Prime(time) focus for SF is south

The Sinn Féin Ard Fheis starts tomorrow and they have a very professional broadcast to go with it. This year, for the first time, they have opted for a half hour slot on RTÉ1 on Saturday at 8.30pm for Gerry Adams’ Presidential address. Normally they go for the full hour broadcast earlier in the evening.

This has impacted on the coverage they will get on BBCni (who have upped their conference coverage this year) with the party shunted to graveyard BBC2 starting at 9.15pm (not live) – something they do not note at all on their website while flagging the RTE coverage.

An unusual choice to maximism coverage in the south at the expense of the north when that is the area facing an imminent election but perhaps indicative of where the party’s priorities lie and/or their confidence ahead of the Westminster poll?

If Mick doesn’t open the LiveBlog for it I will.

  • joeCanuck

    Meanwhile, Liam Adams has handed himself in to Dublin Authorities. Hopefully we will soon have a case in progress and any due punishment handed out.

  • Mark McGregor

    Check out the shots of Belfast City Hall. Even the one of the protest down Royal Avenue manages to hide the Union flag behind a poster.

  • Justin Case…

    It is a poor thing that they have to get a press officer on their pay roll to appear on camera and say that they are protecting his rights.

    Overall 6/10

  • Mark McGregor


    Who else would they use but supporters or members? I think it’s the norm.

  • Justin Case…

    But paid employees?

  • Mark McGregor


    I have no issue with it.

    The video was clearly produced by a paid, very professional outside agency. Just like all similar parties of ‘government’ the world over do. Other establishment parties sometimes even employ actors – at least SF aren’t at that level. Yet..

    It wasn’t a slipshod, shoestring, piece put together by volunteer activists. It sought to present a message in a very considered and marketed manner. That’s the political presentation SF are fighting, that’s the politics they are utilising. They won’t win those battles by street activism and volunteerism and the broadcast didn’t even pretend that was what they are now were selling.

    It wasn’t revolutionary; it was slick political marketing. As such, I thought it well done and perfect for the audiences SF now focus on.

  • slug

    Somewhat irritating voice in that PEB,

  • joeCanuck

    Pretty slick but will it bring new members? Doubt it; they should do the same at election time and it might make some difference.

  • Mark McGregor


    I think but am not 100% sure it will at least get an outing on BBCni.

    I’d expect them to use the same agency come the westminster elections. It is a perfect pitch/presentation for their soft vote and target group in the north.

    The ‘politics’ didn’t do much for me but I can see market research, demographics and clear profiling in it – professional not political, style not substance.

    Clearly not my cup of tea but it isn’t aimed at big or medium sized R & S republicans and socialists.

  • John O’Connell

    Not too bad, but there was a thin veneer cast over the cronyism that really is at the heart of Sinn Fein and is the reason why they still don’t have the most able of politicians fronting the organisation.

  • Catherine

    The prominent role of Mary Lou in Sinn Fein is inexplicable.

    She is disliked immensely, even among people in that party.

    Why would she feature so heavily in a PR exercise such as this, when she has been rejected over and over again by the electorate.

    Something is not right with that.

    As for the video itself- it is not a bad bit of work at all.

  • Mark McGregor


    I’d dispute your claim on Mary Lou. I’ve yet to find anyone that has actually met her, either inside or outside SF, that finds her anything other than likeable and pretty plausible.

  • I recognised some old friends on that video which is the most professional presentation by Sinn Féin to date. Will it strike a chord with people – I don’t know. Sinn Féin have sunk almost without trace in the south – at a time when the party should be riding high on the wave of anti Government discontent, it doesn’t seem to be getting a radical message across.
    That’s echoed perhaps in the message of party leader Gerry Adams who, speaking in Irish, merely echoes the Fianna Fáil slogan of the last few elections, a lot done, a lot more to do. How can a party which aspires to be a voice of radicalism and has a motion on its Ard Fhéis agenda to the effect that it won’t share power with either Fianna Fáíl or Fine Gael after an election credibly present itself as this voice when it really isn’t coming forward with a radical message?

  • alan56

    New departure in terms of production values. This is clearly a ‘story-boarded’ production shot in a reportage style with a little bit of edgeiness due to the use of hand held camera. Interesting to see that the end frame showed that ‘Unity’ was the 4th priority in the graphics !

  • joeCanuck

    The trouble, Concubhar is that many of them are not radicals but would-be Fascists, and people know that.

  • Catherine

    Well naturally I disagree Mark. And my disagreement is based on experience as well.

