Ard Fheis 2013 Motions

Public Sector and Political Reform

Motion 1

This Ard Fheis:

  • Acknowledges and values the important role of the public sector and its workers in our society;
  • Recognises the significant contribution public sector workers have made during the current economic and fiscal crisis;
  • Notes public sector employment as a share of the 26-County labour force was just under the OECD average in 2008;
  • Rejects Labour’s and Fine Gael’s ongoing attacks on frontline services through the recruitment embargo and the reduction of public sector workers by 28,000 since 2010 and a further 10,000 jobs to be cut by 2014;
  • Further rejects the Irish Government’s refusal to tackle the significant pay inequity that exists across the public sector;
  • Supports genuine reform across the public sector that delivers a modern, accountable and efficient service;
  • Opposes the “yellow pack” jobs created for new graduates in the nursing and teaching sectors.

Ard Chomhairle
Mulvoy/Campbell Cumann, Galway City
Gleeson Cumann, Wexford

Passed

Motion 2

This Ard Fheis welcomes the establishment of the Constitutional Convention and commends the commitment made by the 66-member citizen panel, the participation of Northern delegates from our party, the SDLP, Alliance Party and Green Party and the engagement and contributions by individual citizens resident in both parts of Ireland and in the Irish Diaspora, as well as by Irish civil society and academic experts working pro bono.

However this Ard Fheis notes:

  • The necessity of a completely new constitution for a united Ireland following a referendum vote in favour of unification
  • The need for comprehensive constitutional reform in the meantime (and thus the need to broaden the Convention’s scope) as well as the potential to do so under the terms of its existing mandate.

This Ard Fheis resolves to pursue:

  • The extension of voting and representation rights to Irish citizens regardless of place of residence;
  • A comprehensive Bill of Rights containing all the modern equality and human rights protections that reflect the full spectrum of our international obligations, and any others that are necessary to establish a rights-based society, and which in particular provides for justiciable social, economic and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights;
  • A Constitutional framework for democratic renewal, ensuring greater inclusiveness, representativeness and accountability.

This Ard Fheis further resolves:

  • To encourage all Irish citizens, and especially all republicans, to make their views on Constitutional change known by making a submission to www.constitution.ie
  • To encourage the unionist parties to take up their rightful places at the Convention, and unionist individuals and civil society organisations to make their views known.
  • That the Constitutional change process a Sinn Féin-led government initiates for ‘A New Republic’ will be fully inclusive, extensively participatory and will have a mandate of the broadest possible scope

Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 3

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to make provision to allow the Irish Diaspora to vote in any border poll.
East and South Tyrone Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 4

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government, as part of The Gathering, to immediately and proactively engage with the Irish Diaspora and all citizens residing outside of the state. With this in mind, we call on the Government to make provision for voting rights in presidential elections for all Irish citizens, regardless of place of residence.
Clancy/O’Callaghan Cumann, Limerick City
Frank Stagg Cumann, Co. Mayo

Passed

Motion 5

This Ard Fheis supports the right for young people North and South to vote at 16 years old and calls for legislation to be brought forward to allow this to happen.
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 6

This Ard Fheis:

  • Recognises the contribution women make to politics across the island;
  • Acknowledges women are not adequately represented in public life;
  • Commits to working at every level within the party to encourage women to participate in political activism, take up positions within the party and in seeking election;
  • Recognises the recent passage of legislation in the South linking party political funding to gender quotas for Dáil elections;
  • Supports the setting of targets in legislation North and South which will ensure at least 30% of any election candidates are women including local, parliamentary and EU elections.

Ard Chomhairle
McCabe/Quigley Cumann, Dublin
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 7

Local government in the 26 Counties is in need of radical reform. Maximum power must be devolved from central government to local authorities. Sinn Féin is committed to ensuring this devolution takes place.
This Ard Fheis:

  • Wants to see strong local government with real power, real decision-making powers which are adequately funded through progressive taxation and commercial rates;
  • Demands that the Irish Government devolve powers & functions, including planning, education, waste management, environment, housing, water services, tourism, local economic development, planning and roads from government departments to local authorities and district councils;
  • Demands the balance of power must be shifted from City and County Managers to elected councillors;
  • Demands City and County Managers become CEOs, accountable to councillors;
  • Opposes the Fine Gael/Labour Government’s plan to reduce the number of councillors to 950;
  • Wants a total number of 1,165 councillors in the 26 Counties;
  • Supports strong city, county and local district councils with devolved powers that are democratically accountable and deliver local services in an efficient, cost-effective way. We support a single mandate for councillors;
  • Supports district councils which incorporate the relevant hinterland with powers devolved to these district councils in line with Sinn Féin policy;
  • Demands that the current structures of town councils, borough councils and city and county councils be retained until the Government commits itself to proper reform in line with our proposals;
  • Seeks the creation of a strong all-Ireland, Local Government Association;
  • Seeks to strengthen the role of local development companies and the community sector in any future reform of local government.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae
John Francis Green, Co. Monaghan
O’Neill/De Barra Cumann, Corcaigh

James Connolly Cumann, Dublin
James Fintan Lalor Cumann, Laois

Passed

Motion 8

This Ard Fheis, fully endorsing the view that local democracy is a democratic right, reaffirms Sinn Féin's support for the development of local government across the 26 Counties through the widening of the powers and responsibilities of town and county councils and the extension of the mandate of the former to include their natural hinterlands, hereby instructs the incoming Ard Chomhairle and our elected representatives in town, county, Dáil and Seanad roles to give real and effective leadership in opposition to the Fine Gael/Labour coalition's plans to abolish all town councils, advocating instead the need for reform of this essential tier of local representation.
Monaghan Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 9

That this Ard Fheis notes:

• Central government funds provided to local authorities in 2011 totalled just over €3.5billion;

• Local authorities do not fall under the remit of the Comptroller and Auditor General and therefore central government funding to local authorities is not subject to the same public scrutiny as other Government departments and agencies;

• The Government’s decision not to proceed with its own proposal to merge the Offices of the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Local Government Audit Service;

• The vital role of the Comptroller and Auditor General with regards to accountability, efficiency, transparency, procedures and practice of public spending of departments and agencies under the remit of his office;

• The contribution of the Public Accounts Committee in its role as a watchdog of public spending as audited and reported by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

Agrees

- The lack of accountability of city and county managers due to the continued exclusion of local authorities from the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s audit remit;

- The proposed National Oversight and Audit Commission will not effectively tackle the substantial lack of accountability of decision making by local government management on its spending of central Government funds with particular reference to critical infrastructure and PPP projects, including roads, water and housing;

- Local government spending of central government funds should be subject to the same systems of public scrutiny as other Government departments and agencies.

Calls on the Government to extend the auditing remit of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General to local authorities, making it accountable to citizens, as is the case with other departments and agencies.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae

Passed

Motion 10

This Ard Fheis supports the introduction of appropriate tax measures to recoup excessive pensions from failed former politicians responsible for the economic crisis. In the interests of equality, this Ard Fheis supports the view that politicians should only be eligible for pensions at the same age as any other citizen is eligible for their state pension.
This Ard Fheis also supports an investigation into the actions of politicians, regulators, auditors and any others who may have contributed to the economic crash with a view to taking criminal proceedings against anyone found to have broken the law.

Keating/Sands Cumann, Waterford

Passed

Motion 11

This Ard Fheis pledges a commitment to call for and act in the interest of having the exemption of local authority rates applied to public representatives abolished.
Terry Clarke Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 12

This Ard Fheis calls on the Minister for Education in the 26 Counties to ensure easy access to voting registration forms at 2nd and 3rd level institutions in order to promote active citizenship.
Traolach MacSuibhne Cumann, Cork City

Passed

Motion 13

This Ard Fheis reiterates our opposition to corporate donations to political parties and our call for legislation to ban such donations.
Patrick Cannon Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 14

This Ard Fheis calls on Sinn Féin ministers to bring forward new legislation to meet the needs of communities based on Sinn Féin policy and the interaction of Sinn Féin activists with their communities.
Coalisland/Clonoe Martyrs Cumann, Tyrone

Passed

Motion 15

This Ard Fheis calls for a change in the selection process in the appointment of members to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and to the Press Council of Ireland:

  • To be independent of the government;
  • The consequent make-up of these boards to be truly representative of society as a whole, not just of a privileged elite;
  • To be selected from a broader cross-section, including nominees from community groups and those from wider economic backgrounds.

West Waterford Cumann

Passed

Motion 16

This Ard Fheis calls a change in legislation to allow political advertising on local radio stations. Recognising that local radio stations play an invaluable role in combating social exclusion and isolation particularly in rural Ireland, it is inequitable that they cannot compete with print and online media for advertising revenue during elections.
Erris Cumann, Mayo

Failed

Taxation

Motion 17

This Ard Fheis notes that:

  • Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour have introduced successive Budgets which have inflicted punitive cuts on frontline services and taxes on those least able to afford them;
  • The Family Home (Property) Tax is the latest in a series of unfair taxes which does not base itself on ability to pay and disproportionately hits lower earners;
  • The tax fails to take into account mortgages, Stamp Duty paid, management and estate fees and the ability of local authorities and voluntary agencies to carry the tax;
  • That local authorities are likely to pass this tax onto their tenants;
  • That there are few exemptions and those that exist are conditional;
  • That councils have been given the power to increase this tax in future years;
  • That this tax is not designed to fund local authorities but actually continue to pay for the failed economic and banking policies of this and the last government;
  • Sinn Féin have published a Bill to repeal the Family Home Tax.

Sinn Féin opposes the Irish Government's Family Home (Property) Tax and calls on the Government to repeal this tax and replace it with a wealth tax with levies 1% on all net assets, including property, above a value of €1million, with exclusions as set out in the Sinn Féin legislation on wealth tax published in 2012.

Ard Chomhairle
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair
James Connolly Cumann, Dublin
James Fintan Lalor Cumann, Laois
Charlie McGlade Cumann, Dublin
Tom Kealy Cumann, Kildare

O’Malley/McEvilly Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 18

This Ard Fheis calls on trade unionists, through their respective unions, to bring pressure on the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to support the campaign against Property Tax.
Logue/Marley Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 19

Sinn Féin opposes the Irish Government’s plan to install domestic water meters and to introduce water charges.

This Ard Fheis:

  • Applauds the role of Sinn Féin in blocking the introduction of water rates in the Northern Assembly;
  • Calls for the development of an all-Ireland strategy on water provision;
  • Opposes the establishment of Irish Water as a subsidiary of An Bord Gáis Éireann, a company which the Irish Government said it intends to sell off;
  • Calls for the establishment of a National Water Sector Framework Team to oversee governance of the water sector and capital investment for the sector;
  • Calls on both the Assembly and Irish Government to collaborate on the delivery of services the establishment of joint river basin management in border regions, joint capital investment and in infrastructure and procurement;
  • Proposes investing in upgrading an ageing, leaking water distribution system;
  • Supports the introduction of block metering as opposed to installing domestic water meters in every household.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae agus Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae
James Connolly Cumann, Dublin
William Brock Cumann, Co. Laois

Passed

Motion 20

This Ard Fheis endorses the wealth tax legislation produced by the party in 2012 and the proposal of a wealth tax as an alternative to the taxes the Government has imposed on those least able to afford them.
Notes that:

  • France, Norway, Sweden and Iceland are among the several OECD countries currently operating wealth taxes. The Spanish Government has recently reintroduced a wealth tax, the Liberal Democrats in Britain advocate one, while countries such as France are strengthening theirs. The main opposition party in Germany is committed to introducing such a tax when in government;
  • The Irish Government does not collect detailed data on personal wealth (although the CSO plans to collate such data from 2014 onwards) but in a Dáil debate in 2011, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan estimated that a French-type wealth tax implemented here would raise between €400million and €500million in a full tax year.

Recognises that:

  • A 1% tax on all assets over €1million net of all liabilities, including mortgage and other debts has the potential to raise €800 million in a full year, based on a number of data sources, including the Central Bank, the CSO and Capgemini World Wealth Report,
  • The tax would not be levied on 20% of the family home, the capital sum in pension funds, business assets or agricultural land.
  • The tax would apply to the global assets of those domiciled or ordinarily resident in the state and domestic assets only for those who are resident in the state for tax purposes.

Calls on the 26-County Government to introduce a wealth tax and abandon its plans to introduce a property tax and water charges.
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae

Passed

Peace Process and Irish Unity

Motion 21

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes that the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) provides for a border poll on Irish unity;
  • Recognises that partition is unjust, uneconomic and inefficient;
  • Notes the attempts by political Unionism and the British state to stifle the debate on the border poll;
  • Believes that it is time to set a date for a border poll, it is time for a debate on Irish unity and that 15 years on from the GFA it is time for the people to have their say.

Calls on:

  • The British Secretary of State to set a date for a referendum in the Six Counties on Irish unity to be held within the lifetime of the next Assembly.
  • The Irish Government to press for the British Government to set a date for a poll as provided for in the GFA and to commit to holding a simultaneous poll in the 26 Counties on Irish unity.

Endorses the campaign for a border poll and encourages all those who want to see a united Ireland to participate in this campaign, including in the People’s Referenda that will be held as part of this campaign.

Ard Chomhairle
Nolan/Downey Cumann, Belfast

Terry Clarke Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 22

This Ard Fheis notes the continued absence of any political or societal consensus, North or South, on dealing with the legacy of the past.

We believe the past cannot be addressed or resolved in a partisan or one-sided way. Our future will remain contested for as long as we continue to contest the past.

Sinn Féin recognises that victims and survivors on all sides seek different outcomes.

We reaffirm our party policy on the establishment of an independent, international truth recovery process.

We accept that the development of strategies to assist in the management of the legacy of our past conflict poses complex political and human challenges. Discussion is clearly required to address the implications arising from any agreed strategies and processes.

This Ard Fheis renews it call for fully inclusive dialogue between all sides on how best to address the legacy of our past as an essential contribution to the peace process and development of reconciliation across the island.

Ard Chomhairle

Coiste Náisiúnta Óige

Passed

Motion 23

This Ard Fheis commends Sinn Fein’s ongoing efforts to encourage cross-community and party support for the development of an inclusive reconciliation process.

We note that the public discussion which has occurred in the last 12 months has focussed mainly upon format, substance and participants. This is to be welcomed.

We further note that this public discussion has reflected the extent of disagreement within our society as to the causes and effects of the political conflict.

However, we believe that any acknowledgement that reconciliation is necessary, welcome and deserves to be built upon. We applaud those who have already offered strategic and far-seeing contributions to this discussion.

Sinn Féin recognises that there are many victims and much hurt on all sides. We acknowledge the pain and suffering of all non-combatants, combatants, and their families on every side.

We believe the development of an authentic reconciliation process is essential to consolidate and enhance our peace process and political stability. The unity of the people of this island is crucial to that enterprise.

Sinn Féin is committed to reconciliation in the here and now and the replacement of current divisions with new human and political relationships.

This Ard Fheis urges mature and strategic debate North and South on opening a new phase of our peace process based on reconciliation, the development of new relationships, and creation of trust among all our people.

Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 24

This Ard Fheis notes:

  • That a planned single island economy would be good for prosperity, good for jobs, good for investment.
  • That an economy of 6.4million people is a viable economy and one which offers a stronger basis for recovery than a partitioned economy.
  • That the British Government will not reveal how much revenue is generated in the North.
  • That the assertions from unionism and the British regarding the extent of the reliance of the North on the British Exchequer are not factual and claims that the economic position of the North is a barrier to unity do not stand up to scrutiny.
  • That the duplication of services, existence of two currencies and tax systems and competing investment agencies is inefficient and an impediment to economic growth.
  • That partition has undermined economic development North and South and a 32-County economy would be stronger and would offer new opportunities and potential for growth and prosperity.

Recognises:

  • That taxpayers in the Six Counties have the right to know how much revenue is generated in the North and calls on the British Government to release all of this detail without further delay;
  • That a number of steps must be taken to harmonise the existing economies North and South in preparation for a new united Ireland economy;
  • That the united Ireland economy will be a new model of economy that has at its core equality, redistribution, transparency and efficiency.

