Sinn Féin ardfheis live

Sinn Féin ardfheis live

IT Fri, May 25

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  • 10:36
    Deaglán de Bréadún writes: Greetings from the Press Section at the Sinn Fein ardfheis. The weather outside is glorious and the scenery to die for but we are in a windowless conference-room (he sobbed.) However, we shall endeavour to keep you up to date on the proceedings. For instance, a delegate has just wondered what the Irish for fracking might be. "Uisce faoi thalamh," a bhuachaill!
    The debates are broadcast on RTE from 11 am to 1pm. Might be worth keeping an eye out for Martin McGuinness speech, expected at 11.45 am. He is likely to be giving his views on the dissidents who still continue the "war".
  • 10:58
    Deaglán de Bréadún writes: "We've had to give way to Jedward," says the chair at the Sinn Fein ardfheis. Even the republican movement with its 200-year history has to back down before the might of the twins. Gerry Adams's address will be at 5.25pm instead of 8.30 pm so that the live broadcast won't clash with the Eurovision Song Contest.

    P.S. My money's on the Russian grannies. Babushkas never let a couple of youngsters keep them down :-)
  • 11:12
    D de B writes: I understand the 11 am to 1 pm section of the SF ardfheis is also going out live on BBC Northern Ireland and that the Adams speech this evening is broadcast half-an-hour after RTE, on BBC2 Norniron.
  • 11:29
    D de B writes: Master publicist Patrick Pearse would have appreciated Senator Kathryn Reilly's gesture in wearing a range of different GAA shirts to make a point about emigration
  • 11:39
    D de B writes: "Austerity is not a victimless crime," says Laois-Offaly TD Brian Stanley (I nearly wrote "Laos-Offaly"). Not a bad line. There is also a beermat going around here which says: "Austerity - probably the worst policy in the world".
  • 12:00
    D de B writes: Martin McGuinness denouncing the republican dissidents. He says: "These people claim they love our country but clearly they don't love our people as the murder of Ronan Kerry, a young GAA-loving Police Officer in April last year showed."

    The former IRA leader goes on to say: "If anyone can claim to understand the mindset of those opposed to peaceful Irish Republicanism I think I can."

    Appealing to these groups to enter into dialogue with him, he says: "I never ever want the children of Ireland who live today in peace to be subjected to the conflict, pain and hurt that we lived through."
  • 12:51
    D de B writes: This sentence from McGuinness speech is seen as significant also: "I recognise that there are one million people on this island who are British and let me state here and now that as a proud Irish Republican I not only recognise the Unionist and British identity I respect it and in return all I seek is for my Irish identity and tradition to be respected as well."

    Will be read with interest in Buckingham Palace, one suspects ...
  • 13:00
    Gerry Moriarty writes: Cavan-Monaghan TD Caoimhghin O Caolain getting ornithological, complaining that in opposition the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly was “like a hawk” attacking Minister Mary Harney but was now “like a parrot repeating her words”.

  • 13:06
    Gerry Moriarty writes: Former IRA bomber and current Northern junior Minister Martina Anderson and her DUP Ministerial counterpart Jonathan Bell landed in the bunker last week when they suggested that golf clubs were not immune from sectarian attitudes. With the Irish Open coming North and all the focus on attracting golfing visitors North they hastily issued apologies – comments misunderstood, golfers are lovely people, that sort of thing.
    Ms Anderson carefully returned to the fray at the ardfheis today emphasising that sectarianism “was as prevalent in the middle-class community as anywhere else”. She made no direct comment about the golfing confraternity but did make some cryptic reference to “gentlemen only, ladies forbidden”. Whoever could she be talking about?
    Ms Anderson soon takes over from Bairbre de Brun as SF’s MEP in Northern Ireland. “Watch out Europe,” said the Belfast SF lord mayor Niall O Donnghaile.
  • 14:01
    D de B writes: Adams likely to give three minutes to the Fiscal Treaty in his address this evening, exclusive of any applause he might get. Enda Kenny to get the same on RTE but SF sources are saying the applause shouldn't count!
  • 15:48
    Fine Gael Party Chairman, Charlie Flanagan, has called on Sinn Féin to remove what he has described as "deeply deceptive" Euro 2012 posters calling on voters to reject the Stability Treaty.

    “They feature a picture of what is clearly supposed to be the Irish soccer team, with a Euro 2012 banner, calling on voters to support Ireland and reject the Treaty," says Flanagan..

  • 16:21
    D de B: Lighthearted suggestion from Jimmy Kelly of the Unite trade union to campaign for independence for England - so they will be too busy to bother anyone else :-)

    He is a guest speaker at the SF ardfheis. There have been international speakers from the Basque Country, the Palestinian Authority and the African National Congress.

    Wonder if I could persuade a couple of delegates to propose an emergency motion to adjourn the ardfheis and reconvene in the open air!
  • 16:57
    D de B writes: Most people here had never heard of Terry O'Sullivan, president of the 500-,000-strong Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA). But he has just made by far the best-received speech of the ardfheis so far. Fulsome in his praise of Adams and McGuinness, he even presented them with special hod-carrier awards at the end, recalling the early membership of his union. The audience for the speech included Siptu chief Jack O'Connor.
  • 17:59
    D de B writes: I calculate Adams gave three and a half minutes to the Fiscal Treaty - including several bursts of applause
  • 18:34

    Gerry Moriarty writes: The stopwatch view was that in his keynote speech broadcast on RTE this evening that Gerry Adams spoke for 3 minutes 54 seconds on the fiscal treaty referendum. That may be rounded to four minutes when Taoiseach Enda Kenny is given balancing time to call for a Yes vote on RTE tomorrow – unless they battle it our over the four seconds and whether the applause should be factored into the timing equation. It was a bit like Alex Ferguson measuring those additional minutes of play after the 90 are completed.
    No surprise that Mr Adams urged some 1,000 delegates and a majority of voters in the Republic to reject the “austerity treaty”. It would be a “patriotic” action to vote No, he advised. The government would not be cut off from European funding by a No vote, he asserted.
    Mr Adams spoke about the treaty, about persuading Unionists that a united Ireland “makes sense”, and about how 70,000 people are emigrating and this is not a “lifestyle choice”.
    Rural Ireland was being devastated, especially in the west. And where did Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore hail from? “Shame on you Taoiseach. Shame on you Tanaiste,” he chastised.
    The Government must tackle unemployment, he demanded. It should develop a strategy and spend €13 billion over the next three years for that purpose.
    To the often asked question during this treaty campaign – where would the money come from? – Mr Adams said from the coffers of the National Pension Reserve fund, the European Investment Band, the private pension sector and Nama.
    When he finished Mr Adams was lustily applauded, he and the delegates sang the National Anthem, and then left the windowless conference centre to savour what was left of the beautiful Kerry sunshine.
  • 18:39
    Gerry Moriarty writes: I see that I have already contradicted my colleague Deaglan de Breadun (see hereunder) on the timing. I knew there'd be a row. Still, it won't bother those of the delegates who are staying behind in Killarney for the Kerry dances at an SF Ceili Mor at €40 euro a pop tonight.
  • 21:38
    D de B: On mature reflection, I think your time is right and the Treaty section took up about four minutes including applause :-)