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Ard Fheis 2017 Motions

Fixing the Housing Crisis

Motion 1

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes:
  • The escalating housing and homelessness crisis in the 26 Counties;
  • The failure of the Irish Government to invest in an adequate supply of social or affordable housing;
  • The failure to properly regulate the private rental sector;
  • The failure to address the mortgage arrears crisis in a way that keeps people in their family home;
  • The continued underinvestment of adequate traveller appropriate accommodation.
  • Reaffirms Sinn Féin’s commitment to enshrine the Right to Housing in the Constitution;
  • Calls for:
  • A doubling of capital investment in social and affordable housing to deliver 10,000 real social homes and 4,500 affordable rental and purchase homes in 2018;
  • Amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act to provide for tenancies of indefinite duration; restrictions of the grounds landlords can issue notices to quit; and rent certainty linking rent reviews to an index such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI);
  • The introduction of decisive measures to bring vacant homes back into use;
  • The introduction of Public Insolvency Practitioners within the MABS Abhaile service to advocate on behalf of those in mortgage distress;
  • The restoration of the traveller accommodation funding to 2008 levels and new powers to enable the Minister to enforce the implementation of Traveller Accommodation Programmes within local authorities where allocated funds are not being drawn down.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Chontae Thomas Allen Cumann (Trim) James Stephens Cumann (Kilkenny City) Liam Ryan Cumann (Athlone)

Motion 2

This Ard Fheis acknowledges Sinn Féin’s existing policy to strengthen tenants’ rights through the introduction of greater security of tenure and real rent certainty. Sinn Féin believes that landlords’ mortgage interest tax relief should be linked to the provision of greater security of tenure and rent certainty.

This Ard Fheis therefore calls for the Irish Government to provide for 100% mortgage interest relief for landlords who provide tenants with tenancies of indefinite duration and rent certainty through index linking rent reviews, accompanied by a reduction of mortgage interest relief for landlords to 50% who do not provide tenancies of indefinite duration and rent certainty through index linking rent reviews.

Black/Ryan Cumann (Lucan)

Motion 3

This Ard Fheis recognises the latest state report by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and recent research commissioned by the Equality Commission in the North which is cited in their latest audit of Housing and Communities which demonstrates that within the 6 Counties there is unequal access to:

  • Social housing with catholic households waiting six months longer to be housed than their protestant counterparts;
  • Appropriate accommodation for travellers;
  • Adapted housing for people with disabilities. This Ard Fheis:
  • Affirms our commitment to appropriate and affordable accommodation for all;
  • Calls on the British Government to cancel the historic debt currently held by the Housing Executive;
  • Commits to address the lack of site accommodation for travellers;
  • Calls for sufficient appropriate adaptations and housing support for people with disabilities, and;
  • Ending housing inequality in all its forms. Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Motion 4

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to pursue the appointment of dedicated Tenancy Sustainability Officers in all council areas that are currently without such a position.

Doherty/Delaney Cumann (Navan)

Motion 5

This Ard Fheis notes that the current Northern Housing Executive policy on intimidation points does not allow for points to be awarded to those suffering intimidation as a result of domestic abuse and therefore calls on the Housing Executive in the North to review their policy in relation to intimidation points to address this as every citizen deserves to have a safe and secure home free from fear of violence and intimidation.

Coalisland/Clonoe Martyrs Cumann

Motion 6

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes that Ballymun Regeneration has been abandoned by the State with vital infrastructure left unfinished or unrealised;
  • Calls for the introduction of a proper community regeneration plan for Ballymun that is developed following extensive consultation with the local community and which includes neighbourhood strategies as well as plans for training and education, physical improvements and economic development.

McCabe/Quigley Cumann (Ballymun)

Motion 7

This Ard Fheis:

  • Supports the full and early implementation of the eight technical recommendations of the report of the Expert Panel on Concrete Blocks in counties Donegal and Mayo;
  • Calls on the Irish Government to immediately deliver fairness and justice for impacted homeowners and introduce a redress scheme for affected families and householders. Carndonagh/Malin Cumann

Motion 8

This Ard Fheis:

  • Expresses concern at the deepening housing crisis, particularly in Dublin;
  • Notes that:
  • The housing crisis in Dublin has been caused in large part by consecutive Irish Government’s cutting capital budgets to Dublin local authorities;
  • Housing people in hotels and B&Bs is unacceptable;
  • Family hubs are not the long term solution to the housing crisis;
  • The long term solution is a comprehensive social and affordable home building programme.
  • Proposes that the Irish Government:
  • Commits to delivering 10,000 social housing units until the housing crisis is over;
  • Introduces legislation for affordable buying and renting of homes;
  • Ensures relevant Ministers make public land in the ownership of CIE and OPW available to Dublin's local authorities for the purpose of constructing social and affordable housing;
  • Ensures that the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government addresses the bureaucratic nature of the approval, funding and procurement process. This process must be reduced to an efficient, transparent one stage process;
  • Notwithstanding current processes of engagement with private sector for the development of sites under the Land Initiative, funds and supports council led mixed tenure development on local authority lands in Dublin;
  • Provides increased funding to local authorities to reduce the turnaround time on voids;
  • Introduces legislation to reduce the time developers are allowed to sit on rezoned land before it has to be built on;
  • Makes social and affordable housing exempt from the €20m cap imposed by the Public Spending Review 2011.

Dublin Cúige

Motion 9

This Ard Fheis recognises that:

  • Fuel poverty is a very real challenge for families in Dublin City Council housing;
  • 8,653 Dublin City Council homes urgently need insulating;
  • A full insulation programme for Dublin would cost €139m but that Dublin City Council has a shortfall of €40m. This Ard Fheis therefore calls on the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to work with Dublin City Council management and Councillors to source this funding as a matter of urgency.

James Connolly Cumann (Ballyfermot)

Motion 10

This Ard Fheis opposes any moves by the Minster or Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to either directly or indirectly attempt to further erode the power of local authority elected members to develop or amend any aspect of their county development plans.

