to be able to run along beside and point the finger at those who caused the stampede in the first place.

    No one understands the econoomic crisis and no one understands how to escape it (see Liam Halligan in the Torygraph) though they have a fair idea you is to blame ie the gansters and banksters ( as Grizzly put it yesterday – not his own term surely?). So making the right noises as SF did yesterday will probably do the trick.

    re.North/South Young/Old divide. However difficult it may be for Unionists and Fine Gaelers to stomach, Grizzly has real star quality as he is firmly identified by many inside and outside of SF, North and South, as the main mover who forced the British to the neogotiating table and secured a fair deal for Nationalism.