    My larger point is her prominence in this PR exercise, when she has unequivocally been rejected by the electorate.

    It is inexplicable.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Just to second Mark’s point. PPBs by all the parties generally all use supporters and/or employees acting as members of the public.

  • Mark McGregor


    I will stand over what I’ve say though.

    ‘She is disliked immensely, even among people in that party.’

    I do not believe this as an absolute

  • John O’Connell


    My larger point is her prominence in this PR exercise, when she has unequivocally been rejected by the electorate.

    Who else would they use to represent the south of the All Ireland party? Caoimhin O Caolain is a buffoon to many, and you wouldn’t buy a used car from some of the others.

  • Marcionite

    Sorry for pointing out elephants in the thread but these people in the slick video still think blowing people up WAS a good idea! Yes people like me are made out to be the wierd ones for objecting to this shower of thugs and murder supporters having any say in the running of any part of Ireland, north or south.

    Why are so many people being taken in by these soft weasil words. Did you listen to Martina Anderson the other night on Spotlight when she said that the RIRA were just gunmen without a strategy

    So that implies that its ok to shoot and blow people up as long as you have a manifesto sewn inside your balaclava.

    It seems Eire and NI have been browbeaten into lowering our standards of expectations of attitudes and behaviours of politicians.

    SF can produce all the glossy adverts they like, they are still a party of murderers, a party of incoherent poverty economics, a party of the street, a party of slogans, a party of thugs.

    Ask any SDLP canvasser in Provo areas for accounts of how SF supporters respect political difference of opinion. While I am no supporter of the SDLP, I do respect their grassroots for their constant frontline battles against SF without the full support and backing of their Hume-era leadership.

    What’s the big deal about Mary Lou anyway? Her sister is in Eirigi which is dissident republican. Where does Mary Lou’s loyalties truly lie if a conflict of interest were to arise.

    Being Provos and Dissidents, you can count on conflicts of interest not being investing shares in companies that are given Government contracts but rather, do you condemn the execution of the dissidents latest ‘informer’ or not?

    SF is a party of recidivists and troglodytes. I think you will find 99% of Europeans and North Americans would agree that politicians who support murder should not be let near the parish council, let alone a government.

    It is the Trimble-istas and the Paisley-ites who sold out on this basic principle. I haven’t. Most of the worlds true democrats haven’t. The people of Ireland, north and south, should not neither.

  • RobertNoonan

    Tá mé tar éis an físeán a fheiceáil agus cheap mé go bhfuil sé go han-mhaith ar fad. Tá súil agam gur fhoglaim Sinn Féin a cheacht agus go bhfuil siad chun díriú isteach ar na ghnáth-oibrithe as seo amach, agus go bhfanfaidh sé leis a fíor teachtaireacht poblachtach.

  • Salem

    This rose tinted crap is so so bad – I cant believe that people will believe this, two staffers in the video and their failed MEP candidate ! Her voice goes right through me !

    I loved how they have totally rewritten the political History where Sinn Fein were the main instigators of the Peace Process ! WTF

  • old school

    A point made on
    PSF have 1 sitting T.D in the Capital, his mug isn´t even in the broadcast.
    A lot of Dublin members who left in recent years gave their reason as being the Leadership dictating and imposing in who was promoted within the party.
    For some reason they are absolutely determined Mary Lou gets elected somewhere, sometime.
    I found the video dull and lacklustre.
    We know people are emigrating, and families are suffering. what was lacking was a solution.
    In the past, we would have heard at the end, how a 32 County Socialist Republic will sweep away all our ills.
    No panacea here. Nor any mention of “socialism” or “32 County Republics”.
    Just soundbites and New Labour luvvieness.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Can someone ask the party why they are so concerned with the Miami Five and not the 100+ political prisoners in Cuban jails, most of whom are African and not Spanish descended souls. Thanks.

  • wje

    OK, who else spotted the subliminal message ten seconds in??? Or was it a little faux pas?

  • DerTer

    Saw the SF PPB on BBC1 at 7pm. Very slick, professional and well put together, despite the historical distortion already noted. I’m not sure that the presence of an ‘anti-coalition with FG or FF’ resolution on the Ard Fhéis Clár is an indication of either radicalism or foolishness – they’ve got to talk about something! However, I’m afraid I too find MLMcD a bit strident and rather wearing. I’m also with Marcionite that we need continually to be reminded that “these people in the slick video still think blowing people up WAS a good idea!” – as Malachi’s great essay the other day also pointed out.