Members of local authorities, democratically elected to that position, must retain the authority to vary their country development plan if it reflects the will of the people they represent, without requiring the approval of the non-elected executive officers.

Barnes/McCormack Cumann (Mullingar)

Sinn Féin in Government

Motion 11

This Ard Fheis notes:

  • The significant electoral and political progress made by Sinn Féin in recent years, including the increase in Sinn Féin representation on local councils, in the European Parliament, in the Assembly and in Leinster House, and the increased party mandate received in this year’s Westminister election;
  • The strong record of delivery of Sinn Féin government Ministers in the Northern Executive, as well as the work of our TDs and Seanadóirí in the Oireachtas, our MEPs in the European Parliament and our MPs and councillors;
  • Our commitment and ambition to implement Sinn Féin polices in government, North and South. This Ard Fheis further notes:
  • The increased politicisation over recent years of people of all generations, but particularly young people, affected by austerity and the failure of the policies and ideologies that have been, and are being, pursued by the establishment parties;
  • That we are in a period of political transformation, in Ireland and internationally, which presents the opportunity for the growth of progressive politics and for Sinn Féin to become the largest party in the 26 Counties and the Six Counties;
  • That change is not brought about solely through electoral politics, but through activism, debate, the battle of ideas, politicisation and influencing public opinion to create a popular demand for political change. This Ard Fheis reiterates Sinn Féin’s commitment to:
  • Build popular support for a United Ireland governed in the interests of all that is based on fairness, equality and a commitment to progressively improving the lives of all citizens;
  • Continue to work towards becoming the largest party in both the 26 Counties and the Six Counties;
  • Pending the re-unification of Ireland, lead a progressive government in the 26 Counties and to implement our polices in government, north and south.
  • This Ard Fheis reaffirms that any decision regarding Sinn Féin’s entry into a coalition government in the 26 Counties will be made by a Special Ard Fheis, convened for that purpose, and will be based on the party’s ability to secure a progressive, Republican programme for government.

Ard Chomhairle Lawlor/Mulvihill/Clashmealcon Martyrs Cumann (Ballyheigue/Causeway/Ballyduff) Keating/Sands Cumann (Comeragh) Charlie McGlade Cumann (Drimnagh)

Motion 12

This Ard Fheis:

  • Recognises:
  • The growth and political success of Sinn Féin over recent years as a result of the hard work of our activists, members, employees and elected representatives;
  • The desire of Sinn Féin members for our party to be in government in the 26 counties;
  • Our commitment to delivering a 32 County Socialist Republic.
  • Notes the record of parties who have gone in as junior coalition partners with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in the past and the need for a strong political opposition in the Dáil;
  • States that Sinn Féin will not go into Government as a junior coalition partner with Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael after the next general election. Peadar Clancy/Mairéad Farrell Cumann (Ennis)

Joe McDonnell Cumann (Drumkeeran)

Motion 13

This Ard Fheis states that Sinn Féin will only enter government in the 26 Counties if we are the largest party in terms of Dáil seat numbers.

Vol. Diarmuid O'Neill Cumann (Castletownkinneigh)

Motion 14

This Ard Fheis proposes that Irish and the Gaeltacht would be reinstated as a senior ministerial position in any Sinn Féin government in the 26 Counties and that such a portfolio would not be linked to any other ministerial area.

Tomás Aghais Cumann (Dingle)

Motion 15

This Ard Fheis calls for Sinn Féin not to enter government with another party unless the abolition of water charges and the abolition of tax on the family home are part of the Programme for Government.

McGrath/Sands Cumann (Carrick on Suir)

Motion 16

This Ard Fheis mandates that a condition of Sinn Féin involvement in any coalition Government in the 26 Counties is the ending of the discrimination against young people aged 18 to 26 year olds with respect to social welfare payments and that in the first budget the lower payments are brought up to the upper limit.

Tracey Cre Cumann (Roscrea)

Motion 17

This Ard Fheis notes with concern that:

  • Tory cuts to public services have had severe impacts upon the delivery of education, healthcare and essential public services in the North;
  • Children, people with disabilities, elderly and sick people are paying the price of Tory cuts;
  • Public services will be cut by 3.1% in real terms over the as a direct result of the Tory cuts programme supported by the DUP. This Ard Fheis is opposed to Tory/DUP cuts and calls on both the Tories and the DUP to abandon cuts in favour of an economic stimulus and investment in essential public services. Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Motion 18

This Ard Fheis notes with concern that there are 173,000 people of working age and 93,000 children living in poverty in the north of Ireland and calls on the incoming Executive to develop and implement a fully resourced anti-poverty strategy with clear achievable targets and timelines for realisation.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Motion 19

This Ard Fheis:

  • Recognises
  • That public services have been undermined by under investment and privatisation, and that in many cases ‘transformation’ has been a euphemism for privatisation and marketisation;
  • The damage done by an ideological agenda that has sought to diminish the reputation of the public sector, including public sector workers, and to undermine support for public services;
  • Public services which are universal and which treat each citizen on the basis of need are essential in making the lives of all of our citizens better.
  • Reaffirms Sinn Féin’s commitment to:
  • The provision of public services as a cornerstone of what the state does for its citizens;
  • Strengthening public services to ensure the highest quality of public services are available to all;
  • Opposing the privatisation and marketisation of public services;
  • Ensure the efficient provision of public services and social protections;
  • Increasing investment in public services to be paid for through a progressive tax system;
  • Valuing the work of all those who work in the public sector, and reflecting this in the pay and conditions of public sector workers.