Calls for:

  • The Irish Government and political leaders in the North to initiate an honest debate with citizens about the merits of a united Ireland economy and what that economy will look like;
  • The immediate transfer of fiscal powers from London to Ireland;
  • The transfer of powers to determine fuel duty in the Six Counties to the Assembly and the harmonisation of fuel duty North and South;
  • The review of the two tax systems which exist on the island and an interim harmonisation of Corporation Tax and excise duties;
  • The harmonisation of agricultural rules and regulations on the island;
  • All-island co-operation on lifting the border as an impediment economic growth and recovery, with particular focus on the removal of roaming fees, cross-border credit card charges and the harmonisation of payroll systems

Ard Chomhairle
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae agus Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae
Toman/Burns/McKerr Cumann, Upper Bann
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair
Tony Ahern Cumann, Monaghan

Passed

Motion 25

This Ard Fheis notes the current refusal of the British Government to provide accurate and complete information regarding the level revenue which is generated in the North of Ireland. This Ard Fheis calls on the British Government to provide complete and accurate information regarding the level of revenue generated within the North of Ireland.
Nolan/Downey Cumann, Belfast

Passed

Motion 26

This Ard Fheis recognises that the reintegration of former combatants into their communities requires that the person is entitled to the same rights as any other citizen including, for example, but not limited to:

a. The right to work.

b. The right to travel.

As reintegration is an essential part of a successful conflict resolution process, this Ard Fheis calls on the Dublin and London governments to expunge the records of all former political prisoners jailed as a result of the conflict.
Traolach MacSuibhne Cumann, Cork City
Barrett/MacCurtain Cumann, Cork
O’Malley/Russell Cumann, Dublin

Motion 27

This Ard Fheis calls on the parties in the Executive to develop a comprehensive approach to the promotion of community cohesion on the basis of the Good Friday Agreement obligations on government:

  • To promote a culture of tolerance and reconciliation;
  • To act in a way which promotes mutual respect rather than division;
  • To fully respect, on the basis of parity of esteem and equality of treatment, the civil, political, social and cultural rights, identity and ethos of both sections of the community;
  • To ensure that government use of symbols and emblems for public purposes is in a manner which promotes mutual respect rather than division.
  • To outlaw sectarianism in political discourse. All political parties – unionist, nationalist or other – must declare themselves free from religious sectarian ideology. All political philosophies must be based on arguments for the common good of all citizens and not on narrow sectarian appeals to one religious group or the other.

Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 28

This Ard Fheis mandates Sinn Féin representatives in local government in the Six Counties to promote and encourage the adoption by local councils of policies on symbols, emblems and flags which are underpinned by mutual respect for the ethos and identity of both the unionist and nationalist sections of the community and are therefore premised on equality or neutrality.

Passed

Motion 29

This Ard Fheis rededicates Sinn Féin to promoting the principles of parity of esteem, equality and mutual respect, not least in respect of flags and symbols, within Belfast City Council and throughout local government in Ireland.
This Ard Fheis also commits itself to resolving the political and cultural imbalance of Belfast City, where streets, bridges, shopping centres and public amenities bear names and titles reflective for the most part of only of one community and calls on Environment Minister Attwood to find a more suitable name for the mooted Royal Exchange project.
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair
Seán Martin/Seán Treacy Cumann, Belfast

Motion 30

This Ard Fheis commends the dignity and resilience of the Short Strand community in the face of the blatant sectarianism visited upon them in recent months and urges all parties and those with influence across Ireland to redouble their efforts to confine sectarianism to the dustbin of history.
South and East Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 31

This Ard Fheis reaffirms our commitment to facilitating resolutions to key outstanding parading disputes in the Six Counties. In achieving this objective we pledge to:

a) Highlight the imperative of meaningful dialogue processes between those who file for parades in sensitive areas and those who file for related protests as the most practical mechanism for delivering sustainable resolutions;

b) Engage with key stakeholders with a view to shaping their focus and approach in bringing their influence to bear on advancing the requirement for such dialogue processes;

c) Ensure that the Parades Commission retains its relevance and fulfils its statutory remit for the regulation of contentious parades where no resolutions are achieved to outstanding or fresh disputes;

d) Initiate a process of reflection and internal discussion within the wider republican community, including republican bands, on how the organisation of republican parades and commemorations impacts on the wider community perspective on parading and the promotion of the principles of mutual respect and parity of esteem.

Ard Chomhairle

Gerard Casey Cumann, Antrim

Passed

Motion 32

This Ard Fheis supports the Ballymurphy and Springhill Massacre families in their quest for truth and justice regarding the murders of their loved ones in July and August 1971 by the British Parachute Regiment and backs their demand for an international, independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding those murders.
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Party Development

Motion 33

This Ard Fheis commends the ongoing work of the Uniting Ireland Task force, of Sinn Féin’s elected representatives and party leadership for their ongoing work in prioritising the campaign to unite Ireland
Notes the timely initiative on the part of the Uniting Ireland taskforce and the party leadership to begin a campaign to secure a border poll.
Commits to ensuring that Republican Youth is to the forefront of the campaign to obtain, and subsequently succeed in, a border poll, to engage with young people from all sections of society in order to convince them of the need for a border poll, and the merits of Irish unity, and to highlight the importance of removing partition in order to achieve meaningful and lasting political change on this island
Coiste Náisiúnta Óige

Passed

Motion 34

This Ard Fheis acknowledges the establishment of the Sinn Féin Border Corridor Group. The BCG is an integral part of Sinn Féin's all-Ireland strategy in that it actively promotes integration between the counties and the institutions of the border corridor area. This Ard Fheis also recognises the three local border groups: Break the Border NW Group; the Eastern Border Group and; the Central Border Group.
South Armagh Comhairle Ceantair
Muff Cumann, Donegal

Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 35

This Ard Fheis reaffirms our commitment to an all-Ireland socialist republic and will ensure that:

  • All local political initiatives include an all-Ireland ethos;
  • Party membership receive regular communications of cross-border developments and co-operation;
  • The politics of campaigns such as the border poll will focus on all-Ireland sovereignty, a departure from the failed politics of the past and the harnessing of the island’s natural resources.

Galway West Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 36

This Ard Fheis notes:

  • That it is now nearly three years since the first consultation meetings on a National Youth Strategy were held in Ballybough in Dublin and that it is now nearly 12 months since the Sinn Féin Constitution was changed in accordance with the strategy.
  • That much progress has been made in youth development, including new committees being established, and increased youth activity in many areas.

If furthermore considers:

  • That much progress remains to be made in order to achieve the ambitious targets set by the National Youth Strategy to improve and mainstream the youth development project within the party.
  • That the application of the strategy by the party at large remains incomplete, and that the framework and strategy envisioned in the National Youth Strategy has yet to be applied in all areas by the party.
  • That there is a particular need for young people to come to the fore in the delivery of the strategy, to show leadership and to take responsibility for and ownership of the strategy.

And therefore:

  • Recommits itself to the objectives and visions outlined in the Youth Strategy;
  • Calls on the party leadership at local and national level to redouble its efforts in seeking to ensure that the Youth Strategy is rolled out in full throughout the party;
  • That opportunities are created for young people to show leadership and are encouraged to take on leadership roles, both in the party and in elected roles, including at the forthcoming local authority elections, North and South.

Coiste Náisiúnta Óige

Thomas Ashe Cumann, Meath

Passed

Motion 37

This Ard Fheis:

  • Endorses the positive work to date by the party to increase female participation throughout the organisational structures locally and nationally;

  • Notes the need for this work to continue;

  • Further notes the need to increase youth and minority groups participation in the party;

  • Supports a national roll-out of an equality awareness programme for all local cumainn;

  • Further supports efforts to increase women’s membership of the party, working with the Membership Administrator in ensuring targets for female membership are met, women members are adequately supported locally and nationally, and consideration is given to the practical constraints of women’s participation in local party meetings and events;

  • Acknowledges the urgent need to increase the number of women holding local officer board positions, building on the positive work towards gender parity delivered at a national level by the party;

  • Further instructs the Ard Chomhairle to consider the appointment of an Equality Officer.

Hughes/O’Reilly Cumann, Cork
Andy O’Sullivan Cumann, Cork

Michael J. Marren Cumann, Sligo
Doherty/Delaney Cumann, Meath

Passed

Motion 38

This Ard Fheis commends the work of all those involved in the management and delivery of the new membership model and, acknowledging the importance of ongoing political discussion and education, calls for the roll-out of the new Sinn Féin Political Training Course to be prioritised by the relevant party bodies in the time ahead to ensure the party ethos and philosophy is adequately promoted and to challenge partitionism and partitionist language at every opportunity.

We further acknowledge that Sinn Féin is an activist party and that the primary role of members is to be active in pursuit of our principles, policy and strategy.

Thomas Ashe Cumann, Meath

Doherty/Delaney Cumann, Meath
Tony Ahern Cumann, Monaghan
Charlie Hurley Cumann, Co. Cork
Drumm/Doherty Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 39

This Ard Fheis adopts a policy to increase the status and use of An Ghaeilge within the party by making it a requirement that:

  • An Ghaeilge is used to some degree in all meetings, increasing regularly as appropriate;
  • Very-frequently used words in English are replaced with Gaeilge version;
  • An Ghaeilge is visible in all Sinn Féin offices.

Six-County Cúige
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 40

This Ard Fheis proposes that every cumann in the country use their members’ addresses and their names if they wish in Irish on every piece of correspondence that is sent to them.
Cathal Brugha/Kevin Lynch Cumann, Waterford

Passed

Motion 41

This Ard Fheis proposes that everything published by the party in the future should be bilingual and the Irish language to be on a par with the English language where possible in any material published by the party in the future and all key party documents should be bilingual. This includes all materials published by the TDs, senators and councillors. Sinn Féin recognises the importance of our language and of our culture and heritage and should, therefore, be at the forefront in the promotion of bilingualism as outlined in the Irish Language Policy Document passed at Ard Fheis 2011.

Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 42

This Ard Fheis commits the party to actively prioritise the three constituencies with highest deprivation in the Six Counties by establishing a working group to address the following:

  • Job creation
  • Inward investment
  • Poverty and Social Exclusion
  • Educational attainment
  • Health and well-being

and that the working group should be established no later than June 2013 with the final draft of a proposed strategy to be complete no later than December 2013.
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 43

This Ard Fheis reiterates Sinn Féin’s policy of only using where possible hotels that recognise trade unions for meetings and gatherings and supporting the Fair Hotels campaign. This Ard Fheis asks the incoming Ard Chomhairle to inform cumainn, Comhairli Ceantair and Cúigi to use, where possible, hotels that recognise the right of trade unions to organise amongst their staff.

Pádraig Pearse Cumann, Derry City
Clancy/O’Callaghan Cumann, Limerick City

Passed

Motion 44

Recognising that the welfare and protection of children is paramount, this Ard Fheis welcomes the publication of Child Protection Guidelines and the appointment of a national and regional child protection officers who have been through an intensive training course with the HSE and supports widespread awareness among members to ensure they are adhered to.

Donegal Comhairle Ceantair
McNulty/Magorrian Cumann, Down

Passed

Motion 45

This Ard Fheis recognises that:

  • A 32-county socialist republic make economic, social and political sense;
  • Sinn Féin as an all-Ireland party presents its policy and vision on all matters based on this all-Ireland ethos and that Ard Fheiseanna set policy for Sinn Féin in the north, south, east and west.

Therefore, this Ard Fheis proposes that Sinn Féin’s vision for a united socialist republic will be promoted and adhered to throughout the 32 Counties, seeking to gain support for it on a cross-party basis, and all policies will seek to advance towards that vision.
Martin Hurson Cumann, UCC

Passed

Motion 46

This Ard Fheis recognises the importance of commemorating our patriot dead in respecting past sacrifices in the cause of justice and freedom and inspiring the current generation of republican activists to continue the struggle.
To this end, commemorative events must be inclusive, should reflect a growing party and colour parties should adhere to an agreed dress code of shirts and ties.
James Connolly Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 47

This Ard Fheis asks the National Commemoration Committee to have one main 100th Anniversary 1916 Commemoration in Dublin for the centenary in 2016 and all local commemorations to be held on Easter Saturday.
Charlie McGlade Cumann, Dublin

Referred

Motion 48

This Ard Fheis recognises the personal beliefs and differing religious affiliations of its members. In the name of equality and neutrality, must support secular commemorations based on progressivism and inclusivity.
Jim Lochrie Cumann, Armagh

Passed

Motion 49

THIS MOTION WAS WITHDRAWN

This Ard Fheis proposes that the Easter Lily be made into a sticker.
Charles J. Kickham Cumann, Tipperary

Motion 50

This Ard Fheis calls on all its elected members to give due care and consideration when applying to attend conferences/seminars and that they do so only where it benefits its communities/constituents.
Traolach MacSuibhne Cumann, Cork City

Passed

Motion 51

This Ard Fheis supports party employees availing of only ethical pension schemes where they choose to do so.
Gerard Casey Cumann, Antrim

Passed

Motion 52

This Ard Fheis requests the incoming Ard Chomhairle to direct the Election Department to present proposals to allow delegate weighting for EU, Dáil, Westminster and Assembly election conventions.

Further, that consideration is given to:

  • That delegate numbers at an EU convention is based on party support received at the most recent parliamentary election (i.e. if a parliamentary constituency garnered 10% of the overall EU constituency votes, that they be entitled to 10% of the delegates at the EU election convention).
  • Likewise, that delegate numbers at a parliamentary election convention is based on party support received at the most recent council election (i.e. If a council constituency garnered 20% of the overall parliamentary constituency votes, that they be entitled to 20% of the delegates at the parliamentary election convention.
  • Conventions at a local government/council constituency level are on the basis of one member, one vote.

This proposal ensures that party election conventions truly reflect our support levels across any given constituency – the truest reflection of public opinion. Delegate weighting rewards activism on a constituency basis whilst ensuring that every member has a vote in candidate selection for all elections. It safeguards against the practice of the Establishment parties of mass member registration in the lead-up to the convention. Further it places the onus on local areas to maximise the vote to ensure as much influence as possible at any future convention.

Noble Six/O’Flanagan/MacManus Cumann, Sligo

Failed

Motion 53

This Ard Fheis commends those involved in the ‘Occupy’ movement as being an example of effective, peaceful protest.
Mairéad Farrell Cumann, Galway City

Passed

Motion 54

This Ard Fheis calls on Sinn Féin members currently members of SIPTU, to put forward motions to their union conference calling on SIPTU to withdraw its affiliation to the Labour Party.
Logue/Marley Cumann, Dublin

Charlie McGlade Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 55

Amendment to 5.4a of the Sinn Féin Constitution
5.4 Affiliation fee and funds
a. The financial year of Sinn Féin shall be the calendar year ending December 31st. A cumann affiliation fee of €95 must be paid during the month of January with a deadline of January 31st of each year. Cumainn based in third-level institutions shall be exempt from this fee.
Martin Hurson Cumann, UCC

Failed

Motion 56

Amendment to section 5.1e of the Sinn Féin Constitution;
Membership must be renewed annually by payment of a fee to Ard Oifig. In addition every fifth year renewal should be accompanied with a fee to Ard Oifig. Under certain personal financial circumstances the fee for an individual member may be waived with the agreement of the cumann, comhairle ceantair or cúige chairperson once the member concerned has outlined the nature of those circumstances to the chairperson. The chairperson must then inform Ard Oifig of this in writing.
MacBrearty/Maguire Cumann, Donegal

Failed

Environment, Planning and Energy

Motion 57

This Ard Fheis calls on both the Irish Government and Northern Assembly to draft and introduce Climate Change Bills that are all-Ireland in content and focus. The Bills must contain:

  • Carbon emission targets for 2020 and 2050 in line with EU and international agreements;
  • Binding 5-year carbon budgets containing carbon emission reduction targets;
  • An independent expert authority;
  • Accountability to both the Northern Assembly and the Dáil with annual reporting on progress;
  • The long-term effects of climate change and measures that can be taken to protect the population, industries and jobs of the whole island of Ireland and to take advantage of opportunities which climate change may bring.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae
Benny Connolly Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 58

This Ard Fheis notes that, in 2008, a joint confidential technical information exchange project relating to Sellafield and its associated facilities was set up by the Irish and British Governments.
This Ard Fheis notes with concern that the full report has not been made public and that there is huge distrust of the nuclear industry. This Ard Fheis calls for the full publication of this report ‘Risks to Ireland from Incidents at the Sellafield Site’.
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Rogers/Martin Cumann, Louth

Passed

Motion 59

This Ard Fheis calls on the Assembly and the Irish Government to carry out an immediate comprehensive study of the costs and benefits and the environmental, social, health, economic and planning impacts of all forms of renewable energy provision across the island, given our pressures to deliver on EU directives.
This Ard Fheis mandates the Six-County and 26-County directorates to establish a working group to develop and publish a policy paper on developing a sustainable energy network across the island of Ireland and to consider proposals such as the creation of community-owned wind farms where the local community invest, build and own the wind farms in their community.
This Ard Fheis calls for the creation of an all-island Sinn Fein working group to examine the adequacy of planning policy proposals in relation to wind turbines
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae agus Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae
Bob Doyle/Dinny Barry Cumann, Kildare

Passed

Motion 60

This Ard Fheis declares Ireland's wind resources to be the property of the people of Ireland – not wind farm developers, not wind farm investors, not wind energy users, not a few Irish landowners and not other nation states. Sinn Féin will ensure that those who wish to exploit this resource will have to pay a fair tax/fee reflecting the greater part of its economic value to its rightful owners. This fee/tax will be used in part to fully compensate rural people who suffer loss directly or indirectly by wind farm development and to protect the environment and biodiversity of the Irish countryside. The surplus should be used to reduce the legacy of private debt created by the last exploitation of a commons resource.
Logue/Marley Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 61

This Ard Fheis opposes the imposition of National Park designation in the absence of genuine extensive consultation and engagement broad agreement with the communities who live and work in the proposed designated area. Consideration and mitigation where appropriate, must be given to the current and future needs of indigenous communities and their rural livelihoods, such as the local farming industry.

