Constitution and Rules
Constitution and Rules
NB. Below for the Constitution and Rules section, bold italics are additions and strikethroughs are deletions. All other text is current constitutional text.
Amendments to Section 5 of the Party Constitution on Membership
37. This Ard Fheis makes the following changes to section 5 of the constitution:
5. MEMBERSHIP OF SINN FÉIN
5.1 MEMBERSHIP OF SINN FÉIN IS DEFINED AS FOLLOWS:-
a. Membership shall be open to all those over the age of 16 and resident in Ireland – irrespective of sex, class or creed – who make the following pledge in writing: “I ………………… accept the Constitution of Sinn Féin. I will work for the attainment of its objectives, and I accept the rules and regulations governing membership.”
b. Application for membership should be referred to the local Cumann and Ard Oifig who must inform the relevant Comhairle Ceantair and Cúige.
c. Membership of Sinn Féin shall be available only through a Cumann, Comhairle Ceantair or Cúige.
d. Rules and regulations governing membership shall be made available from Head Office Ard Oifig.
e. Membership must be renewed annually by payment of a fee to the cumann 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.
f. An Ard Chomhairle shall have the power to refuse membership.
g. It shall be open to the members of any cumann, in consultation with Cúige or Comhairle Ceantair, to refuse enrolment to any person applying for membership. An application for membership can be refused by the appropriate party authority, cumann, Comhairle Ceantair or Cúige, in an area. This must be done in conjunction with the membership officer in Ard Oifig and with due regard to the membership rules and regulations.
h. All members must sign up to the Code of Conduct for members that shall be provided by Ard Oifig.
5.2 MEMBERSHIP OF SINN FÉIN IS SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS:-
a. New members shall serve a probationary period of three months. All new members who wish to become cumann members must complete a new members’ education course, which shall include instruction on Sinn Féin’s structures and organisation, its history, principles, policies and political strategy, unless they have completed the programme as members of Ógra Shinn Féin.
b. Probationary members Only cumann members who have served their probationary period shall not be entitled to vote on matters concerning or affecting the internal affairs of the organisation except in the case of the election of officers in a newly-formed Cumann or Comhairle Ceantair. Probation ends with the taking of the above pledge
c. In the case of a selection convention, all members who have served their probationary period shall have a vote to select a candidate subject to the criteria set out in the rules and regulations governing membership and the rules established by the Election Unit.
d. Members should reflect and promote republican and socialist values of equality and justice in all their endeavours.
e. No person who is a member of any organisation which approves of or supports the candidature of persons who, if elected, intend taking part in the proceedings of the Westminster parliament, or who approves of or supports the candidature of persons who sign any form or give any kind of written or verbal undertaking of intention to take their seats in this institution, shall be admitted to membership or allowed to retain membership.
f. No person who has taken any oath of allegiance to the Westminster parliament shall be eligible for membership until he or she repudiates the oath or declaration in writing to a Cumann, Comhairle Ceantair or Cúige.
g. No person who is a member of a secret society shall be eligible for membership, and no person known to be a member of any secret society shall be admitted to membership.
h. No person who is a member of another political party may be a member of Sinn Féin.
i. No member of the British armed forces shall be eligible for membership.
j. An Ard Chomhairle must decide upon an application for membership from anyone who has been a member of another political party.
Amendment to Section 7 of the Party Constitution on Associate Membership
38. This Ard Fheis deletes all of Section 7 of the Sinn Féin Constitution as follows, and renumbers subsequent sections accordingly:7. ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP
a. Associate membership shall be obtainable through any affiliated Cumann.
b. Associate membership is open to those who support the objectives of Sinn Féin.
c. A Cumann shall keep a list of associate members which will be forwarded to An tArd-Rúnaí.
d. Associate members shall promote the aims and objectives of Sinn Féin in their local areas.
e. A Cumann shall have the right to withdraw associate membership from a person for a stated reason of misconduct.
f. Associate members shall not have the right to vote or hold any officership within the organisation.
g. The Cumann officer board shall have the right to call a joint meeting of all members of the Cumann and associate members.