Wicklow Comhairle Ceantair McCabe/Quigley Cumann (Ballymun)

Motion 20

This Ard Fheis:

  • Condemns the unfair 2018 Budget of the Irish Government which:
  • Normalises and tolerates mass homelessness among our people, including children, and fails to even fund to the point of maintenance a health system that is in a state of permanent crisis;
  • Has been criticised by workers and activists in the health and housing sectors;
  • Fails to invest in infrastructure such as water, transport, cross-border infrastructure, energy and flood defences;
  • Does not address inequalities in the social protection system affecting women and younger people;
  • Will only create a more unequal Ireland by perpetuating the economic and social inequalities rampant in modern Ireland.
  • Commends the Sinn Féin alternative which:
  • Builds a sustainable and fair tax system including the abolition of the Local Property Tax;
  • Invests in our health and housing systems so that the rights of the people are respected;
  • Protects our most vulnerable;
  • Tackles tax avoidance by vulture funds, banks, multinational companies and investors so that they pay a fair share;
  • Would halve the cost of childcare for families;
  • Chooses to take the side of ordinary people;
  • Creates an all-island infrastructure plan to safeguard the country’s interests as Brexit approaches;
  • Is based on the vision of a prosperous, sustainable and united economy with public services and infrastructure fit for that society.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Chontae

Motion 21

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to end the ongoing discrimination for over 35,000 older people, mainly women, in the calculation of their state pension payment. Sinn Féin want to see the pre-September 2012 pension bands and rates restored to allow for a fairer pension payment for our older people. This Ard Fheis believes that older people should be guaranteed a pension payment at retirement regardless of their PRSI contributions or any breaks taken from work such as time taken to raise families or care for a loved one. Sinn Féin will work towards developing an all-Ireland pensions policy based on a universal pension payment to ensure a fair and adequate income for all of our older people at retirement.

This Ard Fheis also acknowledges that there are more 65 year olds on Jobseekers payments than any other age category in the State. We recognise that this has come about due to the abolition of the State Pension Transition along with the increase in pension age in 2014. This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to end this injustice and restore the State Pension Transition to allow 65 year olds access to a pension payment and to support the Sinn Féin tabled Employment Equality (Abolition of Mandatory Retirement Age) Bill 2016, ensuring its earliest passage into law.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Chontae Monaghan Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 22

This Ard Fheis recognises the benefits of public spending being harnessed for social good. This Ard Fheis calls for the development and implementation of a comprehensive Social Value Act in the North which will:

  • Apply to all public sector contracts;
  • Ensure that social value is considered at every stage of procurement from the business case, to the award criteria, through to the monitoring of performance;
  • Include measures that ensure compliance on behalf of both commissioners and contractors;
  • Ensure a level playing field for SMEs and community groups.

Joe McManus Cumann (Garrison)

Motion 23

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to face up to their responsibilities in encouraging emigrants to return to Ireland by enabling returning emigrants to access relevant documents, insurance, licences, bank accounts and other essentials more readily.

McEvilly/O'Malley Cumann (Castlebar)

Motion 24

This Ard Fheis calls on the Sinn Féin economic and finance team to examine the pending mortgage interest rate crisis given that interest rates will inevitably and significantly increase and that most Irish homeowners are on variable or short term fixed mortgages.

Kevin Barry/Frank Stagg Cumann (North West Inner City)

Motion 25

This Ard Fheis fully endorses the recently published Sinn Féin Apprenticeship Reform Proposals policy document. This policy document recognises the importance of apprenticeships in providing our young people with alternative educational and training choices, and in providing our economy with the educated and skilled workers needed for a variety of emerging and growing industries. This document sets out a five year plan which primarily aims to:

  • Significantly increase the number of apprentices in training;
  • Treble the number of apprenticeship programmes available;
  • Greatly increase the female participation rate, from the current 0.3%;
  • Ensure greater involvement of people with disabilities in the apprenticeship system;
  • Promote apprenticeships as an equal alternative third level choice.

Clancy/O'Callaghan Cumann (Limerick City North) Meath Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 26

This Ard Fheis calls for the introduction of a wage for third level students on work placements and temporary internships. Such earnings should not be considered when applying for government schemes such as SUSI.

Markievicz/Tadhg Barry Cumann (Cork North West/Central Wards)

Motion 27

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes that approximately 17.2% of the workforce in the 26 Counties is classed as self-employed. Their value to our economy is well documented and yet they are treated in a totally unfair manner by this and previous governments when it comes to the right to have access to social welfare payments should they need them. They are also treated unequally under the tax system;
  • Calls for Sinn Féin to develop a costed policy that delivers equality to the legitimately self-employed in relation to access to social welfare payments.

Clare Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 28

This Ard Fheis calls for the development of a comprehensive policy on the issue of bogus sub-contractors in the construction industry focusing on the impact of bogus sub-contracting on workers’ rights, tax revenues and social welfare expenditure. Such proposals should detail the legislative and policy changes we would like to see implemented North and South to address these problems. This should be followed by the roll out of a campaign informed by this new policy document and aimed at securing the necessary legislative and policy changes to protect workers and reduce tax evasion and enforced social welfare fraud.

Drumm/Doherty/Clarke Cumann (Clondalkin)

Motion 29

This Ard Fheis:

  • Proposes that the special arrangement with the major banks in the 26 Counties that relieves them of their responsibilities to pay any corporation tax for the next 20 years be reversed;
  • Notes that these institutions would not be in existence today were it not for the sacrifices of a generation of ordinary citizens, and probably another generation to come, and that it is therefore incumbent on those institutions who have received massive state aid and are currently in profit to pay their share of tax in the interests of fairness and equality to all taxpayers. Cork City Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 30

This Ard Fheis believes that large corporations should make a fair and proportionate contribution to countries finances, therefore, corporation tax should be increased North and South, not reduced with the additional revenue raised to be used to tackle homelessness and housing waiting lists, North and South.

Clonard Martyrs Cumann

Motion 31

This Ard Fheis believes that the Northern Executive should not lower corporation tax, and that any island-wide harmonisation of corporation tax should result from a rise of corporation tax in the South.

National Youth Committee

Motion 32

This Ard Fheis, recognising that unemployment levels have fallen, calls for the government to introduce legislation requiring that jobs offered to people must have a minimum of twenty hours in a five day period , with the living wage as the guide to pay rates.