We further note that other measures and initiatives may equally promote tourism, create employment, build infrastructure, protect the environment and improve the economy of an area.

National Parks cannot and should not be imposed upon any community without their consent.

South Down Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 62

This Ard Fheis calls for an all-Ireland approach to resolving problems caused by diesel laundering through the removal of the differential between agricultural and non-agricultural diesel and the replacement of the current subsidy to the farming community by direct payment on vouched expenditure.
Tony Ahern Cumann, Monaghan

Passed

Motion 63

Whilst acknowledging that planning applications are subject to consideration based on any number of variables, and the need for flexibility in this regard, this Ard Fheis mandates the creation of a working group which, having reference to Planning Principles memorandum 2008, would expand upon and develop the document so as to provide a comprehensive list of principles and criteria which would be applied by Comhairle Ceantair and Comhairle Cúige in determining a party position in respect of specific infrastructural, industrial and commercial applications.
The working group composition will be selected by the Six-County and 26-County directorates and will be tasked to submit a draft document to An Ard Chomhairle for ratification at the next Ard Fheis

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae agus Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Motion 64

This Ard Fheis calls on the Department of Transport in Dublin to reassess the route of the East-West corridor from Dundalk to Sligo in the so-called National Spatial Strategy. This Ard Fheis is particularly concerned that the proposed section closest to Dundalk is along the Carrickmacross Road route. This proposed route offers no access to the motorway network. This Ard Fheis proposes that the eastern-most section of the route be located along the N53 (Castleblayney Road) servicing County Armagh.

Rogers/Martin Cumann, Louth

Passed

Motion 65

This Ard Fheis calls on the Minister of the Environment, Community and Local Government to introduce more stringent measures into the Planning Guidelines to eradicate the use of mechanical plants by developers for the purpose of dealing with waste water in any future housing developments and that the Minister makes funds available to local councils to allow them deal with the legacy of these mechanical plants and not to further burden ordinary homeowners with the disastrous consequences of these failed plants.

Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Transport

Motion 66

This Ard Fheis calls on the Fine Gael/Labour Government to immediately honour its responsibility to the St Andrews Agreement and restore full funding to the A5 Derry and Donegal dual carriageway to Dublin to allow that vital project to be completed as soon as possible.
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair
Omagh Comhairle Ceantair
Strabane Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 67

This Ard Fheis calls for urgent progress to be made in completing the hundreds of unadopted roads throughout the country.

Six County Cúige

Coalisland/Clonoe Martyrs Cumann, Tyrone

Passed

Motion 68

This Ard Fheis calls for the immediate upgrading of the A6, the main route from Derry and the North-West to Belfast at Dungiven and Moneynick.
This Ard Fheis also calls for the re-establishment of a regular daily and year-round ferry service on the Greencastle to Magilligan crossing and the adequate resources to be put in place to fund this.
Limavady Comhairle Ceantair
Coleraine Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 69

In order to create a sustainable island of Ireland, we need to address the issue of sustainable transport. It is known that cycling for short distance journeys, rather than driving, helps households to save money, promotes weight loss, reduces the risk of obesity related illnesses and therefore decreases long-term spend on health care. Cycling infrastructure will help reduce dependence on foreign oil. Crucially, we could decrease the amount of money leaving the local economy in this way. Such infrastructure investments will also create employment in the short-term. This Ard Fheis calls for improved cycling networks across the island of Ireland to achieve sustainability.

Nolan/Downey Cumann, Belfast

Passed

Motion 70

This Ard Fheis calls for a higher level of integration and co-operation among public transport providers across the island to reduce social isolation and deliver efficiencies.
Six County Cúige

Passed

Motion 71

This Ard Fheis calls on Iarnrod Éireann to put in place a customer base appeals policy for ticket fines to rail users where legitimate reasons can be dealt with in a sympathetic manner rather than the cold, faceless procedure that now exists.

Noel McCann Cumann, Galway

Passed

Motion 72

This Ard Fheis calls on the Executive to come forward with the finance to support the creation of the Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) system. BRT when established will be a modern public transport service for Belfast showcasing the city as a growing and vibrant one. This new transport system will be pivotal in linking communities initially in East and West Belfast, bringing socially deprived areas together, providing access to employment, health, education, cultures and leisure. After the first phase, East and West Belfast, it should then be introduced to the other parts of the city, including North and South.
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 73

This Ard Fheis calls on the Government to make a major investment in Knock Airport similar in to that of the Shannon Airport bail-out in order to ensure the sustainability of Knock Airport into the future. Knock Airport is a not-for-profit company with a mandate not just to promote the airport but also the entire North-West region via tourism and job creation.
Mayo Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 74

This Ard Fheis notes the significance of the Public Service Contract (PSO) contract for the air service to the Aran Islands as being an integral part of island life and vital in cases of medical emergencies and calls on the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to safeguard the support for the future delivery of this service.
Máirtín Ó Cadhain Cumann, Galway

Passed

Economy

Motion 75

This Ard Fheis notes that:

  • There are approximately 430,000 on the Live Register in the 26 Counties and 68,000 in the Six Counties;
  • Emigration is at levels not seen since the Famine;
  • According to Irish Government figures, each person who is unemployed costs the state in the region of €20,000 directly through money lost in PAYE and social welfare costs.

This Ard Fheis calls for the introduction of specific steps in the 26 Counties, including:

  • An investment of up to €13billion in job creation and economic growth over four years to create an average of 156,000 jobs and retain up to 15,000 jobs. This job stimulus to be used to invest in essential infrastructure and regeneration which will create jobs, improve competitiveness and help kick-start the economy and assist entrepreneurs by removing obstacles to doing business and supporting them to retain and create new jobs.
  • A job retention scheme at a cost of €100million to protect 15,000 jobs for one year, with the potential to continue the scheme.
  • Creating a safety net for self-employed people in the event that they become unemployed.
  • Abolishing upward-only rents.
  • Tackling the costs of doing business on the border, including credit card transaction fees, telecommunication charges and dual tax and payroll systems.
  • €1billion investment in wind power industry and wave energy.
  • Re-establishment of a bio-refinery plant in the South-East.
  • Tackling the misuse of ‘Irish’ labeling.
  • Setting regional job creation targets

Recognises that Sinn Féin in government is delivering jobs and in the Assembly has overseen:

  • £4.8billion capital investment;
  • Investment of £217.5million in regeneration;
  • The completion from May 2007 to April 2011 of 53 major capital school projects representing an investment of £492million in the schools estate;
  • Investment of more than £1billion in improvements to water infrastructure and completion of the £160million Belfast Sewers Project.

In the Assembly Sinn Féin Endorses ‘Create Jobs, Create Growth’, Sinn Féin’s Jobs Action Plan, and calls on Executive colleagues to support £1billion investment in job creation in the Six Counties by allocating resources from the block grant and revenue raising, including the devolution of excise duty from Britain.
This Ard Fheis further calls upon Sinn Féin’s Executive colleagues to support:

  • The creation of an £80million Job Retention scheme;
  • The creation of a Youth Jobs Fund;
  • Introduction of a Sustainable Procurement Bill into the Assembly;
  • Allocation of a further £200million towards infrastructure projects, including road and rail;
  • Increase school building programme to £300million per annum;
  • Investment of £150million in the development of a new Women’s and Childrens Hospital.

Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 76

This Ard Fheis notes that:

  • 71,000 people under the age of 25 are unemployed in the 26 Counties (31%);
  • 22,000 people under the age of 25 are unemployed in the Six Counties (22%);
  • According to the CSO, 1,600 people are emigrating every single week from the 26 Counties;
  • The European Youth Council and the National Youth Council of Ireland have produced costed proposals for a Youth Guarantee that deserve active consideration by Government.

This Ard Fheis calls for:

  • A real Youth Guarantee by the Government ensuring that all young people in the state will have an offer of a quality job, meaningful training, education or work experience placement within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed;
  • The Youth Guarantee to be designed and implemented in partnership with youth advocacy organisations and the young unemployed involved and prioritise long-term youth unemployment in areas of high socio-economic disadvantage;
  • The Youth Guarantee to be funded by the state with matching funding from the European Union;
  • The cost of the training, education and work experience placement element of the Youth Guarantee fund to be €6,600 per person annually;
  • The Youth Guarantee be designed as part of a broader investment programme to create jobs and outlined by Sinn Féin in our jobs proposals published in 2012.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae
Coalisland/Clonoe Martyrs Cumann, Tyrone

Passed

Motion 77

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes that young people are being particularly adversely affected by the economic downturn;
  • Notes that young people are more likely to be forced to emigrate and more likely to be unemployed with a 30% youth unemployment rate;
  • Notes that young people have been particularly badly affected by cutbacks, including in reductions in social welfare, community services, and educational supports such as grants, increased fees and cuts in training facilities;
  • Criticises the victimisation by the Government in the South of younger entrants in the public sector and the introduction of reduced pay and conditions for new entrants;
  • Extends its solidarity to the Irish Nurses & Midwives Association during the course of their boycott of the new unjust newly-qualified nursing positions.
  • Criticises the failure of the European Commission to support a jobs guarantee initiative with resources in order to ensure that it is effective and young people can enter worthwhile employment or training.

This Ard Fheis:

  • Endorses the Sinn Féin - Óige Phoblachtach jobs document ’No Jobs, No Future, No Way’;
  • Commends trade union Mandate’s excellent report ‘Decent Work?’ which highlights the very precarious nature of work for many workers in the retail and services industries, which includes many younger workers;
  • Commends the efforts of the Executive in maintaining essential EMA payments.

Calls on the 26-County Government:

  • To rule out any further reductions in welfare or cutbacks in social services;
  • To put in place specific pro-youth jobs policies such as extending all CE schemes to everybody under-25, a real jobs guarantee, and regular assessment of training and employment needs;
  • To introduce a substantial stimulus package that could get young people back to work and kick-start the economy;
  • To rule out any further increases in fees or cutbacks to grants.

Coiste Náisiúnta Óige

Passed

Motion 78

This Ard Fheis notes that a fully-serviced 20-acre IDA park lies empty in Castlebar. We are calling for greater equity in distribution of Foreign Direct Investment to ensure employment is created along the Western seaboard.
O’Malley/McEvilly Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 79

This Ard Fheis calls for the establishment of business incubation units in rural villages that were rapidly developed without adequate services or provisions for future employment during the boom years. An example of such a village is Bridgetown in south Wexford where the local community has been abandoned by the political establishment.

Parle/Crean/Hogan Cumann, Wexford

Passed

Motion 80

This Ard Fheis:

  • Acknowledges the contribution micro, small and medium-size business make to Ireland’s society and economy;
  • Recognises the role of government spending in stimulating economic growth and employment;
  • Recognises that the Government and Executive are the largest purchasers of goods and services on the island with an estimated spend of €20billion per annum across the island;
  • Recognises the societal and economic value of including social clauses in public contracts, particularly in providing jobs, opportunities and training for the long-term and youth unemployed;
  • Criticises the Government’s failure to tackle the barriers that remain for micro and SMEs in tendering for public contracts;
  • Further criticises the Government for the exclusion of social clauses in public contracts;
  • Commends Sinn Féin ministers in the Assembly for their work in including social clauses in public procurement contracts;
  • Calls on all ministers in the North and South to ensure that social clauses are included in all government purchasing contacts to maximise the economic and social benefits of government spending.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae
Mulvoy/Campbell Cumann, Galway City
Monaghan Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 81

This Ard Fheis welcomes the commencement of the North West Science Parks at LYIT and Fort George in Derry and calls for a renewed focus on all-Ireland solutions such as this to assist economic recovery.
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 82

This Ard Fheis supports the development of the social economy in terms of job creation and regeneration of communities and calls on the Executive to set up a dedicated fund to facilitate loans for the sector and set targets for its Programme for Government Commitment to Asset Transfer.
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 83

This Ard Fheis:

  • Rejects the policies of austerity being applied by the Fine Gael/Labour Party Government, and by the Tory/Liberal Democrat Coalition Government in London via the cut to the Assembly budget, and by the European Union;
  • Believes that there is a better, fairer way to reduce the deficit and bring about economic recovery that is based on job creation, progressive taxation, and the protection of the most vulnerable, and the provision of first class public services.

Notes that:

  • Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil over five years and six austerity Budgets have taxed and cut €28billion from the economy while at the same time pumping €64billion into banks and €32billion into NAMA;
  • The Government has failed to effectively tackle high-earning groups and vested interests;
  • All of the Government's 'tough' decisions have targeted the most vulnerable – families, children, carers, the disabled, the elderly and sick people;
  • Emigration has soared across the island but particularly in the 26 Counties which has seen an average of over 80,000 people leave each year;
  • The British Government cut of 40% in the Six-County capital budget continues to have a corrosive and detrimental impact on the economy;
  • The commitment to the investment package agreed at the St Andrews Agreement has been broken by the current British Government and that this represents a £4billion cut over the budget period;
  • The absence of taxation and borrowing powers remains a major obstacle to economic recovery and limits the measures that the Six-County Executive and Assembly can deploy to offset the impact of the cuts.
  • The British Government welfare reform proposals will further target the poorest and most vulnerable in society in the Six Counties.

Endorses:

  • Sinn Féin’s alternative proposals to the British multi-annual Budget which set out an alternative to austerity and called for a £1billion investment in job creation;
  • Sinn Féin’s 26-County Budget alternative, 'Making the Right Choices', which contained measures to reduce the deficit through making the tax system fairer and introducing taxes on higher earners, including a wealth tax, a new third rate tax of 48% on income in excess of €100,000 and standardising tax reliefs; and sought to make savings in public spending through eliminating waste in the wages paid to top civil servants and politicians, tackling the private health and education industries and tackling waste in social welfare spend.

Calls for:

  • Fiscal powers, including the extension of borrowing powers be devolved to the Six-County Executive;
  • The British Government to reinstate the £4billion shortfall in the investment package, that was agreed as part of the St Andrews Agreement;
  • The legacy of under-investment in infrastructure and public services in the Six Counties to be addressed.

Ard Chomhairle
Nolan/Downey Cumann, Belfast

Passed

Motion 84

This Ard Fheis urges the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to organise workers and their communities to challenge the Irish Government's policy of austerity.
James Connolly Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 85

This Ard Fheis notes that:

  • The policy of the current Fine Gael/Labour Government and the last Fianna Fáil Government is to bail out banks at the expense of the Irish taxpayer; that Irish people have taken on 43% of the total bank-related debt that has been inflicted on taxpayers across Europe; and that Fianna Fáil placed €63billion of bank debt on Irish taxpayers' shoulders and that, after two years in government, Fine Gael and Labour have refused to lift this debt burden and have in fact added to it.
  • Rather than seek a write-down of banking debt, specifically a write-down and the non-payment of the promissory notes, this government, supported by Fianna Fáil, has been happy to span out the period over which this unfair debt will be paid despite the fact that at a Eurogroup summit in June 2012, the Government (along with other Eurozone governments) committed to separating banking debt from sovereign debt, including dealing with the issue of legacy bank debt which has been placed on sovereign debt balance sheets.

