Varied line-up of speakers at Sinn Féin Summer School
Singer/songwriter Brian Kennedy, a member of the Spanish parliament, and an outspoken Dublin rap artist are among the wide and varied line up of speakers for this year’s Sinn Féin Summer School.
The annual Summer School is a forum for debating progressive ideas about building a better Ireland. The organisers wish to foster debate about advancing an alternative vision for Ireland, including with those who do not necessarily agree with Sinn Féin. It aims to bring together a wide range of speakers from different backgrounds.
The third annual Scoil Shamhraidh na Saoirse takes place in Báile Bhúirne in west Cork on Friday and Saturday 7th and 8th September.
Alan McBride, whose wife and father-in-law died in the IRA’s Shankill Road bombing in 1993, and Amanda Fullerton, whose father, Sinn Féin Councillor Eddie Fullerton, was assassinated by unionist paramilitaries in Donegal in 1991, will join Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney in a panel discussion on reconciliation and dealing with the legacy of the conflict in Ireland.
Meanwhile Irish Examiner Political Editor Paul O’Brien, UTV’s former Head of News Rob Morrison — the man drafted in by RTÉ to investigate the issue raised by ‘Tweetgate’ — and former Political Editor for Raidio naGaeltachta Eoin Ó Murchú will discuss the relationship between politics and the media here.
The school will also hear contributions by Catalan independence leader and Republican Left Member of the Spanish Parliament Alfred Bosch and Brian O’Donohue, International Representative for the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA).
Guest speaker in the Arts section is singer/songwriter and star of the RTÉ show The Voice of Ireland, Brian Kennedy. This section also features outspoken Dublin rap artist Elaine Harrington, aka Temper-Mental MissElayneus.
The keynote address will be delivered on Saturday by Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD.
Organizers are confident of an interesting weekend of discussions in the beautiful setting of the west Cork Gaeltacht. All sections of the school are open to the media.
*The full Summer School programme and biographies of all speakers are set out below:
3rd Annual Sinn Fein Summer School
Mills Inn, Báile Bhúirn
Introduction: Senator Kathryn Reilly
6.30pm-8.30 pm Campaigning for a United Ireland: Learning from the Experiences of Others.
· Alfred Bosch MP
· Brian Donohue
· Martin Ferris TD
10.30am – 12.30pm
The Relationship between the Media and Politics in Ireland. Healthy or Unhealthy?
· Paul O’Brien
· Rob Morrison
· Eoin Ó Murchú
12.30 pm | Lunch
1.45pm | Keynote address Mary Lou McDonald TD
2pm | Making a New Ireland: Can the Arts influence progressive political change?
· Trisha Lambe
· Ray Yeates
· Elaine Harrington aka Temper-Mental MissElayneus
3.45 pm | Special Guest Speaker: Brian Kennedy
4.00pm | Tea and coffee break
4.30 pm | National Reconciliation – Uncomfortable Conversations: Dealing with the Legacy of the Conflict
· Amanda Fullerton
· Alan McBride
· Declan Kearney
7.00pm | Dinner
Senator Kathryn Reilly
Kathryn Reilly, elected to the Seanad on 2011, is the youngest member of the current Oireachtas and the youngest ever person elected to the Seanad. She is a member of the Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle.
Alfred Bosch MP
MP and leader of ERC-RCat in Spanish Congress (Republican pro-independence Catalan Left) Alfred Bosch was spokesperson for the popular Referendum on Independence held in Barcelona on April 10th 2011.
Novelist and author, his books in Catalan are among best-sellers and have been translated into several languages. He has won the top literary awards in Catalonia.
An academic specialising in History of Africa and Europe he has lectured in the Universities of Barcelona-UPF, Madrid, London, Ibadan,Witwatersrand, Chicago and others.
Brian Donohue is an International Representative for the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA). The Laborers represent over 500,000 construction workers and public service employees, including his home local union, the "Sandhogs", who build New York City’s tunnels. He is involved in rolling out political campaigns for LIUNA.
Martin Ferris TD
Martin Ferris is a Sinn Féin TD for the constituency of Kerry North. He was first elected to the Dáil in 2002 when he topped the poll, after spending a number of years on Kerry County and Tralee Town Councils. He was re-elected to the Dáil in 2007 and again in 2011. Martin was part of the Sinn Féin negotiating team in the lead up to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 and he has travelled extensively in support of the peace process and Irish Unity.
Rob Morrison is the former Head of News and Content at UTV. Head editorial responsibility for UTV’s coverage of every election since1992. In his 36 year career he also worked for BBC and RTE.
Earlier this year Morrison was commissioned by RTE to undertake a highly sensitive investigation into its editorial policies as a result of the controversies surrounding the Presidential Election debate on Frontline broadcast in October 2011, better known as ‘Tweetgate.
Eoin Ó Murchú
Eoin Ó Murchú is the former Political Editor of Raidió naGaeltachta, a position which he held for 17 years. He regularly appears on radio and television as commentator and political analyst. He is a columnist with An Phoblacht.
Paul O’Brien is Political Editor of the Irish Examiner, and a regular contributor to current affairs programmes on radio and television. Before joining the Examiner, he was deputy editor of Magill.
Brian Kennedy is a critically acclaimed singer/song writer from the Falls Road, in West Belfast. He has performed with some of the legends of the music industry including Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, and others. In 2006 Brian represented Ireland at the Eurovision song contest with his own composition Every Song is a Cry for Help. He is currently a coach on RTE programme The Voice of Ireland.
Ray Yeates is Dublin City Arts Officer and a former Artistic Director of axis: Ballymun. Yeates led axis to local, national and international acclaim, overseeing a unique partnership of local people, the local authority and the community and voluntary sectors in Ballymun. In the late 1980’s Yeates served as Deputy Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre.
Temper-Mental MissElayneous is a talented and accomplished artist from Finglas in Dublin. Although MissElayneous has trained as an actor and performed in diverse roles amid strong casts, she is generally recognized as a rapper. Her work is inherently political and her EP, Proletarian Revolution was received with much critical acclaim.
Trisha Lambe is Curator of the Gallery of Photography, Dublin. She has also directed one-off Artists in the Community projects and a number of major cross-border projects, most recently the Borderlines Archive Project. Trisha has worked in the Gallery of Photography since 1992 and she lives in County Louth.
Marylou McDonald TD
Marylou McDonald is Vice President of Sinn Féin and a TD for the constituency of Dublin Central. She is spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform. She was a member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009.
Declan Kearney is the National Chairperson of Sinn Féin. He has commenced a processor dialogue with unionism including church leaders and victim’s representatives as part of Sinn Féin’s commitment to national reconciliation.
Alan McBride lost his wife and father-in-law in the Shankill bombing in 1993. He works with the WAVE Trauma Centre (a grass roots, cross community charity offering care and support to people bereaved, injured or traumatised as a result of the conflict in the North) in Belfast .
Amanda Fullerton is the daughter of assassinated Sinn Fein councillor Eddie Fullerton. Since he was shot dead in his Buncrana home by members of the UDA in 1993, the Fullerton family have sought to have an inquiry into the role of collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and the security forces in the killing.