James Connolly Cumann (Cahir)

Motion 33

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to amend the qualifying conditions for Working Family Payment (i.e. working at least 19 hours per week) to take into account low income workers on zero or low hour contracts.

Bob Smith Cumann (Dundrum)

Motion 34

This Ard Fheis recognises the employment potential of workers’ co-operatives and therefore endorses our new party policy document in this area and calls on the party to ensure that priority is given to campaigning for legislative changes to facilitate the growth of worker co-ops on an all-Ireland basis.

Robert Byrne Cumann (Limerick City East)

Motion 35

This Ard Fheis:

  • Recognises the role of the tourism industry in developing the wider economy;
  • Calls for continued support to the industry and especially those statutory organisations tasked with developing tourism and growing visitor numbers onto the island of Ireland;
  • Commends the community impact and outworking of initiatives such as the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland's Ancient East where the success of these has been determined by the impact felt at a local level and in bringing about regional spread of tourism ensuring the economic impact is felt across the country;
  • Calls on Ministers and agencies on both sides of the border to ensure these successful projects are developed further to include the entire island and for the continued protection of cross border bodies and resist any attempt to undermine those institutions that are protected under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Black Mountain Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 36

This Ard Fheis:

  • Is totally opposed to the British Government’s imposition of the two-child limit on Child Tax Credit, Universal Credit and Income Support payments;
  • Condemns utterly the disgraceful and repugnant rape clause exception, which will force victims of rape seeking to claim child tax credits for a third or subsequent child, to declare that the child was born as a result of non-consensual sex;
  • Believes this policy to be unfair, unequal, morally unacceptable, deeply harmful to women and their children and a fundamental violation of women’s human rights;
  • Calls on the British Government to overturn this policy in the north of Ireland and to ensure that this action is not deemed a breach of the principle of parity in matters of social security.

Limavady Comhairle Ceantair Tom Flatley Cumann (Enniskillen)

Motion 37

This Ard Fheis calls on the party to reaffirm our support for a continued effort to ensure that a Commission of Inquiry into Media Ownership in Ireland is a major priority.

Furthermore this Ard Fheis condemns the media bias against Sinn Féin, especially the despicable bias shown by Independent News and Media and Communicorp, while also recognising the inherent anti-Sinn Féin bias of other media outlets including the state broadcaster RTÉ.

Limerick City Comhairle Ceantair

Brexit and the Future of the EU

Motion 38

This Ard Fheis:

  • Reaffirms Sinn Féin’s position that the democratic will of the people of the north to remain in the EU must be respected, that the Good Friday Agreement must be protected in all of its parts and that there can be no hardening of Britain’s border in Ireland;
  • Recognises:
  • The excellent work done by the Sinn Féin MEPs led by Martina Anderson to represent the party position on Brexit in Europe;
  • That there are only two ways that the above objectives can be achieved: either through designated special status for the north of Ireland within the EU or by the holding of a unity referendum leading to Irish re-unification.
  • That the essential elements of Special Designated Status are:
  • The north to remain in Customs Union and Single Market;
  • The Good Friday Agreement to be protected in all of its parts;
  • Freedom of movement of people, goods and services on the island of Ireland;
  • All citizens of the north of Ireland being entitled to full EU citizenship rights;
  • Continued access for citizens in the north to European Court of Justice;
  • Full EU political rights for citizens in the north of Ireland;
  • Continued access to EU funding streams;
  • The Good Friday Agreement attached as legally binding declaration in the Withdrawal Agreement.
  • All the institutions and cross-border bodies of the Good Friday Agreement remain within the EU legal framework.
  • Affirms that if the British Government refuses to agree to Special Designated Status within the EU despite the fact that 56% of the people of the north voted to remain in the EU, then the Good Friday Agreement entitlement to a unity referendum must be triggered to give the people of the north and south of Ireland the choice on the future direction for the island of Ireland.

Ard Chomhairle Pól Kinsella Cumann (Northlands)

Motion 39

This Ard Fheis believes that the future of Europe and the credibility of the EU project depends on a number of radical changes and that the consultation period, which has already begun, has presented a narrow choice of options none of which guarantee principles of democracy, sovereignty nor the rights of citizens.

This Ard Fheis specifically:

  • Believes that a convention and an intergovernmental conference on the future of Europe should be established that will facilitate the repatriation of powers to members states including treaty change if necessary;
  • Believes that the future of the EU depends on reducing the power of the undercover corporate lobbying machine which has been allowed to grow unregulated and with unfettered access to unaccountable decision- makers in the European Commission;
  • Believes that reform of the EU must necessarily involve confronting and untangling bureaucracy that has built up around so many EU programmes, projects and funding mechanisms. This bureaucracy takes projects out of the hands and control of citizens and has reduced the possibility for democratic input;
  • Believes that the Free Trade Agenda which the European Commission is pushing with privatisation and deregulation at its helm, will do irreparable damage to workers’ rights, the environment, public services and rural communities;
  • Supports building a Social Europe that prioritises ordinary citizens over the bottom line of multinationals, reduces inequalities, fights against social exclusion and meets the social needs of European citizens;
  • Reiterates its opposition to an EU Army and a European defence budget which will not only compromise Ireland’s neutrality, but will reinforce ‘fortress Europe’, shamefully denying safe and legal passage for refugees;
  • Asserts that as a relatively small, peripheral member state, Ireland needs to be forceful in the defence of its sovereignty and in seeking the return of powers to member states. This necessarily involves the Irish Government standing up to our European partners on key topics including attempts to force us to liberalise public services, sign away access to our marine resources, moves to federalise the provision of energy, and policies which directly threaten our rural population.

Ard Chomhairle Midlands/North West Cúige

Motion 40

This Ard Fheis, noting the widespread forecasting of a pending financial crisis in 2018/19, calls for the Sinn Féin policy unit to prepare a comprehensive discussion paper on the outworking of an Irish break from the EU Monetary Union, in order to ensure that the party has a strategy to deal with such a set of circumstances should they arise.