The Ard Fheis calls on this and future governments to commit to securing at European level the retrospective recapitalisation of Irish banks to deal with legacy debt through the ESM; to demand the ECB act as the Lender of Last Resort, and after a period of stress testing of banks, followed by write-downs, restructuring and burden sharing with bondholders where necessary, the ECB ensure the ESM is funded to capitalise banks and ensure a permanent solution that separates banking debt from sovereign debt.

Ard Chomhairle
Patrick Cannon Cumann, Dublin

Motion 86

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to negotitate a degoration from the EU directive which compels national governments to put their social welfare contract payments out to tender. Loss of this contract to An Post would ensure the mass closures of our rural post offices.
Mayo Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 87

This Ard Fheis:
Recognises the century of struggle by Irish workers between 1913 and 2013, remembers and salutes all those workers who have fought for better rights and entitlements for themselves and their fellow workers during that period.

  • Commends the efforts of workers who have over the last year resisted cutbacks and breaches of their rights by employers and commends the Sinn Féin activists who supported those workers.
  • Notes that in 2013, the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Lockout, many Irish workers’ rights are under threat and deeply constrained and that there is still no statutory provision for collective bargaining.

This Ard Fheis therefore calls on the Irish Government:

  • To enact legislation which would prevent employers from evading the payment of redundancy by transferring assets between different companies under common ownership, and give legal priority to workers over other creditors of a company entering liquidation;
  • To reform the area of redundancy payments to ensure adequate protection and notice for workers being laid off, to fast-track payments under the insolvency fund, and to deal with the anomaly of workers being unable to claim under the insolvency fund in the case of informal insolvency;
  • To ensure that the centenary of the 1913 Lockout is marked by enshrining the right to collective bargaining and trade union recognition in law;
  • To create the offence of Corporate Manslaughter;
  • To deal with the difficulties faced by undocumented workers gaining redress for breaches of employment law created by the decision in Hussein v the Labour Court;
  • To make forced labour (modern day slavery) an offence.

This Ard Fheis also calls on Dublin City Council to erect a fitting monument to those who struggled for their rights during the 1913 Lockout.
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae
Monaghan Comhairle Ceantair
Dublin Cúige

Passed

Motion 88

This Ard Fheis condemns the destruction of the community sector and in particular Community Employment schemes and calls on the Fine Gael/Labour Government to recognise the valuable work done by this sector and these schemes by reverting to 2008 levels of funding for community-based services, allocating sufficient resources, increasing numbers on CE schemes and widening the eligibility of CE participants to meet the current economic circumstances.
Sinn Féin applauds those trade unions who have been working with the community sector and those who remain committed to defending community services.
James Connolly Cumann, Dublin
James Fintan Lalor Cumann, Laois
Erris Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 89

This Ard Fheis a message of solidarity to the workers of Tara Mines, the Old Darnley Lodge and B&Q and calls on the Fine Gael/Labour Government to properly protect employee rights.
Doherty/Delaney Cumann, Meath

Passed

Motion 90

This Ard Fheis welcomes the work done by Minister Carál Ní Chuilín in

  • Developing and implementing significant new social clauses within the Executive's current largest capital programme to build three new sports stadiums sponsored by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure;
  • The purposive, as well as procedural, application of the North's equality duties, including Section 75, to ensure that resources and opportunities are specifically ring-fenced and targeted at sectors facing greatest inequalities within areas of greatest objective need;
  • Promoting the Living Wage Scheme, and opportunities for sub-contractors, through the Stadium Programme;
  • The introduction of a new departmental priority to promote equality, and tackle social exclusion and poverty throughout all departmental business, once again utilising the purposive as well as procedural equality duties to target public resources at need;
  • Promoting sustainable economic, social, equality and environmental returns through the Stadium Programme and wider DCAL work-stream.

This Ard Fheis therefore:

  • Mandates the Assemby team to build on this work, in conjunction with broader public procurement policy initiatives aimed at SMEs and local sub-contractors, to promote the broader vision of a sustainable economic model;
  • Calls on all of the Executive's departments to ensure comprehensive Section 75 data on inequalities across all sectors is collected, analysed, assessed and acted upon to ensure the targeting and delivery of public resources in line with public policy and public law requirements.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Passed

Motion 91

This Ard Fheis calls for a National Poverty Strategy which will poverty-proof all national and local policies. There is a need to poverty-proof all policies at both design and implementation stage to protect people.
This strategy should also target bringing consistent poverty and child poverty down to zero over time through targeted legislation with measurable targets.
O’Neill/De Barra Cumann, Cork City

West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 92

This Ard Fheis reiterates:
Sinn Féin's continued position of defending and standing up for low-income families and those depending on social welfare who are being targeted by government cuts;
Our opposition to the austerity policies being pursued by both the British Tory/Lib Dem and Fine Gael/Labour coalition governments which are directly impacting on the most vulnerable in Irish society;
Our determination to work both North and South, inside and out the parliamentary institutions, to ensure the maximum protections for those on benefits and in low-paid employment now and in the future;
Supports the transfer of fiscal powers to the North, giving the institutions the tax-varying powers and the ability to set social welfare payments;
Calls for the implementation of Sinn Féin's Alternative Budget proposals as the fairest way to tackle social welfare dependance and get the unemployed and the economy back to work
Our call on the Labour Party Minister Joan Burton to pay heed to the many reports that have shown the devastating effects on social welfare dependent families and low-income earners their policies are having and to change direction and protect the poor, children, the disabled and pensioners in particular from the wrath of their austerity measures;
Our call on Minister Burton and her government to live up to their election and Programme for Government promises "to protect the most vulnerable" and to reverse the punitive cuts;
Our rejection of the Tory-led agenda of pitching ordinary people against one another through attempts to demonise and marginalise some of our poorest, most vulnerable citizens and remind them that responsibility for the current economic crisis lies with the behaviour of financial institutions and not with the sick, disabled and unemployed;
Our determination to challenge any adverse impact of the British Government’s current ‘welfare reform’ agenda and take all measures possible to ensure social policy better reflects the circumstances and needs of all our communities in the North of Ireland;
Our belief that cuts to social welfare not only affects social welfare recipients and their families but also has a depressing effect on local economies.
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae agus Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae

Passed

Motion 93

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to immediately examine the costs associated with childcare provision with a view to ensuring childcare is provided in an affordable manner by the state, by the private sector and in some cases by employers, thereby relieving the burden on families and allowing parents to return to work where they choose to do so.

Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 94

Sinn Féin recognises the pain that emigration has caused to thousands of families in Ireland and welcomes any move to help our diaspora return home. This Ard Fheis calls for the removal of the Habitual Residency Clause (HRC) which discriminates against Irish emigrants who are returning home after living abroad for more than two years. We also assert our opposition to the HRC as it discriminates against Irish citizens who were born in the North and now reside in the 26 Counties.

Muff Cumann, Donegal
Traolach MacSuibhe Cumann, Cork City
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 95

This Ard Fheis recognises that, in cases of expected bankruptcy, certain developers and wealthy individuals transfer their assets to family members. We propose the extension of Capital Gains and Capital Acquisitions Taxes to spousal transfers to target this avoidance technique and we support the work of NAMA in particular as it tries to have such transfers, in the cases of developers, reversed.


Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 96

This Ard Fheis calls for a definite strategic plan, including whatever measures are required:

  • To claw back a much greater percentage of excessive pensions and lump sums paid to bankers, former politicians and top civil servants;
  • To include a special tax band to deal with these iniquitous and anomalous remunerations;
  • Such action to be implemented at the first possible opportunity and to be a visible part of Sinn Féin policy.

West Waterford Cumann

Passed

Motion 97

This Ard Fheis proposes that:

  1. Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Irish Life & Permanent, EBS Building Society and Irish Nationwide be all fully nationalised to create one ‘super bank’;
  2. This one ‘super bank’ will be wound up and split into four provincial banks;
  3. These four provincial banks will then create county banks which operate along the lines of credit unions which will be closely run by local government and people;
  4. Local banks will be run independently with profits shared. Half the profits will be given back to the four larger provincial banks and the other half of the profits will be put back into local branches. An Irish Sovereign Wealth Fund will also be created which will take a percentage of profits to invest globally. A local bank will be in operation per head of population (eg one bank per 10,000 people) with excess branches from the amalgamation sold off at large profits. Customers will be unaffected by any changes;
  5. County banks will pay interest, operate loans and function as a bank but will have a unique local emphasis. There will be no shareholders or mass profits for speculators but all risk will be taken out of the system and these banks will be able to stand on their own feet, not left to the mercy of the market or unpredictable economic situations.

Bob Doyle/Dinny Barry Cumann, Kildare

Passed

Motion 98

This Ard Fheis supports local businesses and seeks to give them more power in their financial affairs. At present sole traders and small businesses are not eligible to access to the Small Claims Court. This means that businesses and Sole Traders are obliged to pay large sums of money to the legal profession in order to recover small debts. For many in the business community this is a pointless exercise and as a result the majority of these bad debts are simply written off.
This Ard Fheis proposes that sole traders and businesses employing less than ten staff be entitled to collect debts owed to them by another business or person via the Small Claims Court. This will aid cash-flow difficulties for businesses, many whom have huge issues with bad debt and would result in millions of euro being released back into the local economy. We propose that the Small Claims Court should have jurisdiction to deal with business debts of between €50 and €5,000.
Bob Doyle/Dinny Barry Cumann, Kildare

Passed

Motion 99

In order to promote small businesses, this Ard Fheis calls for legislation to allow local authorities to:

  • Remove liability for a person/persons to pay commercial rates on a premises which they have newly occupied when the previous occupant has defaulted on their commercial rates;
  • Lower the commercial rates on retail businesses that use listed buildings as an outlet, to help maintain small businesses and protect our many listed buildings in our inner cities, towns and villages.

Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 100

This Ard Fheis notes the financial stress that many amateur sports clubs, including GAA clubs, are under and supports the extension from 80% rate relief to a full exemption for amateur sports halls in the North.
Gerard Casey Cumann, Antrim

Passed

Motion 101

This Ard Fheis strongly opposes the sale of harvesting rights or lands to private interests by Coillte, effectively abandoning this vital natural resource, a resource which has never been developed to its full potential by successive Irish governments.
Patrick Cannon Cumann, Dublin

Cumann Chaisleán Nua, Limerick

Passed

Motion 102

This Ard Fheis reiterates its opposition to the privatisation of our natural resources and reaffirms its commitment to uphold the right of the Irish people to the ownership of Ireland and all of its parts as stated in the Proclamation of the Irish Republic 1916. Accordingly, this Ard Fheis requests that the party develop a 32-county strategy on the development and use of our natural resources for the benefit of the people of this island.
This Ard Fheis supports taking the natural gas and oil deposits of our country into public ownership via a state-owned oil and gas company or a company structured on the Norwegian model to be developed in the interests of the people of Ireland, using a sovereign wealth fund.
As an interim measure, this Ard Fheis calls for an immediate moratorium on the issuing of new licences for gas and oil exploration until such a time as:

  • The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Oil & Gas recommendations are implemented;
  • Legal guarantees are sought to utilise deep sea ports off the west coast, including the Rosaveel Port in Connemara;
  • Social clauses are included in all contracts so as to ensure an economic return to the local area – offshore jobs should go to those in the local population and ports should be used to service workers.

Galway West Comhairle Ceantair
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair
Benny Connolly Cumann, Dublin

Passed

European Union and International Affairs

Motion 103

This Ard Fheis condemns the recent eight-day war launched against the people of Gaza by Israeli forces and calls for an end to all violence in the region.
This Ard Fheis welcomes the recent decision at the United Nations General Assembly to grant non-member observer status to Palestine and condemns Israeli threats to extend aggression and withhold resources from the Palestinian Authority in defiance of this decision.
We believe this decision contributes to the achievement of a sustainable peace process and negotiated settlement and further enhances the potential for a two-state solution.
We commend the Irish Government’s vote in favour of observer status to Palestine and calls on it to use all available diplomatic and economic options open to them in order to bring pressure to bear on the Israeli Government to end its aggression against the Palestinian people.
This Ard Fheis also calls for the removal of all barriers to participation in the political process by all parties with a democratic mandate.
This Ard Fheis supports the United Nations Human Rights Council in its call for an end to the building of all settlements in the Occupied Territories on the grounds that it is a violation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
This Ard Fheis calls for the implementation of United Nations resolutions and the enforcement of international law.
Ard Chomhairle
Pól Kinsella Cumann, Derry City

Passed

Motion 104

This Ard Fheis:

  • Expresses our deep concern at the ongoing conflict and loss of life in Syria and calls for an end to all hostilities there;
  • Condemns the killing of civilians and human rights violations by any party to the conflict in Syria;
  • Condemns the recent Israeli attack in Syria given that it can only serve to increase tensions in the region.

Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 105

This Ard Fheis welcomes the initiative by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to create the circumstances for a peace process based on the principles of inclusiveness, representativeness, mutual respect, justice and equality and further calls on the Turkish Government to respond positively to create a framework in which peace talks can take place. We call on the European Union to support the peace initiative and to take the necessary diplomatic steps to encourage the Turkish Government to respond in a positive manner.

This Ard Fheis also condemns the recent killing of three female Kurdish political activists in Paris and calls on the French authorities to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of their deaths.

Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 106

This Ard Fheis extends our continuing solidarity with the people of Palestine and urges full support for the boycott and divestment (BDS) campaign of Israeli goods and services, including Caterpillar, particularly those involved in settlement activity. This Ard Fheis particularly views with concern the activities of Cement Roadstone, an Irish company, and calls for an investigation into their activities and the activities of all such companies in collaborating in human rights violations.

This Ard Fheis also calls for an end to all trade with Israeli agricultural companies complicit with Israel’s system of occupation, colonisation and apartheid. This Ard Fheis calls on the incoming Ard Chomhairle to ask all comhairli ceantair and cumainn to join with others supporting broad-based campaigns working towards ending agricultural trade with Israel that finances and rewards the destruction of Palestinian farming.


Pól Kinsella Cumann, Derry

Passed

Motion 107

This Ard Fheis supports ongoing efforts to bring about the achievement of a sustainable peace process in Colombia. We support all concerned in their attempts to put in place an inclusive process and secure a democratic, negotiated settlement.

Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 108

This Ard Fheis commends the efforts of the Ecuadorian Government in tackling austerity and on its commitment to social equality seeking to demonstrate that an alternative to austerity and cuts is possible.

Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 109

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes the increasing centralisation of decision-making in the EU and the tendency for decision-making in the EU to be dominated by bigger member states;
  • Further notes the restrictions on economic policy choices available to member states and increasing imposition of the failed policy of austerity;
  • Condemns the Irish Government on its failure to protect Irish interests both politically and economically;
  • Believes that critical engagement with the EU is important in order to defend workers’ rights, promote the development of rural areas and coastal communities, and to develop crucial infrastructure on an all-Ireland level;
  • Believes that a stronger Sinn Féin in the European Parliament following the 2014 elections is essential to resist any further dilution of Irish sovereignty, to defend public services, to promote equality, to prioritise fair trade over free trade, and to develop the green economy;
  • Believes that in order to best achieve these objectives we need ‘A Europe of Equals’ – a partnership of equal sovereign states, promoting peace, demilitarisation, nuclear disarmament and the just resolution of conflicts, co-operating in social and economic development in Europe and beyond;
  • Commends the work of Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson as well as that of her predecessor, Bairbre de Brún;
  • Commits itself to working with progressive forces across the EU on promoting a democratic, social and peaceful Europe.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Passed

Motion 110

This Ard Fheis welcomes the prospect of the funding to the North and to the border counties of the South that EU cohesion policy will provide through the 2014-2020 Interreg V and Peace IV programmes and we must ensure that it produces maximum benefit.
This Ard Fheis believes European funding must be about tackling objective need. Objective need is the criterion which clearly sets out with no ambiguity those who are most in need of help. Objective need must govern the overall distribution of funds. Funding should not be skewed towards groups or communities on the basis of anecdotal stories of feeling left behind or left out.
The criteria for applications must be simplified to allow small, local groups to navigate their ways through the complex application process, and the procedures for assessment of applications must also be streamlined and considerably accelerated to produce results on the ground. There is an onus to do this on both the SEUPB (Special EU Programmes Body) and on all the government departments, North and South, which are involved in this process.
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Passed

Motion 111

This Ard Fheis deplores the violence inflicted on peaceful anti-austerity protesters by police in Greece and Spain. We view with concern tendencies to introduce such heavy-handed tactics in the 26 Counties.
Patrick Cannon Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 112

This Ard Fheis reaffirms its support for the right to self-determination of small nations and its opposition to the denial of that right by governments all over the world.
In particular, it sends solidarity greetings to our comrades in the Basque youth movement, in JERC in Catalonia, in the youth movements of all nations struggling for self-determination, and to all peoples currently struggling against occupation and oppression
Coiste Náisiúnta Óige

Passed

Motion 113

This Ard Fheis reaffirms our absolute opposition to membership of NATO and to the increasing militarisation of the EU. We mandate our elected representatives and party organisation to promote this fundamental republican principle of Irish neutrality and sovereignty, especially in the context of the forthcoming centenary in 2014 of the outbreak of the First World War into which Ireland was dragged by Imperial England, costing the lives of thousands of young Irishmen.
Patrick Cannon Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 114

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to exercise fully its powers – as provided for under Article 16 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention) 1955 and section 49 of the Air Navigation and Transport (Amendment) Act 1998 – to inspect US state aircraft passing through Shannon Airport with a view to detecting and/or preventing the compliance of the Irish State in ‘extraordinary rendition’.
Galway West Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 115

This Ard Fheis expresses solidarity with the people of Burma who have suffered for generations under a brutal military regime. This Ard Fheis recognises the right to freedom, peace and self-determination of the Karen and other ethnic minorities in Burma. This Ard Fheis welcomes the positive steps towards democracy and call for an immediate end to human rights violations in Burma and the deliberate targeting of civilian communities by the military in Kachin State, the release of political prisoners and the resolution of conflict through dialogue and political negotiation.
O’Malley/McEvilly Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 116

This Ard Fheis recognises the continued erosion of Irish neutrality by successive governments.
We note the deployment of Irish Defence Forces members in Afghanistan and the current move to commit Irish troops to support the Government side in the conflict in Mali despite recent warnings from the UN anti-genocide envoy, Adama Dieng, that he was deeply disturbed by the actions by Government troops that “could constitute atrocity crimes”.
This Ard Fheis believes that dragging Ireland into partisan military actions will do nothing to bring about stability and peace but will damage the high standing in which Irish citizens are currently viewed in many countries around the world.
This Ard Fheis opposes the deployment of Irish Defence Forces in Mali and in other such conflicts and the growing entanglement of Ireland in NATO and EU military alliances.
This Ard Fheis reaffirms Sinn Féin’s commitment to positive Irish neutrality and independent foreign policy and reiterate our party’s willingness to serve as a resource for promoting conflict resolution, peaceful democratic settlements and self-determination throughout the world.
Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Housing

Motion 117

This Ard Fheis notes:

  • That Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour have all come to the rescue and helped to protect the banks, developers, auditing and accounting agencies and politicians which caused the economic crisis;
  • That those who borrowed to buy homes to live in, often paying multiple thousands in Stamp Duty and now saddled with huge mortgages, have not received any such focus.

This Ard Fheis further notes:

  • One in four mortgage holders in the 26 Counties is in distress;
  • 179,370 mortgage holders are in distress and tens of thousands more are at risk of distress;
  • 115 mortgage holders are falling into distress every day;
  • That the Fine Gael/Labour Government's recent announcement on mortgages again leaves the power in the hands of the banks and gives then new powers to repossess homes, and the proposed changes to the code of conduct on mortgage distress will make it harder for customers;
  • The Personal Insolvency Act 2012 and the personal insolvency service it creates will do little for the vast majority of mortgage holders currently in distress;

This Ard Fheis calls on the Government to bring forward amending legislation to the personal insolvency legislation to:

  • Remove the veto given to lenders over proposed insolvency agreements in the Personal Insolvency Act;
  • Provide in the legislation for the independent adjudication and enforcement on mortgage distress cases through a new category of agreement to be known as ‘Independent Agreement on Mortgage Distress’ which will be adjudicated by an independent mortgage restructuring panel appointed by the Minister;
  • Maintain people in the family home as the priority and agreements can include the possibility of write-downs on portions of the mortgage debt as well as other avenues such as debt for equity swaps and mortgage to rent options.

Ard Chomhairle
Thomas Ashe Cumann, Meath

Passed

Motion 118

This Ard Fheis reasserts the right to housing as a fundamental human right at a time when austerity measures – being imposed by external powers across the island of Ireland – are leading to greater housing distress amongst our people and endorse, as a priority, mitigation to alleviate any increase in homelessness.

This Ard Fheis expresses concern at the out-workings of the current housing allocation system in the North that is disadvantaging those seeking social housing in ‘high demand’ nationalist areas.
This Ard Fheis calls on the Minister for Social Development:

  • To review the policy of not providing grants to people who own their own homes who are not in a financial position to stop the decline in their properties;
  • To take urgent steps to deal with the inequalities which exist within the housing selection scheme especially in areas of high demand (waiting lists);
  • To ensure all social housing is built on the basis of objective need;
  • Not to implement the under-occpancy which has the potential of seeing thousands of social housing tenants being forced from their homes.

Six-County Cúige
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Passed

Motion 119

This Ard Fheis

Recognises that:

  • There is a shortage of social housing in the Irish state which has persisted since its foundation;
  • The current Irish Government has pursued a policy to pass responsibility for providing social housing onto the private sector and has continued to deplete the public housing stock.

Notes that:

  • This Irish government since 2011 has cut spending on housing by 19% to €585million, leaving local authority housing desperately underfunded resulting in 98,318 households on waiting lists for local authority housing in the state;
  • There are 23,649 people housed as part of the Rental Accommodation Scheme and 94,000 people are in receipt of Rent Supplement with recent cuts to Rent Supplement rates making securing affordable housing even more difficult and in some cases has led to families being made homeless;
  • That the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA) is mandated to provide a social dividend yet only 179 units have so far been provided for housing.

Calls on the Irish Government to:

  • Ensure NAMA contributes to “the social and economic development of the state” in providing any housing units in its portfolio suitable for social housing;
  • Develop a plan to commence the building at least 5,000 housing units by the end of 2013, with a further 4,000 houses by the second half of 2014 for the public housing system, including the use of social housing bonds to fund these projects;
  • Restore funding for Traveller accommodation to its 2010 level.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae
McCabe/Quigley Cumann, Dublin
Parle/Crean/Hogan Cumann, Wexford

Emmet/Clarke Cumann, Dublin

Mulvoy/Campbell Cumann, Galway City

Passed

Motion 120

This Ard Fheis condemns recent Irish governments for the failure of so many people in the state to be able to access good quality social housing. It is clear we need a radical change in the way that we currently deliver social housing. It is estimated that almost 100,000 people are on the current Housing Waiting list, including 5,200 people on the list of the newly merged Limerick local authorities with little hope of most getting housed. At the same time this state spends €498,200 in rent to private landlords through both the Rent Allowance and Rental Accommodation Schemes in 2012. It Is clear that the state needs to focus on the provision of social housing as a priority, it needs to move away from dependency on private landlords to provide social housing, and it needs to make a commitment to tackle what is a scandalous social housing list.
Clancy/O’Callaghan Cumann, Limerick City

Passed

Motion 121

This Ard Fheis calls on Dublin City Council to adequately maintain their properties for the benefit of all the tenants. Properties are falling into states of disrepair due to the neglect of DCC.
McCabe/Quigley Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 122

This Ard Fheis calls on the incoming Ard Chomhairle to establish a group to ensure that the protection of social housing and community ethos of the Housing Executive prevails in the aftermath of upcoming review of housing in the North. The Sinn Féin Assembly team should ensure that:

  • The existing housing stock is secured and remains under the one landlord;
  • The community and social ethos is maintained and sustained into the future;
  • The allocation of housing is based on need;
  • The building of new social housing is based on targeting social need;
  • Existing jobs within the Housing Executive are secured into the future;
  • The ‘right to buy’ scheme is reviewed to ensure it is not eroding what is left of the social housing stock.

Derry City Comhairle Ceantair
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 123

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes that while all local authorities have a clear housing policy, they lack clarity in dealing with persons who have been forced to leave what was the family home because of relationship breakdowns. These same persons have marked difficulties accessing Supplementary Welfare Allowance (Rent Allowance) and often are not accepted on to local authority housing lists as they are deemed to have vested financial interests in family homes which they no longer occupy (having often fled these homes as a result of domestic violence).
  • Also notes that, at present, local authorities largely assess such applications on a case-by-case basis, as opposed to applying clear policies based on legislation, to deal with persons who are effectively in limbo and as a result struggle to meet private rental costs and are deemed ineligible to apply for social housing schemes.
  • Calls on Minister for Environment, Community & Local Government Phil Hogan to empower and resource local authorities to effectively assess persons who have left what was the family home owing to relationship breakdown, to clearly set out policy to deal with such applicants, and to set out mechanisms within this policy to allow for compassionate and psychological factors of persons to be part of the assessment processes.

Louth Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 124

Recognising the right to adequate housing and the fact that there are many houses rented by local authorities are without adequate heating, insulation and solar energy, this Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to make adequate funding available to renovate council housing stock so that people can live in a standard of accommodation that is conducive to good health and comfort.
This Ard Fheis also calls for sufficient funding to be made for the Warmer Homes Scheme to enable the nine-month waiting list to be tackled in a timely manner. There are currently hundreds of homes awaiting these essential works to be done.
Erris Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 125

This Ard Fheis calls for greater regulation of private landlords and the introduction of rent controls as a means to tackle increasing housing costs to the public purse as opposed to the imposition of arbitrary housing benefit caps and under-occupancy (‘bedroom tax’) penalties to the detriment of tenants in the Six Counties.
This Ard Fheis also calls on the Irish Government and the Executive to produce legislation to ensure the rights of private tenants are protected and that all premises rented are fit for purpose.
McCabe/Quigley Cumann, Dublin
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Passed

Motion 126

This Ard Fheis calls:

  • On the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government, Ballymun Regeneration Ltd and Dublin City Council to complete any remaining pyrite testing in Ballymun and repair the houses as a matter of urgency;
  • For the completion of the Ballymun Regeneration Scheme as swiftly as possible;
  • For the reversal of the funding cuts for Ballymun Regeneration Ltd.

McCabe/Quigley Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 127

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to immediately allocate adequate funding to address the scandal of unfinished estates and demand that the Controller and Auditor General be tasked with investigating:

  • The practice by some local authorities of not collecting bonds;
  • The practice by some local authorities of using rolling bonds;
  • The practice by some local authorities of continuing to grant planning permission in respect of new developments to developers who had a known history of failure to comply with previous planning permission.

Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 128

This Ard Fheis, noting that some homes built in recent years are of poor quality and in some cases negligent (as exemplified in Priory Hall and in homes affected by pyrite) calls on the Irish Government to work towards cancelling the debt incurred by those owner-occupiers who purchased their properties in good faith without those individuals incurring negative credit ratings.

O’Malley/Russell Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 129

That owners of leasehold property still held by foreign and/or absentee landlords should have their interest in said property enlarged to the status of freehold upon application to the Land Registry and for this process to occur immediately and without cost to the Irish citizen. If the landlord is unknown, or does not want to facilitate this procedure, then any costs incurred through the use of a Ground Rent Arbitrator should be paid by the state.
Collins/McGreevy Cumann, Galway

Passed

Motion 130

This Ard Fheis respectfully notes the difficulties faced by all those who experience homelessness and the obstacles faced relating to housing transition involving those who have misused substances.

  • In light of the above, this Ard Fheis commends the concept of the Housing First Policy adopted by the Housing Agency, an approach to ending homelessness developed in the US. This approach involves the assistance of homeless individuals into permanent accommodation with appropriate support and care services rather than the traditional approach, often described as 'housing ready';
  • This Ard Fheiscommits to a comprehensive review of this model in light of its suitability regarding implementing it on an all-island basis.

Terry Clarke Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 131

This Ard Fheis calls that, in the event of any bankruptcy proceedings being issued against an individual, the protection of the family house should be capped to a value €1million. The home then being sold with the finance raised in excess of €1milion used to pay off creditors.
Smyth/Savage Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Defending Rural Ireland

Motion 132

This Ard Fheis recognises that:

  • Rural communities are under attack and that Labour/Fine Gael policies of austerity are stripping our local communities of essential services – of schools, of guidance counsellors, hospitals, rural transport network, post-offices and Garda stations. This Irish Government is also adding new stealth taxes like the Universal Social Charge, the Family Home Tax, VAT increases, motor tax increases, septic tank and water charges.
  • Businesses, shops and pubs in rural towns and villages are closing. Small indigenous businesses, including small farmers, with no real support from the government or credit from the banks, are going under and that our fishing communities continue to be devastated.
  • The failure of the Irish Government to recognise the social and economic impact of emigration and cuts and the absence of equality of access to public services places a huge threat on the quality of life of people living in rural Ireland.
  • The absence of a clear government plan to ensure the protection and future sustainability of rural communities and the creation of a prosperous rural economy is unacceptable.
  • The very significant socio-economic contribution that the agriculture and agri-food sector is currently making to the economy and the further potential contribution that it can make to economic recovery if it is given the support that it needs.

This Ard Fheis reiterates:
- Our continued commitment to provide leadership and stand with the people of rural Ireland in a fightback as part of the ongoing Sinn Féin ‘Love Rural Ireland’ campaign launched in Castlebar in March 2012;
- Our goal to ensure Oireachtas support for our recently launched ‘Defending Rural Ireland’ plan which provides clear solutions and a long-term vision for the regeneration and growth of rural communities, investment in job creation across rural Ireland as outlined in Sinn Féin job creation proposals;
- To reinstate the position of Minister for Rural Affairs as a full Cabinet position contained wholly within one of the existing portfolios;

- Endorses the recently launched document ‘The Future of Rural Ireland – Mapping a Pathway to Recovery’.

Ard Chomhairle

Charlie Hurley Cumann, Co. Cork
McDonnell/O’Shea Cumann, Cork
Erris Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 133

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to engage fully with representatives of the turfcutters and contractors, along with other relevant stakeholders, to develop and adopt an acceptable strategy for the management of raised bogs in Ireland which will ensure that conflict can be avoided and that traditional rights to cut turf can be exercised whenever possible, whilst acknowledging the vital role that turfcutters play in maintaining the bogs and protecting the environment.
Galway West Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 134

This Ard Fheis notes the spiralling number of young people who are unemployed and forced to emigrate. We recognise that Mayo and other counties along the Western seaboard have been blighted by emigration for many generations. This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to address this crisis as a matter of urgency.
O’Malley/McEvilly Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 135

This Ard Fheis notes the policing crisis in rural communities. We call for the reversal of cuts to Garda numbers, vehicles, and for the reopening rural Garda stations.
This Ard Fheis also calls upon the Minister for Justice to initiate a complete overhaul of the Community Alert Scheme in rural Ireland, including:

  • That the Community Alert Scheme be revamped and relaunched at a state level following which a local and state-wide public awareness campaign be launched to make members of the public aware of the potential of Community Alert schemes;
  • That the scheme be provided with adequate numbers of dedicated Garda personnel to engage with communities;
  • That gardaí work in a spirit of co-operation with stakeholders in the community to tackle the growing menace of rural crime.

Donegal Comhairle Ceantair
West Waterford Cumann
O’Malley/McEvilly Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 136

This Ard Fheis calls for the reopening of the post office in Duncormick village in south Wexford which has been closed without explanation for the past nine months, causing considerable hardship for the local community and huge loss of revenue for nearby businesses.
Parle/Crean/Hogan Cumann, Wexford

Passed

Motion 137

This Ard Fheis calls on the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government to remove the stipulation that septic tanks not registered before February 1st 2013 will not be eligible for future grants to upgrade.
John Francis Green Cumann, Co. Monaghan

Passed

Motion 138

This Ard Fheis calls for the development of a Childcare Strategy and calls on the minister for Agriculture in the north to bring forward measures to assist rural childcare provision.
Coalisland/Clonoe Martyrs Cumann

Passed

Motion 139

This Ard Fheis condemns the cutting of the LIS (Local Improvement Scheme) which is vital for the repairing and upgrading of the huge network of local roads throughout rural Ireland.
Erris Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 140

This Ard Fheis calls on the Minister for Transport to enhance and expand the Rural Transport Programme whilst maintaining and supporting the existing delivery mechanisms which provide vital local transport services to communities in rural areas.