Amendments to Section 5 of the Rules on Cumann Membership and Affiliation Fees
39. This Ard Fheis makes the following changes to section 5 of the rules of the party:
a. A Cumann shall consist of not less than five members; the recommended maximum number of members shall be 20.
b. Its officers should consist of a Cathaoirleach (ex officio member of all committees), Leas-Chathaoireach, Rúnaí, two Cisteoirí, Oifigeach Comhionannais (Equality Officer) and an Oifigeach Caidrimh Phoiblí, and shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting, held on written notice, at least a month prior to An Ard Fheis.
c. Cumainn based in third-level educational institutions are exempted from the requirement to hold an AGM a month before An Ard Fheis and are mandated to hold their Annual General Meeting within four weeks of the start of their academic year.
d. Delegates to An Ard Fheis, An Chomhairle Ceantair and An Chomhairle Cúige Annual General Meetings shall be elected at the same meeting.
e. Candidates for membership of a cumann must be proposed and seconded by two members of the Cumann and their admission as probationary members must be agreed to by a majority of the members present at a duly convened meeting of the Cumann.
f. Ex-members of Sinn Féin who are seeking readmission must inform the Cumann, and local Comhairle Ceantair and Ard Oifig of their previous membership.
g. No Cumann may accept an ex-member of Sinn Féin as a member without first consulting the Cumann to which the ex-member belonged and informing its local Comhairle Ceantair of the status of the application.
h. No person shall be a member of more than one Cumann at a time. Transfer facilities shall be made available to members who, for genuine reasons, wish to change from one Cumann to another.
i. No member or ex-member shall have the rights against a Cumann or against any officer or member in respect of any act or omission in pursuance of its rules other than that of appeal to An Chomhairle Ceantair, Cúige or An Ard Chomhairle as in the rules provided.
j. In any election or appointment of more than one member or delegate to a committee or officer board, the election shall be conducted to ensure, so far as shall be practicable, that not less than 30 per cent of those elected shall be women and not less than 30 per cent are men
a. The officers of the Cumann shall meet in committee to consider applications for membership, to prepare matters for Cumann consideration, or to carry out special work when required by the Cumann to do so.
b. Other committees of Cumann members, for special purposes, may be set up by the Cumann as required.
5.3 POWERS AND DUTIES
a. A Cumann shall keep in safe custody a list of its members, a minute book and an account of its receipts, expenditure, assets and liabilities. These shall be open to inspection by An Chomhairle Ceantair, An Chomhairle Cúige and An Ard Chomhairle.
b. An Rúnaí shall, at the end of each month, forward to An Chomhairle Ceantair (or, where no Comhairle Ceantair exists, to An Chomhairle Cúige) a monthly report on the activities of the Cumann.
c. Each Cumann shall ensure that it meets at least every two weeks and when there is specific business to be transacted. It shall be the responsibility of the secretary to ensure that a meeting of the Cumann is summoned whenever circulars are received from Ard Oifig, Comhairle Cúige or Comhairle Ceantair which indicate that a meeting of the Cumann ought to be held.
d. No member of a Cumann shall act as auditor of the Cumann.
e. The Cumann shall submit quarterly finance reports to An Chomhairle Ceantair (or, where no Comhairle Ceantair exists, to An Chomhairle Cúige.
f. No officer or member of a Cumann or Comhairle Ceantair shall incur a debt in the name of that Cumann or Comhairle Ceantair without being authorised beforehand by a meeting of either the Cumann or Comhairle Ceantair concerned.
g. Where possible, Cumainn Shinn Féin should appoint a Youth Officer to liaise between themselves and the local Ógra Shinn Féin group.
h. The Cumann officer board shall have the right to call a joint meeting of all members of the Cumann and other members in the cumann area.
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.
b. A Cumann which has not paid its affiliation fee and submitted a full membership list by January 31st shall be struck off the register and can only be re-affiliated as a new Cumann.
c. A Cumann shall have the right to fix a membership fee for its members and to make such further levies as it requires, subject to consultation with An Chomhairle Cúige.
d. A membership fee must be paid to the Cisteoir of the cumann each year.
d. A Cumann shall have the right to raise funds subject to previous approval from An Chomhairle Ceantair.
e. Defunct Cumainn wishing to reaffiliate must pay the full fee.