Tormey/Mannion Cumann (South Roscommon)

Motion 41

This Ard Fheis recognises the possible negative consequences of British/EU Brexit negotiations on the fishing industry in Ireland.

This Ard Fheis therefore commits to do everything in its power to:

  • Alert the Irish public of the possible detrimental threat Brexit may bring to an industry already severely damaged by decades of neglect by previous Irish Governments and EU expansionism;
  • Scrutinise the ongoing negotiations between the EU and the British Government regarding the Common Fisheries Policy and ensure those engaged in the Irish fishing industry do not lose any more of their rights to harvest fish stocks from the seas surrounding the island of Ireland;
  • Help protect the economic wellbeing of our coastal communities that have a stake in the Irish fishing industry from any negative consequences that may arise from Brexit.

McGrath/O’Brien Cumann (East Waterford)

Motion 42

This Ard Fheis notes that the EU Fiscal Compact enforces blanket, one-size-fits- all fiscal rules that require the diverse economies of EU member states to keep public debt limited to 60 per cent of GDP and annual deficits to below 3 per cent of GDP.

The Fiscal Compact and the Stability and Growth Pact that preceded it have imposed severe and unacceptable restrictions on the ability of EU member states, including the Irish state, to respond effectively to the economic crisis by using macroeconomic stimulus measures.

Spending cuts during a downturn have a contractionary effect and cause the economy to shrink, which is exactly what happened in the aftermath of the recessions in the Irish state, Spain, Greece and Portugal, causing rising unemployment, poverty and inequality.

The Fiscal Compact imposes a straitjacket of fiscal austerity on all member states who have adopted it, leaving these states entirely reliant on the European Central Bank's one-size-fits-all monetary policies. The singular focus by the EU on ‘balanced budgets’, with no corresponding focus on balanced trade accounts, reflects a commitment to the failed ideology of austerity.

This Ard Fheis rejects the proposed incorporation of the Fiscal Compact into EU law at the end of 2017 and calls on the Irish Government to use its position on the European Council to veto this enshrining of austerity permanently into the EU Treaty.

This Ard Fheis supports the repeal of the 13th amendment to the Irish Constitution that enshrines aspects of the Fiscal Compact into Irish law.

Kerry Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 43

This Ard Fheis recognises the all-Ireland nature of the agri-food and drinks industry which is a major contributor to our economy and calls on the Irish Government to demand that the North remain in the European Union to protect this vital industry and to seek EU funding for agri-food SMEs who are exporting to protect their business in the context of the very real dangers that Brexit presents

Jimmy Joe Reynolds Cumann (Mohill)

Infrastructure, Regional and Rural Development

Motion 44

This Ard Fheis notes that:

  • Under the current Rural Development Programme (2014-2020) the transfer of LEADER to local authority control in almost every county has effectively removed LEADER from local community-led organisations and put it under State control. This has resulted in new rules and processes that have prevented the roll out of this badly needed rural development funding for the past three years;
  • LEADER was established 25 years ago to address rural decline through local community led partnerships and, until now, the 26 Counties has led the way in Europe;
  • The policy change under two Fine Gael led Irish Governments, which constitutes a local authority takeover of bottom-up development, will inevitably lead to the decline and disappearance of real community-led development organisations in the State. The myriad of problems with the roll out of LEADER is clear evidence that State body management of such a community-led programme will fail. This Ard Fheis therefore calls on the Irish Government to ensure that, under the Rural Development Programme 2021-27, the LEADER programme will no longer be delivered by local authorities but will be returned to local community- led organisations which are comprised of, and represent, the rural communities they serve. We also call for the simplification of the application process for LEADER funding and expedite the roll out of funding under the programme, so that badly needed European rural development funding can reach those most in need of it.

Kerry Comhairle Ceantair Deleaney/O’Rahilly Cumann (Bray)

Motion 45

This Ard Fheis believes that decades of under-investment and failure to deliver a rural strategy has led to the haemorrhaging of young people from rural areas. This Ard Fheis believes that as well as increasing investment in vital rural services and the retention of services such as post offices, transport and Garda stations, that a strategy to reverse the brain drain and incentivise the establishment of rural cooperatives and businesses is needed to prevent further loss of the rural identity and way of life.

Midlands/North West Cúige Tipperary Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 46

This Ard Fheis:

  • Condemns the historical and continuing under-investment of the west of Ireland by successive Irish Governments and;
  • Calls on the Fine Gael-led Government to carry out a comprehensive geographic analysis of the State's National Development Plans of previous years with a view to formulating and implementing a strategy that will effectively address the east-west economic imbalance.

Noble Six/Fr. O`Flanagan/MacManus Cumann (Sligo Town)

Motion 47

This Ard Fheis:

  • Supports and encourages the positive efforts of all involved, working together to collectively resource the North West City Region priorities for growth and development;
  • Recognising the significant positive impact that the National Planning Framework (NPF) ‘Ireland 2040 Our Plan’ will have on the regions of the 26 Counties:
  • Resolves to campaign and lobby vigorously to press the Irish Government for a commitment to deliver to the North West City Region in the NPF;
  • Appropriate supports to permit provision of regional economic growth, investment, physical and environmental development, wellbeing and social and community cohesion. Carndonagh/Malin Cumann

Motion 48

This Ard Fheis:

  • Believes that by investing west of the Bann, we can tackle the years of neglect through developing infrastructure, jobs and industry in the North;
  • Calls on NIE and SONI to ensure that there is a constant and secure supply of electricity to areas west of the Bann by providing the electricity interconnector to ensure supply to our growing industrial sector, particularly the locally developed engineering sector. South & East Tyrone Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 49

This Ard Fheis notes that the proposal for the development of a North- South interconnector continues to be frustrated as a result of planning and judicial delays. We note that such delays are likely to continue so long as the project fails to receive the acceptance of the communities through which this infrastructure will pass.