Máirtín Ó Cadhain Cumann, Galway

Passed

Motion 141

This Ard Fheis notes with concern the inequality of broadband provision. Rural areas are being denied a service or being forced to pay over the odds for a broadband connection. We welcome the plans from the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in the North to invest £5million in broadband. We call on the Executive to ensure that all rural areas have full access to broadband.
Coalisland/Clonoe Martyrs Cumann, Tyone

Passed

Motion 142

This Ard Fheis deplores the situation in north Mayo where the National Rural Development Programme has not been in operation since the closure of MFG (Meitheal Forbatha na Gaeltachta) in September 2011. We call on Environment Minister Hogan to reinstate the programme with immediate effect and ringfence the monetary allocation outstanding to this region.
Erris Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 143

This Ard Fheis calls for the radical reform of the Common Agriculture Policy's Single Farm Payments system to ensure a much fairer distribution of the overall budget to small farmers and a much fairer geographic spread of the payments.
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 144

This Ard Fheis calls on the 26-County Minister for Agriculture to enact similar legislation to that introduced by Minister Michelle O’Neill in the Six Counties to allow farmers with legitimate excuses to spread slurry during the winter months. Recent wet summers have made it impossible for farmers to complete this process within the set deadline.

Parle/Crean/Hogan Cumann, Wexford

Passed

Motion 145

Large multinational corporations are buying up large tracts of agricultural land around the world to exploit imminent increased world food shortages. In concert with its policy concerning Irish people’s ownership of the country’s natural resources, this Ard Fheis calls on the party to do everything in its power to oppose large foreign/multinational corporation purchases of large tracts of agricultural land in Ireland and to condemn the practice internationally while ensuring individual foreign nationals may still purchase residential properties and small adjoining plots of land. This Ard Fheis requests that regular reports be requested to show the extent of sales of agricultural land to outside bodies.
Michael J. Marren Cumann, Sligo

Passed

Motion 146

This Ard Fheis calls on the Fine Gael/Labour Government to adopt the Six-County TVR bovine TB eradication programme in the 26 Counties. While recognising the major problem bovine TB is for farmers, the current culling policy is not working and is not the best use of a €70million budget allocated to deal with the issue of bovine TB. The Test/Vaccinate/Remove programme recently introduced in the Six Counties represents a more systematic programme and is a better use of valuable taxpayers’ money.

Markievicz/Ryan Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 147

This Ard Fheis commits Sinn Féin to establishing a Farm Retirement Package and restoring REPS Installation Aid & Area Based Payments as a matter of urgency, recognising that failure to take such action now to protect small farmers will result in the large-scale disappearance of our traditional family farms and rural communities.
McDonnell/O’Shea Cumann, Cork

Passed

Motion 148

This Ard Fheis condemns the erosion of Farm Assist over the last two Budgets which means farm families are driven into poverty and demands the original criteria be used to calculate means assessment.
Erris Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 149

This Ard Fheis calls for an adequate permanent compensation package to be put in place for farm families who are restricted in farming practices and planning permission where lands are designated as a SAC (Special Area of Conservation), NHA (National Habitats Area) and SPA (Special Protection Area).

Erris Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 150

This Ard Fheis congratulates Sinn Féin Ministers Michelle O’Neill and Carál Ní Chuilín on their work in supporting the fishermen and bringing Lough Neagh into public ownership.
East and South Tyrone Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 151

This Ard Fheis recognises the economic hardship suffered by our coastal communities due to the decline of the Irish commercial fishing industry and pledges to do everything within its power to reverse the economic decline of these communities.
This Ard Fheis commends the Six-County Fisheries Minister Michelle O'Neill for her leadership in securing a 6% increase in the local prawn quota despite a proposed cut by the EU Commission of 12%. In light of future reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy, it calls on her to work with stakeholders across the island in an effort to protect and promote the Irish fishing industry.
South Down Comhairle Ceantair
McGrath/O’Brien Cumann, Waterford

Passed

Motion 152

This Ard Fheis opposes the development of fish farms in the west of Ireland as they have a serious impact on the wild salmon that comes to the west coast. There are also pollution issues with fish farming and in some cases the revenue generated from these farms does not go back into the local economy.
Murt Qualter Cumann, Galway

Referred

Motion 153

This Ard Fheis propose that Ireland should seek a substantial renegotiation of the Common Fisheries Policy. Since Ireland’s membership we have seen the erosion of our fishing industry, the destruction of our fishing communities and the loss of any substantial benefit to the Irish people from one of our greatest natural resources at the expense of others, which properly managed in Ireland’s interest has the potential to be a fundamental building block in developing a sustainable, self-sufficient economy.
McDonnell/O’Shea Cumann, Cork

Passed

Motion 154

This Ard Fheis recognises the importance of traditional activities such as cutting seaweed, gathering shellfish and inshore fishing and calls on the Irish Government to develop policies and legislation that will support coastal communities to continue and to develop these because of their inherent economic, social and cultural importance.

Máirtín Ó Cadhain Cumann, Galway

Passed

Motion 155

This Ard Fheis, in the light of the recent crisis in the food industry, calls for greater co-operation between the food safety authorities North and South, and for regular meetings at ministerial and departmental level to co-ordinate monitoring of the food sector to ensure full traceability and to promote the use of Irish-produced meat.
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae agus Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Passed

Motion 156

This Ard Fheis welcomes the EU decision to extend Country of Origin Labelling to include meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry but is calling for further transparency on processed foods with ingredients from many countries.

This Ard Fheis is calling for ‘‘Verifiable Country of Origin’’ labelling on all farm produce sold by retailers to ensure that consumers are not confused and undermine local producers by passing off imports as Irish as is the case currently (e.g. through the use of Tricolours, shamrocks, green labels and so on), especially as the EU debate about Country of Origin Labelling has effectively been postponed.

Markievicz/Ryan Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Justice and Equality

Motion 157

This Ard Fheis reaffirms its commitment to consolidating the new beginning to policing envisaged in the Good Friday Agreement and reflected in the outcome of the Patten Commission Report in 1999.
This Ard Fheis further reaffirms its commitment to take immediate steps towards an all-Ireland policing service.
The requirement for a policing service which is civic in nature, accountable, human rights compliant and representative of the community it serves remains a political imperative.
We commend the work of party members on the Policing Board in their continuing efforts to develop confidence in the new policing dispensation and, in particular, in their tackling of differential policing practices, their focus on the role and remit of the NCA, their confronting the scandal of rehiring Patten retirees, and their work to bring about a policing service fully representative of the community it serves.

Ard Chomhairle

Doherty/Delaney Cumann, Meath

Passed

Motion 158

This Ard Fheis:

  • Commends the contribution of our Justice and Policing spokespersons across the island;
  • Acknowledges the contribution of both party and community activists who have served their communities on Policing Boards, Policing and Community Safety Partnerships, and Joint Policing Committees;
  • Commends the development throughout the Six Counties of multi-agency initiatives that empower local people to promote safer communities and call for PCSPs to further support and resource these initiatives;
  • Calls upon the Sinn Féin All-Ireland Justice Advisory Group to convene an event for party members on the further development of the ‘Justice in an Ireland of Equals’ policy document;
  • Calls upon the Irish Government to reverse the cutbacks to An Garda Síochána and calls upon policing services to be resourced to an adequate level so that they are enabled to protect our communities;
  • Calls on the Minister for Justice and Equality in the 26 Counties to introduce legislation to establish a civilian oversight body similar to the Policing Board in the North that can hold An Garda Síochána to account and will also assist them to build confidence in the community they serve.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae agus Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 159

This Ard Fheis calls for substantial fines for any person found abandoning their animals.
McCabe/Quigley Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 160

This Ard Fheis calls on the Minister for Justice to bring forward legislation that puts in place a Sentencing Council and new Sentencing Guidelines for the judiciary to ensure accountability and consistency in sentencing, particularly for violent crimes and sexual assaults.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae

Passed

Motion 161

This Ard Fheis calls on the Minister for Justice to bring forward legislation that puts in place a Sentencing Council and new Sentencing Guidelines for the judiciary to ensure accountability and consistency in sentencing, particularly for violent crimes and sexual assaults.
Further calls on the Minister for Justice to ensure that any remission granted to persons convicted of sexual offences is based on participation in the Prison Service’s Sex Offenders Treatment Programmes and demonstrable rehabilitation.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae

Passed

Motion 162

That Sinn Féin endorses the ‘Turn Off The Red Light’ campaign supported by trade unions and a wide range of civic society organisations.
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair
O’Malley/McEvilly Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 163

This Ard Fheis recognises that trafficking of women and girls for the purpose of sexual exploitation is a modern form of slavery and notes with concern the growing crime of human trafficking in Ireland and calls on all the relevant agencies on the island to work together and co-operate fully with one another in order to comprehensively tackle this very serious problem.
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair
O’Malley/McEvilly Cumann, Mayo
Nolan/Downey Cumann, Belfast

Passed

Motion 164

This Ard Fheis proposes that an Ombudsman board be established on an all-Ireland basis to deal with and monitor the judiciary and oversee that procedures and judgments are followed accordingly.
Murt Qualter Cumann, Galway

Passed

Motion 165

This Ard Fheis proposes that transcripts of proceedings in the district and circuit court should be made available through the court services. This would be beneficial to the plaintiff, defendant and the general public in case of appeals or clarification.
Murt Qualter Cumann, Galway

Passed

Motion 166

This Ard Fheis fully supports the need for legislative change in relation to the requirement for unanimous verdicts in Coroners’ Courts in the Six Counties. In line with the practice in the 26 Counties, Britain and other jurisdictions, majority verdicts should be the legal requirement for coronial inquests.
Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 167

This Ard Fheis notes:

  • The lack of legal clarity regarding surrogacy in Irish law;
  • The recent case in the Dublin High Court where the state argued that the genetic parent of a surrogate child may not be registered as the legal parent of that child – a surrogate mother automatically retains full custody of the surrogate child over the genetic parents;
  • That children born through surrogacy have been rendered stateless as a result of the law's failure to address their circumstances;
  • That this causes difficulties for children born through surrogacy and their families and deprives these children of the family rights to which they are entitled.

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to:

  • Introduce legislation to provide a legal framework for surrogacy;
  • Legislate to ensure the rights of children born through surrogacy both in Ireland and outside of the jurisdiction are upheld.

Drumm/Doherty Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 168

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to abolish the Defamation Act 2009 (blasphemy law) on the basis it is unconstitutional as it infringes on rights given to Irish citizens in Bunreacht na hÉireann:
“Article 40.1.i The state guarantees liberty for the exercise of the following rights, subject to public order and morality: i. The right of the citizens to express freely their convictions and opinions.”
Drumm/Doherty Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 169

This Ard Fheis condemns the cut in the phone allowance for pensioners and calls upon the Minister for Justice to initiate a scheme to allow elderly citizens to access home alert systems without having to incur unnecessary phone charges
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 170

This Ard Fheis calls for the immediate abolition of the unregulated, privatised, profit-making direct provision system for asylum seekers and the introduction of a fair and equitable system.

This Ard Fheis also calls for the asylum decision-making process to be removed from political interference and given to an entirely independent body which bases its decisions on the protection of human rights and for asylum seekers to be allowed work as they are willing and able and should have the same rights and conditions as anyone else.
Galway West Comhairle Ceantair
Benny Connolly Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 171

This Ard Fheis:

  • Reiterates its call for the immediate release of Marian Price and Martin Corey.
  • Calls for an investigation by the European Court of Human Rights and the Irish Human Rights Commission into the treatment of political prisoners, republican and loyalist, by prison authorities in Maghaberry Prison.
  • Welcomes the release of Gerry McGeough.

Charlie McGlade Cumann, Dublin
Galway West Comhairle Ceantair
Drumm/Doherty Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 172

This Ard Fheis reaffirms its support for the underlying principles of the Good Friday Agreement, including equality, mutual respect and parity of esteem.
It calls for a renewed focus on the basis of these principles by the two governments and the parties in the Executive on the need to give effect to the Good Friday Agreement provisions with respect to the establishment of a Bill of Rights for the North of Ireland and the creation of a charter, open to signature by all democratic political parties, reflecting and endorsing agreed measures for the protection of the fundamental rights of everyone living in the island of Ireland.
Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 173

This Ard Fheis commits the party to work for the urgent incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into law in the 32 Counties in furtherance of our commitment to a Bill of Rights.
Toman/Burns/McKerr Cumann, Upper Bann

Passed

Motion 174

This Ard Fheis reaffirms its support of equality in all of its forms and reaffirms its support for the LGBT community and commends the work of local councillors and party members throughout both the 26- and Six-County states for pushing for the extension of full marriage rights to the LGBT Community and An Phoblacht for its continued coverage of these important issues.
Therefore, this Ard Fheis calls for:

  • Legislation that entitles same-sex couples to marry and recognises that these couples should be given the same legal, marital and social status of opposite-sex married couples.
  • Constitutional rights given to opposite-sex married couples to be extended to all marriages including adoption rights.

Martin Hurson Cumann, UCC
Dublin Cúige
West Waterford Cumann

Passed

Motion 175

In the wake of recent events involving door security staff, this Ard Fheis calls upon Quality and Qualifications Ireland to extend the requirements for programme content to training providers. FETAC courses that govern door security procedures should emphasise the rights of minority groups such as members of the LGBT and Traveller communities as laid down in the Equal Status Act

Dublin Cúige
Countess Markievicz/Tadhg Barry Cumann, Cork City

Passed

Motion 176

This Ard Fheis calls upon the Irish Government to remove all possible “ethos based” exemptions from ‘he Employment Equality Act that permits medical, religious and educational organisations to discriminate against their LGBT employees.
This Ard Fheis also calls upon the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) to review its policy on blood donations from men who have sex with men.

Dublin Cúige

Passed

Motion 177

This Ard Fheis commends the work done by the party in highlighting the plight of the Traveller community in Ireland and in particular with highlighting the level of discrimination faced by travellers North and South. This Ard Fheis also commends Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD for his Traveller Ethnicity Recognition Bill which is to be brought before the Dáil and which, amongst other measures, will extend Ethnic Minority Status to Irish Travellers. This motion calls upon the party to build on the work of Pádraig and others within the party to continue to highlight the plight of the Traveller community in Ireland to lobby for Ethnic Minority Status.
West Waterford Cumann
Muff Cumann, Donegal

Passed

Education

Motion 178

This Ard Fheis commends the Minister for Education in the Six Counties, John O'Dowd, for his leadership in resisting any attempts to abolish the Educational Maintenance Allowance; the investment he delivered to secure the future of the Allowance; and for ensuring it will be targeted at those in greatest need.
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Passed

Motion 179

This Ard Fheis calls on Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton to immediately remove the blocks to people seeking the Back to Education Allowance.
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 180

This Ard Fheis recognises the important role colleges of further education play in the educational needs of people from disadvantaged areas. We condemn the recent Budget measures announced by 26-County Education Minister Ruairí Quinn which saw increases to the pupil-teacher ratio from 17:1 to 19:1 for Post Leaving Certificate Programmes
This Ard Fheis also notes that these measures have resulted in the loss of an estimated 200 Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) posts, meaning in excess of 400 teachers losing their jobs and we call on the Minister for Education to reverse this decision.
Countess Markievicz/Tadhg Barry Cumann, Cork City

Passed

Motion 181

This Ard Fheis commends the Minister for Education in the Six Counties, John O’Dowd, and the spokesperson on Education in the 26 Countis, Jonathan O’Brien, for their work on the issue of bullying in schools.
This Ard Fheis calls for:

  • This issue to be made a priority for Education spokespeople North and South;
  • Successful programmes such as the Erris Anti-Bullying initiative and the Norwegian model to be taken into account in the formation of policy as outlined in the recent Sinn Féin legislation tabled in Leinster House;
  • The party spokespeople on education North and South to work together on the formulation of an all-Ireland policy on tackling homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae agus Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae
Countess Markievicz/Tadhg Barry Cumann, Cork City

Passed

Motion 182

This Ard Fheis mandates its Six-County and 26-County spokespersons on Education to work together to ensure that children who have behavioural and/or special educational needs have the necessary supports and resources available to them to ensure their fullest academic potential.
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae agus Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Passed

Motion 183

This Ard Fheis condemns the failure by successive Irish governments to provide adequate community and public facilities in areas of major population growth during the past 15 years with particular reference to school facilities and school places.

Thomas Ashe Cumann, Meath

Passed

Motion 184

Sinn Féin recognises the need for greater cross-border co-operation in terms of second-level education for pupils with autism, and campaigns through our Education Minister in the Northern Executive and Education spokesperson in the Dáil to remove any bureaucracy which prevents second level schools from accommodating autistic children from neighbouring counties on either side of the border. This Ard Fheis recognises that such a move would ease the burden of families in border areas that currently send their children on long journeys to access education while a suitable school may be much closer in the neighbouring jurisdiction.
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair
Muff Cumann, Donegal

Passed

Motion 185

This Ard Fheis calls on the Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn to take a more active role in the HSE reconfiguration plans that are being currently implemented and which are having an adverse impact on specialised schools for children with special educational needs.
Countess Markievicz/Tadhg Barry Cumann, Cork City

Passed

Motion 186

This Ard Fheis acknowledges the importance of the Irish Government’s literacy and numeracy strategy which sets out to ensure young people will leave school able to read, write use mathematics in their everyday lives and in further learning. We also recognise the importance of enhancing digital learning in schools and call on the Department of Education and Skills in the 26 Counties to ensure adequate funding is made available to equip schools so they are able to improve the standard of digital learning.
This Ard Fheis calls for the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy to make provision for the equal allocation of time to the teaching of Irish, English and Maths in primary schools.
Countess Markievicz/Tadhg Barry Cumann, Cork City
Matthew Kane Cumann, Offaly

Passed

Motion 187

This Ard Fheis opposes the Irish Government plans to assess capital assets when awarding higher education grants as it will unfairly penalise the children of families whose parents or guardians are self-employed and will mean many prospective third-level students from a farming background will be refused grant assistance.
Countess Markievicz/Tadhg Barry Cumann, Cork City
Erris Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 188

This Ard Fheis condemns the regressive action of the Irish Government in relation to the provision of third-level education. We call on the Government to provide universal access to education, abolish student contributions and reform the grants system to take into account the real cost of going to college.
In the interim, this Ard Fheis also calls for Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn to honour his pre-election promises in relation to student fees, and reverse the hike in the student registration fee contained in Budget 2013.
Terry Clarke Cumann, Dublin
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair
Pearse/McCann Cumann, Tipperary

Passed

Motion 189

This Ard Fheis notes the independent review into Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) and calls for the full implementation of its recommendations in order to ensure students applying for third level grants will never have to endure the hardship and stress that resulted from the failings of SUSI in 2012/13.
Countess Markievicz/Tadhg Barry Cumann, Cork City

Passed

Motion 190

We call on the Executive in the North and the Irish Government to make a decisive shift towards preventative spending and early-intervention initiatives, giving particular focus to both the early years and to the targeting of those most in need.
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 191

This Ard Fheis recognises that fostering a job creating and entrepreneurial spirit should begin in schools and that schools should look to people who have achieved in this area act as mentors.
This Ard Fheis also notes that the system of placing young people on compulsory TÚS schemes is not working. We call for root and branch reform of the scheme making it more relevant to the young unemployed.
Roscommon Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 192

This Ard Fheis calls on Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn to develop a specific Irish-language post-primary curriculum directed at Gaeltacht schools, Galescoileanna and fluent Irish-language speakers within the system to enhance the teaching of Irish and develop a greater proficiency and richness in our national language at second level.
This Ard Fheis also calls on the Department of Education and Skills to establish a programme of financial supports for student teachers, targeted at those in most need, to facilitate their participation in the Gaeltacht placement programme.
Galway West Comhairle Ceantair
Countess Markievicz/Tadhg Barry Cumann, Cork City

Passed

Motion 193

This Ard Fheis calls on Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn to make summer courses in the Gaeltacht more accessible to students who wish to participate in them by providing suitable financial assistance.

Ard Chomhairle
West Galway Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 194

This Ard Fheis reaffirms its commitment to the diversity of our education system, North and South. Sinn Féin is committed to more cohesion, sharing and integration in our education system. Our education system should be responsive towards the problems of sectarianism and division within our society. This strategy should play an integral role in the reconciliation process and the fostering of respect for diversity. It is therefore important that we have a broad, objective curriculum wherein differing identities are included.
Modern Irish history should be taught in an impartial manner to ensure that our children can learn from history to create a more inclusive future.
Pearse/McCann Cumann, Tipperary

Passed

Motion 195

This Ard Fheis recognises the impact of the austerity cuts that the Fine Gael/Labour Government has introduced in the past two years on the education system. This Ard Fheis opposes cutting the education budget and calls for:

  • A reversal in the Government’s decision not to allow a specific allocation for guidance councillors in second-level schools;
  • The reintroduction of the Minor Works Grant, a resource to schools to pay for essential maintenance and everyday running costs;
  • The government to reverse its Budget 2013 cut to the Back to School and Footwear Allowance;
  • The Government to reverse its decision where people on VTOS, Youthreach and other further education and training programmes who move from Jobseeker payments will no longer have their new payments increased to the maximum €188 per week.

Countess Markievicz/Tadhg Barry Cumann, Cork City

Passed

Health and Children

Motion 196

This Ard Fheis:

  • Welcomes the decision of the Irish people to enshrine the rights of children in the Constitution through the passing of the Children’s Rights Referendum in November 2012;
  • Wants to see the establishment of the Child and Family Support Agency with appropriate urgency;
  • Recognises the need to put Children First on a statutory footing without delay;
  • Calls for changes to adoption legislation to be enacted at the earliest opportunity;
  • Commends Sinn Féin for its leadership in the address of child protection and the needs of young adults.

Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 197

This Ard Fheis calls on the Fine Gael/Labour Party Government to reverse the cuts to the Respite Care Grant. Carers provide an essential service to people they care for and to society as a whole. This cut comes at a time when respite services are being steadily cut back across the state due to the Government imposing cuts to the health service. This money is invaluable to the families affected and it is again this Government attacking the most vulnerable in society.

Noel McCann Cumann, Galway

Erris Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 198

This Ard Fheis condemns the callous way this Irish government has cut hundreds of thousands of Home Help Hours from the elderly and most vulnerable people living in our country. We demand that these hours be reinstated and further hours be allocated to enable people to receive the necessary care and support to remain in their own homes.
Erris Cumann, Mayo
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 199

This Ard Fheis applauds young graduate nurses for their successful boycott campaign against the grossly inequitable “yellow pack” two-year nursing contracts, with greatly reduced pay, initiated by Health Minister James Reilly and the HSE, who have also signalled similar schemes for other graduate health professionals.
We call for the withdrawal of this scheme and for the Health Minister and the HSE to enter meaningful dialogue with the nursing unions who have expressed their willingness to discuss genuine savings while protecting the already reduced pay and conditions of nurses.
We demand the lifting of the recruitment ban which damages the capacity of our public health services to provide care to patients and which is driving young health professionals, educated at great cost in Ireland, to emigrate.
Ard Chomhairle
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 200

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes that a funding shortage means that only one cochlear implant is provided for deaf children in the 26 Counties;
  • Further notes that international best practice is to implant both ears;
  • Welcomes the work done by the Happy New Ear campaign to highlight this issue;
  • Calls on the Irish Government to make provision for bilateral cochlear implants for all children who require them.

Louth Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 201

This Ard Fheis reaffirms Sinn Féin’s commitment to work to achieve an All-Ireland Health Service, with care free at the point of delivery and access based on medical need alone, funded from fair general taxation.
We deplore the undermining of the public health service in the 26 Counties and the erosion of the NHS in the Six Counties by conservative governments in Dublin and London.
We note the persistent and growing inequalities in health outcomes as highlighted by such reports as ‘Eliminating Health Inequalities – A Matter of Life and Death’ (Tasc, 2011), ‘Healthcare Guaranteed? The Right to Health in Ireland’ (Amnesty International, 2011), and the Assembly Health Committee ‘Review of Health Inequalities Report’ (2012) and its nine recommendations;
We also note that the promise held out by the, ‘Investing for Health’ strategy to decrease inequalities in health has not been delivered;
We resolve to continue campaigning, North and South, for effective social, economic and healthcare measures to eliminate health inequalities and to deliver health services equitably and efficiently to all our people.
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae agus Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 202

This Ard Fheis calls on the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety in the North to reassure parents that the future service model for paediatric congenital cardiac services will prioritise the needs of their children;
This Ard Fheis further calls upon the Health Minister to explore fully an all-island solution with his counterpart, James Reilly.
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Passed

Motion 203

This Ard Fheis, recognising Health Minister James Reilly's failure at the helm of the health services in the South – including his disregard for objective and independent selection criteria, his ongoing protection of elites within medicine, as well as his failure to deliver promised savings on the state's drugs bill and the cost of private healthcare in public facilities – calls on him to resign his position and further calls on the Irish Government to heed the warnings of international experience and abandon its plan for a model of healthcare delivery based on multiple competing private insurers.

Thomas Ashe Cumann, Meath

Michael J. Marren Cumann, Sligo

Passed

Motion 204

This Ard Fheis calls on the Minister for Health and the HSE to make clinical supervision mandatory for the nursing profession in the 26 Counties considering the increased evidence base of the benefits of clinical supervision has for both nurses and patients.
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 205

This Ard Fheis calls on the Minister for Health to decentralise Medical Card applications and to review the application processes.
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 206

This Ard Fheis calls on the Minister for Health in the 26 Counties, as an interim step to a health service that is free at the point of delivery, to reduce the monthly drug payment charge of €144 for non-medical card holders back to the 2008 charge of €90.
Logue/Marley Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 207

This Ard Fheis calls on Health Ministers Edwin Poots and James Reilly to jointly launch and run an awareness campaign on the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Julie Dougan Cumann, Upper Bann

Passed

Motion 208

This Ard Fheis calls for:

  • The proportion of the health budget allocated to mental health to be brought into line with the European norm, which is around 12%;
  • Renewed Government commitment, support and resourcing for the delivery in full of the mental healthcare reforms in ‘Vision for Change’, providing for a complete overhaul and modernisation of mental health services in the 26 Counties. And supports the recent NIAMH campaign in the Six Counties, ‘Change Your Mind’, which is aimed at reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.
  • The extension of dedicated psychiatric liaison teams to all maternity and children’s hospitals.
  • Training for health professionals and educators in mental well-being, using established, internationally-endorsed training modules that will enable carers of our children to assess and recognise vulnerability to and actual emerging mental health difficulties from infancy onwards;
  • A review of GP support service provision to identify training needs and to support the provision of an appropriate continuous professional development (CPD) response to dealing with first-stage mental health problems.
  • A state-wide framework in the 26 Counties for the involvement and support of family members and carers in care plans as called for by Mental Health Reform.

Ard Chomhairle
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair
Benny Connolly Cumann, Dublin
Coen/Savage Cumann, Sligo

Passed

Motion 209

This Ard Fheis:

  • Recognises that suicide rates in Ireland have seen a steady rise in recent years and that this was not only synchronous with but also in part due to the economic recession;
  • Commits Sinn Féin to challenging the stigma surrounding mental illness and to seek to advance the Safetalk and ASSIST programmes at a local level where possible;
  • Commends the work of suicide awareness and suicide prevention groups across the island and the all-island approach taken by the North/South Interparliamentary Association;
  • Recognises that the onus of suicide prevention has been devolved to these organisations, (which receive very little government funding and information about governmental initiatives) and that these organisations are now the best qualified to combat suicide;
  • Believes that the National Office for Suicide Prevention is ineffective and the current national strategy for suicide prevention is outdated and in need of renewal/replacement.

Therefore, this Ard Fheis proposes that legislation be drafted with the aim of implementing the following changes:

  • For the governments North and South to increase funding to organisations and services active in suicide prevention and support for families affected by suicide;
  • The ‘Reach Out’ action strategy and all other current strategies be updated to cater for the current economic and social situation in its proposals;
  • That an All-Ireland National Suicide Authority be set up with the aim of synchronising the efforts of all anti-suicide organisations and creating clarity and unity in suicide prevention.

Martin Hurson Cumann, UCC
Toman/Burns/McKerr Cumann, Upper Bann
Julie Dougan Cumann, Upper Bann

Thomas Ashe Cumann, Meath

Coalisland/Clonoe Martyrs Cumann
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair
Six County Cúige
Darcy/Mellows Cumann, NUI Galway
Terry Clarke Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 210

This Ard Fheis:

  • Extends its deepest sympathy to the family of Savita Halappanavar and recognises that her death in such tragic and traumatic circumstances caused distress to people throughout the country and beyond;
  • Acknowledges that the absence of the required legislation denies women protection and the right to obtain a termination in life-threatening circumstances, and creates an ambiguous legal situation for clinicians in those same circumstances;
  • Further acknowledges that medical professionals in the Six Counties are currently operating in the absence of guidance which would clarify their legal and professional obligations;
  • Regrets that successive Irish governments and Ministers for Health have failed to legislate in this regard and regrets that guidance has not been reintroduced for medical professionals’ in the Six Counties.

This Ard Fheis calls on:

  • The Irish Government to immediately introduce legislation to give effect to the 1992 judgement of the Supreme Court in the X Case, to protect pregnant women where their lives are in danger and to give legal certainty to medical professionals;
  • The Health Minister in the Six Counties to reintroduce guidance for medical professionals as a matter of priority.

Ard Chomhairle

Passed

Motion 211

This Ard Fheis notes and welcomes Sinn Féin’s support for the Medical Treatment Bill 2012 and the initiative taken by the party in tabling a motion under Private Member’s Business urging the Government to legislate in line with the X Case ruling.
Sinn Féin calls on the Irish Government to introduce legislation, without delay, which ensures pregnant women have the right to choose any and all medical treatment regardless of the circumstances.
Pádraig Pearse Cumann, Derry City
James Connolly Cumann, Dublin

Failed

Motion 212

That all Sinn Féin members be allowed to articulate and vote on the issue of abortion according to their conscience.
Doherty/Delaney Cumann, Meath
Barrett/MacCurtain Cumann, Cork
Wicklow Comhairle Ceantair
Muff Cumann, Donegal

Fullerton/Mac Lochlainn/O’Hagan Cumann, Donegal

Failed

Motion 213

This Ard Fheis affirms Sinn Féin's support for the devolving of services from the network of overstretched acute general hospital sites to those smaller hospitals that have lost key services over recent years and that can play a greater role in the delivery of healthcare than is currently the case. We call on government to immediately commence this process, thereby setting in train the return of these hospitals to a more central role in the overall delivery of services across the state.
Monaghan Comhairle Ceantair
Gleeson Cumann, Wexford

Passed

Motion 214

This Ard Fheis calls for no further delays in the construction of the new National Children’s Hospital.
This Ard Fheis acknowledges the legacy of Mayo republican Dr Kathleen Lynn, a doctor, social activist, suffragette and revolutionary, who transformed health care services to women and children and the poor in tenement Dublin. We recognise her pioneering role in the eradication of TB.
This Ard Fheis calls for the new National Children’s Hospital to be named the ‘The Kathleen Lynn National Children’s Hospital’.
O’Malley/McEvilly Cumann, Mayo
Charlie McGlade Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 215

This Ard Fheis calls on the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the Executive to make the new regional women and children’s hospital a priority.
West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 216

This Ard Fheis commends all community-led campaigns to retain hospital services. This Ard Fheis supports the calls to reinstate A&E, acute medical and intensive care services in Louth County Hospital. In order for these services to be reinstated in an orderly and sustainable manner, this Ard Fheis calls on the HSE and Department for Health and Children to provide a 24/7 MIU service in Louth County Hospital, supported by a Medical Assessment Unit. These services will build capacity and support staff and management to plan the reinstatement of A&E, acute medical and intensive care services.

Rogers/Martin Cumann, Louth

Passed

Motion 217

This Ard Fheis calls on Minister for Health James Reilly to honour his pledge made on behalf of Fine Gael prior to the last general election that in the event of Fine Gael assuming government cancer care services would be returned to Sligo Regional Hospital.