This Ard Fheis further notes that the imposition of high-voltage pylon- supported lines will never receive the necessary public acceptance and therefore calls on authorities, North and South, to direct that the project be undergrounded in line with international best practice.

Meegan/Harvey Cumann (Inniskeen)

Motion 50

This Ard Fheis calls for all regions to be treated with parity and equality in the distribution of jobs and the adequate infrastructure to attract jobs. Dunne/Kelly/Whitty Cumann (Wexford Town)

Wexford Comhairle Ceanntair

This Ard Fheis supports the retention of the 8th Amendment.

Creeslough Cumann

Motion 51

This Ard Fheis calls for the restoration of the Town Councils and the Town Council Block Grants. Tipperary Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 52

This Ard Fheis supports the continuation of devolution of additional powers to local councils within the North, but only on the premise of the completion in legislation of the outstanding and unfinished “call-in” regulations as was agreed under the Local Government Act 2014.

Falls Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 53

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to reverse its policy of staffless libraries. Digital solutions such as parcel motel style lockers and apps like BorrowBox can extend access to library services without putting jobs at risk.

Grey Abbey Martyrs Cumann (Kildare Town)

Motion 54

This Ard Fheis:

  • Condemns the actions of insurance companies in increasing premiums across the board for motorists, refusing to insure older cars which have passed their NCT and pricing young people out of the motor insurance market;
  • Believes that astronomical car insurance costs for younger people are disproportionately affecting those in rural communities where there is very little, if any, public transport available and;
  • Calls on the Irish Government to bring in an Insurance Regulator at the earliest possible stage with a view to ending the scandal of rapidly increasing car insurance premiums.

Patrick Conroy Cumann (Castlerea) Robert Emmet Cumann (Thurles) Noel McCann Cumann (Ballinasloe)

Motion 55

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to take measures to control the insurance cartels who are responsible for the present escalating and exorbitant levels of car insurance, and calls for the car insurance industry to be brought into state ownership and to be then administered by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. This Ard Fheis also calls for, as EU members, the availability of car insurance from other EU member states.

Cumann Caisleán Nua Thiar

Motion 56

This Ard Fheis calls for legislation to ensure safety roll bars are a requirement on all quad bikes.

McEvilly/O'Malley Cumann (Castlebar)

Motion 57

This Ard Fheis recommends the mandatory inclusion of blood alcohol level samples along with routine blood tests in the cases of all road traffic accidents where the driver is receiving health care from a statutory health care provider.

Coen/Savage Cumann (Collooney)

Motion 58

This Ard Fheis proposes that for an experienced driver not exceeding 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, not exceeding 107mg of alcohol per 100ml of urine and not exceeding 35mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, a fine of €300 and 3 penalty points be imposed, as per current 2010 Road Traffic Act.

Gallagher/Foy Cumann (Drumconrath)

Motion 59

This Ard Fheis proposes that the restrictions and regulations around hackney and taxi licences in rural Ireland should be reviewed and revised in order to eliminate drink driving.

Sean Corcoran Cumann (Kiltimagh)

Motion 60

This Ard Fheis, in order to reduce road deaths, promote safer driving and reduce the cost of insurance, proposes the introduction of compulsory fitting of dash-cams on all new motor vehicles. Martin Forsythe Cumann (Glencullen/Sandyford)

Agriculture and fisheries

Motion 61

This Ard Fheis believes that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) must move towards a system of fairer distribution. With many farmers struggling to get by and farming becoming less and less attractive to younger generations, there is an urgent need to address gross inequalities within the system. This Ard Fheis believes that:

  • It is scandalous and immoral that 240 farm businesses are receiving CAP subsidies in excess of €100,000, when thousands of farmers struggle to get by with payments below the average of €17,932;
  • The failure of successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael-led Governments to put a cap on these payments has allowed the concentration of wealth in the hands of those already controlling the market and therefore the prices other farmers receive;
  • A cap of €50,000 on Basic Payments should be enforced to restore integrity to a system that has seen the meat processing companies which control the market pocket millions each CAP cycle;
  • Binding legislation must be put in place to tackle unfair trading practices in the food supply chain, and guarantee the position of farmers to receive a fair price for their product;
  • Key parts of the Farmer’s Charter related to the on-time delivery of payments by the Department of Agriculture should be transposed into legislation so that never again are farmers left out of pocket by delayed payments of up to 9 months;
  • Generational renewal strategies within the agricultural sector must address issues of depopulation of rural areas, as well as providing security for older farmers who wish to retire; the insufficient targeting of young farmers through funding streams must also be addressed if we are to reduce the trend of an aging sector;
  • Farm safety must become a priority in future funding programmes now that 30% of workplace deaths in the State occur in the agricultural sector;
  • Financial incentives should be created to encourage the establishment of cooperative meat processing facilities to counter Irish Government approved mergers which are currently swallowing the market and farm-gate prices.

Ard Chomhairle

Motion 62

This Ard Fheis:

  • Recognises the difficulties experienced by Irish fishermen and women in securing a viable livelihood due to both natural and regulatory barriers;
  • Acknowledges that the fishing industry has been poorly represented by the Irish Government at EU level in recent decades;
  • Notes that since the mid-1990s, there has been a sharp and steady decline in the fishing industry which has caused distress and hardship for ordinary fishermen and women and the complementary sectors;   
  • Calls for the inclusion of fishermen and women in the Seafarers' Allowance Scheme in the 26 Counties;
  • Calls for the Irish Government to introduction a Single Boat Payment;
  • Recognises the work of Sinn Féin activists, supporters and public representatives, particularly Liadh Ní Riada MEP & Martin Ferris TD, in supporting ordinary fishermen and women, but regrets that the absence and lack of support from other political parties and the Irish Government has had the effect of alienating coastal, island and rural communities.

This Ard Fheis notes the:

  • Lack of Irish quota which has resulted in Irish fishing vessels being unable to provide an adequate return for owners and crews;
  • Lack of income which means fishermen and their families are already struggling financially;
  • Imposition of penalties as well as heavy handed tactics by the Sea- Fisheries Protection Authority which have resulted in the criminalisation of fishermen for minor infringements;
  • Unfair distribution of quota (mackerel and herring) among our fisheries ports, mainly due to past political cronyism;
  • Concern regarding the new landing regulations;
  • Lack of a state relief fund for fishermen and women who have experienced financial hardship and operational difficulties due to damage or loss of equipment;
  • Fact that a significant portion of fish taken from Irish waters is landed in Ireland but transported and processed abroad or at sea at the socio- economic expense of domestic community enterprises;
  • Calls for 5% of EU quotas, instead of 2% to be set aside for scientific surveys so that fishermen can participate in providing researchers with the true data of fish stocks in real time, and in order to remove the restrictions imposed on fishing vessels who do not have enough quota.

Donnacha De Barra Cumann (Kinsale)  

Motion 63

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to support the conservation and development of Irish native breeds in plant and livestock production. Any negotiations regarding CAP or regional development should include support for the conservation of genetic resources for sustainable agriculture.

Mayo Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 64

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes the additional difficulties which hill farmers experience on the island of Ireland;
  • Opposes the removal of the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) Scheme in the North by the previous Agricultural Minister, Michelle McElveen (DUP);
  • Notes that former Sinn Féin Agricultural Ministers O'Neill and Gildernew kept the ANC Scheme open for farmers in the Severely Disadvantaged Areas and acknowledges the vital contribution these farmers make;
  • Pledges that Sinn Féin in any future Executive will do everything possible to reintroduce the ANC Scheme to at least the 2016 level;
  • Calls for the restoration of Pre – 2008 levels of ANC payments in the 26 Counties and that the highest levels of payments would go to the holdings with the most disadvantaged land.

Fergal O'Hanlon Cumann (Brookeborough) James Crossan Cumann (Cloone/Aughavas)

Motion 65

This Ard Fheis calls for the provision of compensation to farmers whose land has been designated by Parks and Wildlife and therefore constraining the farmer in the agricultural use of this land.

Jack Mc Loughlin Cumman (Fenagh)

Motion 66

This Ard Fheis recognises the difficulties faced by emigrants returning to Ireland who are looking to take up farming. We call for a special scheme and fund to assist with providing entitlements, establishing a holding and to provide an adequately resourced fund.

Jack Mc Loughlin Cumman (Fenagh)

Motion 67

This Ard Fheis recognises the devastating effects of flooding in recent years and calls for the Irish Government to increase the level of investment in flood relief and prevention measures as well as the protection of Ireland’s waterways canals and wild life.

James Crossan Cumann (Cloone/Aughavas) Liam Ryan Cumann (Athlone)

Motion 68

This Ard Fheis:

  • Recognises the environmental damage caused by precious metals mining and the extraction of Ireland’s non-renewable natural resources by large corporate entities with little or no benefit to local communities;
  • Is opposed to the use of cyanide in mining due to its detrimental environmental and health implications;
  • Will undertake to review and amend in government the current mining licence system to ensure the public interest, community gain and environmental protection are underpinned in new regulations and furthermore will oppose private sector gold mining companies from being awarded permission to operate in Ireland. South Armagh Comhairle Ceantair Caraher/McCreesh Cumann (Ballymacnab & Granemore)

Motion 69

This Ard Fheis supports seaweed harvesting with particular regard to the western coast developing a micro domestic industry committed to seaweed as a natural resource that will not be relinquished to large or foreign owned companies to exploit or profit seek.

Erris Cumann North Clare Cumann

Motion 70

This Ard Fheis, recognising the importance of animal welfare, proposes the development of a comprehensive animal welfare policy paper by Sinn Féin.

Cull/Tymon Cumann (Arigna) Tom Keely Cumman (Celbridge)

Motion 71

This Ard Fheis recognises the cruelty of the battery hen industry, deplores the conditions the animals suffer in and calls for the immediate banning of the practice in Ireland.

Sheena Campbell Cumann (Rostrevor)

Motion 72

This Ard Fheis calls for legislation to ban live hare coursing, noting the cruelty suffered by the native, wild hares through their capture, injuries and trauma, often resulting in death and furthermore calls on Sinn Féin to produce a document outlining our policies in this area.

West Waterford Cumann Sean Mac Giolla Bhríde Cumann (Westport) Mulvey Cumann (Bré)

International solidarity, global justice and climate change

Motion 73

This Ard Fheis sends solidarity greetings to the Palestinian people living under occupation or in exile.

This Ard Fheis condemns the continuing annexation of Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the forced removal of Palestinian citizens and the building of illegal settlements which contravenes international law and the Geneva Convention of 1949. We demand the implementation of United Nation resolutions and the enforcement of international law.

This Ard Fheis supports self-determination for the Palestinian people and believes it is up to the Palestinian people to decide which kind of state they prefer.

This Ard Fheis condemns the continued use by Israel of ‘Administrative Detention’, otherwise known as ‘internment without trial’. This draconian measure should cease immediately.

This Ard Fheis urges full support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign which entails an economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel. We believe this campaign is a strategy for effective solidarity among all those who support the right of the people of Palestine to Statehood. We particularly demand that the Irish Government immediately stops procuring drones, armaments and other military equipment from Israeli manufacturers.

This Ard Fheis welcomes the motions that were supported both in the Seanad and the Dáil calling on the Irish Government to formally recognise the State of Palestine on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. We call on the Irish Government to do this without further delay. This Ard Fheis welcomes the recent agreement between Fatah and Hamas on a process to end the political divisions between them. This deal creates the potential for real progress in the efforts to rekindle the moribund Middle East peace process. We urge the international community to speedily grasp this opportunity and encourage all sides to open up a renewed dialogue to making progress in the peace process.