Noble Six/O’Flanagan/MacManus Cumann, Sligo

Passed

Motion 218

This Ard Fheis calls on the Fine Gael/Labour Government to provide Galway Hospice with the necessary shortfall in funding so as to ensure the future retention of this vital service.
Mulvoy/Campbell Cumann, Galway City

Passed

Motion 219

This Ard Fheis opposes the downgrading of Mayo General Hospital and the Sacred Heart Home Hospital in Castlebar and the closure of beds in Belmullet Hospital as well as cuts to primary care services and calls on Minister for Health James Reilly and An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to reinstate services and to guarantee the future of Mayo General and the Sacred Home Hospitals in Castlebar and the reopening of the beds in Belmullet Hospital.
O’Malley/McEvilly Cumann, Mayo
Erris Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 220

This Ard Fheis supports the people in Donegal in their call for the retention and protection of the community hospitals across the county.
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 221

Given the increase of patients at Portunicla Hospital and as a result of the downscaling of services at Roscommon General Hospital by the Fine Gael/Labour Government, and because of the moratorium on recruitment, this Ard Fheis recognises the crucial role played by the staff at Portunicala Hospital in Ballinasloe and commits to the campaign to have proper resources and staffing levels in place to allow the hospital to operate as an efficient Grade 3 hospital

Noel McCann Cumann, Galway

Passed

Motion 222

This Ard Fheis notes the construction of a state-of-the-art community nursing unit in Inchicore, Dublin, completed almost two years ago at a cost of €12.4million which has never been opened.
It condemns the failure of Minister for Health James Reilly and the Health Service Executive to provide sufficient resources to properly staff the unit, calls on the HSE to lift the embargo on the recruitment of staff, and to refrain from using a public private partnership to complete the project in preference to public provision of services.

Emmet/Clarke Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 223

This Ard Fheis believes that Irish drug policy over the last 30 years has been dominated extensively by a reductionist medical prescription model around heroin, failing in any meaningful way to address the causes, social inclusion and totality of drug use in any meaningful way.
This Ard Fheis calls for the following to occur:

  • The appointment of a Junior Minister with sole responsibility for alcohol and drugs;
  • The recognition that poly drug use (drugs, alcohol and prescription drugs) is now our major problem;
  • The promotion and support of the Recovery Movement in Ireland providing a vision for change and social inclusion for those abandoned generationally in medical treatment services;
  • Double drug-free options in the next three years for detox beds, drug-free daytime programmes and residential treatment beds;
  • Set targets for progression out of treatment and rehabilitation services and pay grant aid and resource services based on outcomes;
  • Acknowledge all drug strategies have failed dismally to achieve actions set over the last 20 years;
  • Resource the gardaí and address as a priority the harassment and intimidation of drug users by criminal gangs;
  • Co-operate on an all-island basis around drug and alcohol strategies especially along the eastern corridor.

Patrick Cannon Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 224

This Ard Fheis expresses growing concern on the misuse of both legal and illegal drugs in Limerick City.
There is a major drugs problem in the city, especially in the increased use of both heroin and benzodiazepines. In this context we are disappointed that the recently-produced Government report ‘Report on the Review of Drugs Task Forces and the National Structures Under Which They Operate’ which fails to recommend the establishment of a dedicated Local Drugs Task Force for Limerick City.
Due to the severity of the drugs problem in the city, this Ard Fheis calls on the Government to amend this policy and to provide a well-resourced Local Drugs Task Force in Limerick City as a priority.
Clancy/O’Callaghan Cumann, Limerick City

Passed

Motion 225

This Ard Fheis call for an all-Ireland approach to alcohol and drug treatment with the aim to:

  • Ease access for treatment North and South;
  • Synchronise policies;
  • Share resources;
  • Develop wider service provision for those along the Border Corridor.

Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 226

This Ard Fheis calls for Minister for Health along with the ICGP to review the Methadone Protocol /Opioid Treatment Protocol and its effectiveness in rural areas, specifically looking at the low uptake of Level 1 training and the sparse provision of Level 2 GPs. Reasons for this need to examined with solutions in focus.
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 227

This Ard Fheis calls on the party to initiate a study on legislation across the EU on laws relating to the treatment and detention of those who are alcohol dependent, end-stage alcoholism and those with a presumptive diagnosis of alcohol-related brain injury (ARBI) as alcohol misuse is no longer treated under the Mental Health Act in Ireland or the Mental Health Act NI and there is no other legislative framework for the treatment of this cohort of patients. The system is failing and many families are suffering and treatment providers are limited as there is no law in place.
Donegal Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 228

This Ard Fheis expresses our support for the All Trials Campaign which is calling for European laws requiring that all clinical trial results are reported. Patients, researchers, pharmacists, doctors and regulators everywhere will benefit from publication of clinical trial results. Thousands of clinical trials have not reported their results and some trials have not even been registered. The lack of transparency in clinical trials leads to bad treatment decisions, missed opportunities for good medicine and trials being repeated.

Markievicz/Ryan Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 229

This Ard Fheis calls for recognition of disease prevention through diet, nutrition and lifestyle:

  • This approach to be communicated via media, education programs and parenting classes in post primary schools, to protect future generations from avoidable ill-health;
  • Funding to be allocated to support research in this area;
  • Regulation of the food industry to restrict promotion of high-sugar foods and drinks;
  • Parties with vested interests to be excluded from any advisory groups to the Government.

West Waterford Cumann

Passed

Motion 230

This Ard Fheis requests that all local authorities carry out inspections to assess accessibility of playgrounds for children with disabilities and allocate adequate resources to ensure that all playgrounds and equipment are fully accessible.
Erris Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 231

This Ard Fheis calls on all local authorities to show the short film ‘Welcome to Our World’ to council representatives and officials. The film depicts the daily struggles for wheelchair users and examines if enough is being done to ensure accessibility in places such as public buildings. That each local authority be called upon to implement develop and fully implement appropriate disability policies and infrastructure to service the needs of citizens in this regard.
Mairéad Farrell Cumann, Galway City

Passed

Motion 232

This Ard Fheis recognises the significant health benefits that accrue from use of the Artassist device and calls on Minister for Health James Reilly to immediately restore funding to those patients in Galway and Mayo who require this limb-saving, cost-effective, non-invasive therapy.

Galway West Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 233

This Ard Fheis:

  • Acknowledges the illegal incarceration of women and girls in the Magdalene Laundries;
  • Further acknowledges that the women and girls were forced to work for no pay in brutally harsh conditions;
  • Recognises the hurt and hardship caused by the exclusion of survivors of the Magdalene Laundries from the Residential Institutional Redress Scheme;
  • Further recognises the Magdalene survivor population is predominantly ageing and elderly;
  • Welcomes the finding of the inter-departmental committee that the state was fundamentally connected to the Magdalene Laundries;
  • Further welcomes An Taoiseach’s apology that openly and fully acknowledged the failure of the state to protect all women and girls held in these institutions;
  • Further demands an open, accountable, transparent, non-adversarial redress scheme on a statutory footing with an appeals process for the surviving women – the women must also be compensated for lost wages, their full pension entitlements, immediate health and housing needs must be provided for.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae
Clancy/O’Callaghan Cumann, Limerick City
West Waterford Cumann
Charlie McGlade Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 234

This Ard Fheis reaffirms our support for the demands of the survivors of symphysiotomy for full Irish Government recognition of this practice for the barbaric act that it was and for full truth, justice and redress for all the women involved and again calls on the Government to suspend the statute of limitations for this cohort of women to allow the victims to take a legal route with their case.
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae

Monaghan Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 235

This Ard Fheis calls on the Fine Gael/Labour Government to provide full and adequate redress for all those victims of former consultant Michael Neary who were excluded because of their age from the original redress scheme in line with pre-election and Programme for Government commitments and without further delay.
Monaghan Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 236

This Ard Fheis supports the aims of the Committee of the Forgotten:

i. All human remains found by the state are put on a national database;
ii. That the state spares no expense in DNA testing the remains found;
iii. That the remains are released to the relevant families as soon as possible;
iv. That in the case of remains not being matched to a family, that the remains are released to a relevant charity in order that they be given a dignified funeral.

Cathal Brugha/Kevin Lynch Cumann, Waterford

Passed

Gaeilge and Culture

Motion 237

This Ard Fheis recognises:

  • That the ‘20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-30’ is not being properly implemented;
  • That there are continuing attacks by the Government in the South on the Irish language and the Gaeltacht, including on essential institutions such as on Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga and COGG;
  • The hard work of Minister of Culture Arts and Leisure Carál Ní Chuilín on a strategy for the development of Irish in the North;
  • That the creation of an Irish Language Act in the North is an outstanding commitment from the St Andrews Agreement.

This Ard Fheis agrees:

  • That it is necessary to recognise the Irish language and the Gaeltacht community as stakeholders in the implementation of the ’20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language’;
  • There will be the need to adapt the two strategies to bring about an all-Ireland Irish-language strategy.

This Ard Fheis call for:

  • The Government in the South to put together a high-level structure, including representation from the community organisations, the department, COGG, Údarás, Fóras and language experts, which would be responsible for giving direction to the Government regarding the of implementation in the ’20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-30’;
  • Sinn Féin to seek a high-level structure in the North, with similar structure and representation, which would be responsible for giving direction to the Executive for language planning and strategy;
  • in light of the success of the Liofa 2015 campaign, calls for a renewed dialogue with unionist parties on Irish language rights, including the creation of an Irish Language Act;
  • An all-island Irish-language and Gaeltacht action plan rooted in the language policy of the party that will be brought forward in consultation with the Irish-language and the Gaeltacht community and which will build on the recommendations of the ‘Comprehensive Study on the Use of Irish in the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language’, and the strategy for the Irish language in the Six Counties, and the recommendations of the sector itself.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae agus Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Passed

Motion 238

This Ard Fheis condemns the attitude of the Government in the South towards the Irish language, particularly the decision to amalgamate the Office of the Language Commissioner with the Office of the Ombudsman, and the elimination of elections to the Údarás na Gaeltachta.
This Ard Fheis recognises:

  • That the ‘20-year Strategy for the Irish Language’ is not being applied as it should;
  • The excellent work undertaken by Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure Carál Ní Chuilín with the Líofa campaign and her support for the Irish language in general.

This Ard Fheis declares:

  • That we are diametrically opposed to Fine Gael’s proposal that Irish not be taught as a core subject for the Leaving Certificate;
  • The Irish Government should adopt Líofa as an all-Ireland campaign;
  • That it is essential for the Government in South to begin to implement the ‘20-Year Strategy’ immediately and that the funding be provided for this.

Coiste Náisiúnta Óige

Passed

Motion 239

This Ard Fheis commends the efforts of the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure Carál Ní Chuilín to ensure that the Irish language is accessible to all sections of the community through the Líofa 2015 campaign.
Derry City Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 240

This Ard Fheis calls on Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan to direct all local authorities to adopt a pro-Irish signage policy, such as that in Galway City and county councils amongst others, so that street names and housing estates be given Irish-language names in future.

Galway West Comhairle Ceantair

Passed

Motion 241

This Ard Fheis :

  • Calls on the Irish Government to recognise the special importance to the Irish nation of the 1916 Moore Street battlefield site and to ensure that the area is preserved and protected in its entirety;
  • Commends the work of the Moore Street campaign and commits the Sinn Féin represenetatives in the Oireachtas, the Assembly and Dublin City Council to continue to support the campaign;
  • Demands that Minister for Arts, Heritage, and Gaeltacht Affairs Jimmy Deenihan acts without further delay to ensure the full preservation of the National Monument as designated;
  • Urges the Heritage Minister to enter as a matter of urgency into dialogue with all the stakeholders in the area and any of the relevant state agencies and NGOs.

This Ard Fheis calls on the Heritage Minister to use this dialogue as a basis on which to formulate a new plan for the development of the Historic 1916 Quarter/Battlefield Site in time for the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae

Passed

Motion 242

This Ard Fheis welcomes plans to build a museum at the site of Richmond Barracks in Inchicore, Dublin – where the leaders of the Easter 1916 Rising were tried before being taken to be executed in Kilmainham Jail – and encourages the Government to ensure the contract for construction of this new facility includes a local labour clause.

Emmet/Clarke Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 243

In recognising the significance of 2016 and the build-up to centenary celebrations, this Ard Fheis:

  • Opposes efforts to link 1916 and the First World War as one commemoration;
  • Proposes the reintroduction of the 1916 scholarships.
  • Calls on all local authorities to submit motions that see commemorative monuments cleaned and civic buildings and streets renamed after republican unsung heroes.

Recognises:

  • The importance of commemorating the pivotal political events in our history over the next decade marking the period 1913-1923/2013-2023;
  • That 2013 marks the particular centenaries of the 1913 Lockout, the founding of the Irish Citizen Army, and the founding meeting of the Irish Volunteers;
  • The establishment of the Sinn Féin National Centenary Commemorations Committee by the Ard Chomhairle and the formation of locally-based committees going forward in 2013;
  • The success of the recent 1913 Lockout Centenary events held in both Dublin and New York organised by both Sinn Féin and Friends of Sinn Féin USA and the launch of our Lockout commemoration book also;
  • The publication of Lá Na Poblachta Bill 2013 by our Oireachtas team which would establish a national holiday on April 24, the anniversary of the reading of the Proclamation by Pádraig Pearse at the GPO in 1916;
  • The ongoing efforts to support the 1916 relatives and the campaign to preserve the GPO/Moore Street battlefield site as a historical and cultural quarter of national significance;
  • The important opportunity this decade offers to educate activists and supporters and the wider public on the ideals and ideas of Irish republicanism of which 2016 will be the centrepiece of our commemorative events programme marking the 1916 Easter Rising;
  • The significant opportunity during this decade of centenary commemorations for Sinn Féin to advance outreach and engagement with all sectors of society in commemorating and understanding these historical events, including local sporting organisations, historical societies, cultural groups, women’s sector, youth sector, language groups, unionism and all others across the island now and over the decade.

Galway West Comhairle Ceantair
Logue/Marley Cumann, Dublin

Tom Kealy Cumann, Kildare

Passed

Motion 244

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to ensure that the interpretative centre in honour of Pádraig Mac Piarais in Ros Muc, Co Galway, be completed in time for the 1916 centenary celebrations and that the funding necessary be made available to the OPW and Údarás na Gaeltachta and other relevant stakeholders to move the project forward without delay.

Máirtín Ó Cadhain Cumann, Galway

Passed

Motion 245

This Ard Fheis commends:

  • Female and male boxers on this island for the hard work and discipline they have put into training and recognises the outstanding achievements they have made;
  • The time, commitment and energy coaches and trainers put into the sport;
  • Recognises the importance boxing has on communities, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background;
  • The contribution made by local communities in supporting their local boxing clubs;
  • The work of the Culture Arts and Leisure Minister Carál Ní Chuilín in the promotion of the sport and for bringing forward a boxing strategy.

This Ard Fheis:

  • Calls on Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar to work with the Culture Arts Leisure Minister Carál Ní Chuilín in bringing forward an All-Ireland Boxing Strategy.

Six-County Cúige

Passed

Motion 246

This Ard Fheis urges the Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Football Association to start the process for forming one International team for the whole island and a league structure for a 32-county league, inviting applications from all clubs to develop this league.
James Connolly Cumann, Dublin

Passed

Motion 247

This Ard Fheis opposes any attempt by RTÉ to block out coverage of international rugby games on Freeview in the North of Ireland from 2014 to 2017.
Hughes/O’Reilly Cumann, Cork

Passed

Motion 248

This Ard Fheis notes the need for youth facilities in Castlebar and throughout the country. We oppose the closure of the Youth Information Centre in Castlebar and call on the Fine Gael/Labour government to provide resources for a youth facility in the town and throughout the state.
O’Malley/McEvilly Cumann, Mayo

Passed

Motion 249

This Ard Fheis commits the party to work to achieve an all-Ireland approach to the regulation of course and game angling to promote tourism.
Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Contae agus Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Toman/Burns/McKerr Cumann, Upper Bann

Passed

Motion 250

This Ard Fheis:

  • Recognises the importance of tourism to the economic recovery of the island of Ireland and the role of the tourist industry in the provision of employment and revenue;
  • Calls on the administrations North and South to set up without further delay an all-Ireland tourist agency with the expressed aim of developing an integrated approach to tourism and to promoting the entire island of as a holiday destination to domestic, British and mainland Europe consumers.

Hughes/O’Reilly Cumann, Cork

Passed

Motion 251

While recognising the concerns of adjoining residents and landowners, this Ard Fheis affirms the need to defend public space in Ireland. We call on our representatives to promote this interest in keeping Ireland open for recreation and tourism along old railways, river banks, canals, and woodlands which are considered traditional rights of way.
Cumann Chaisleán Nua, Limerick

Passed

Motion 252

This Ard Fheis recommends the promotion of cycle/walking tracks, where feasible, modelled on the Greenway in Mayo. This is both to promote primary health and exercise and also to benefit local communities through sustainable tourism.

Coen/Savage Cumann, Sligo

Passed

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