Ard Chomhairle Roscommon Comhairle Ceantair Pádraig Pearse Cumann (Bogside) Lagmore Cumann Pól Kinsella Cumann (Northlands)

Motion 74

This Ard Fheis agrees that, in view of Sinn Féin's stated commitment to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign, Sinn Féin will have no more meetings or dealings with the right-wing party Likud, or any Israeli political parties that gives succour or support, either covertly or overtly, to the increased expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands in violation of international law.

Ruth Hackett Cumann (Maynooth)

Motion 75

This Ard Fheis supports the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo against the genocide they are subjected to and denounce the silence generally observed by the media regarding the Congolese holocaust.

Sheena Campbell Cumann (Corduff)

Motion 76

This Ard Fheis notes:

  • The growing human rights violations by private sector businesses around the world and recognises the need to regulate and monitor businesses to ensure full compliance with human rights standards;
  • That those who stand up and defend vulnerable communities against human rights violations are often made targets themselves;
  • The importance of providing protection and support to human rights defenders and community leaders who stand up for the rights of others.

This Ard Fheis therefore calls on the Irish Government to implement a robust Action Plan on Business and Human Rights to ensure the rights of people both in Ireland and globally are protected.

Black Ryan Cumann (Lucan)

Motion 77

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes that there is an unprecedented 65.6 million people forcibly displaced from their homes around the world, which includes 22.5 million people who are refugees outside their home country;
  • Opposes the EU-Turkey deal and the EU’s military mission in the Mediterranean, Operation Sophia, as both have created huge human suffering, the violation of human rights, and humanitarian crises;
  • Calls on the Irish Government to oppose these counterproductive deals and the EU’s efforts to create similar deals with other countries in Africa and Asia, and to instead create more safe and legal pathways for refugees to get sanctuary in Ireland and Europe. Markievicz/Ryan Cumann (Tallaght Central)

Motion 78

This Ard Fheis notes that:

  • On 17 October 2011, an international conference for the resolution of the conflict in the Basque Country took place in Donostia/San Sebastian. International representation included former Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, and Sinn Féin President, Gerry Adams TD;
  • ETA’s declaration of a definitive cessation was announced a few days later, creating a unique and historic opportunity to address the causes as well as the consequences of the conflict;
  • In April 2017, and despite all efforts to block it by the Spanish Government, ETA, with the support of Basque civil society, the International Commission on Verification, Basque local institutions as well as French Government, successfully proceeded to complete its disarmament;
  • Despite all efforts promoted by ETA, Sortu, Basque society and the main parties in general for the complete resolution of the Basque conflict, the Spanish government maintains its policy of intransigence. This Ard Fheis therefore supports the:
  • Ending of the policy of dispersal (an arbitrary measure applied to Basque political prisoners) and the immediate transfer to prisons closer to their families as a first step to an early release process of all politically-motivated prisoners;
  • Immediate release of seriously-ill prisoners who, according to current legislation, should be freed to receive adequate treatment for their illnesses;
  • Immediate release of prisoners eligible for parole.
  • Furthermore, this Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government, the political institutions in the North as well as the EU to take an active role in demanding the Spanish Government shift its current policy of obstruction that is diminishing this historical opportunity and to instead promote and support a process of dialogue to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Basque Country based on the right of Basque people to decide freely about its future.

Wicklow Comhairle Ceanntair

Motion 79

This Ard Fheis:

  • Reiterates our call for the USA to unconditionally and fully lift its illegal blockade of, and to normalise its relations with, Cuba;
  • Recognises that 9 October and 25 November 2017 mark the 50th anniversary of Ché Guevara’s killing and the 1st anniversary of Fidel Castro’s death respectively;
  • Sends our solidarity greetings to the Guevara and Castro families, and to the people of Cuba.

Upper Falls Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 80

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes that in June 2017 the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) announced it ceased to be an armed group and on 1 September 2017 a political party – Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (FARC) – was formally established;
  • Believes that despite this positive advancement in the Colombian peace process there remain barriers to building the peace, including the on-going attacks and killing of human rights defenders and community leaders by right-wing paramilitaries;
  • Calls on the Colombian Government to ensure that human rights and the democratic process are respected, and for it to fully deliver its side of the peace agreement, urgently resolving its outstanding obligations.

Upper Falls Comhairle Ceantair

Climate change

Motion 81

This Ard Fheis recognises that:

  • Climate change is an issue of global justice with many of the poorest people and those in the developing world already worst affected;
  • Climate change has had serious negative impacts on our quality of life and that, unless radical action is taken, future generations will face a hostile climate, depleted resources, destruction of habitats, extinction of species, food and water scarcity and mass migrations;
  • Ireland has a responsibility to invest in our future by investing in measures to tackle climate change and to protect our environment;
  • Ireland must play a proactive role in global efforts including the Paris Agreement to combat climate change and to tackle environmental degradation;
  • Ireland should aim to be a leader within the EU and seek to exceed the binding 2030 climate energy framework targets of 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, 27% share in renewable energy and a 27% improvement in energy efficiency;
  • Green energy employment is growing at a faster pace than other energy sectors and investment in green energy and infrastructure should be encouraged;
  • Energy efficiency is key to bridging our emissions gap and all new builds should include efficiency measures and expansion of current retrofit energy efficient programmes is necessary. This Ard Fheis therefore commits Sinn Féin to reviewing the party's approach to environmental and climate change policy to achieve greater coherence and to ensure that all relevant economic and social policies have - at their core - a new vision of sustainable prosperity consistent with ecological limits and climate justice. The review could take on board current research on 'planetary boundaries' that defines the safe operating space for humanity.

Ard Chomhairle Charlie McGlade Cumann (Drimnagh) Coleraine Comhairle Ceantair Nolan/Downey Cumann (Laganbank)

Motion 82

This Ard Fheis acknowledges that:

  • Our current economic growth paradigm has not resulted in corresponding decreases in poverty or greater prosperity in more recent years;
  • The drive for continuous growth has led to spiralling environmental devastation and endemic social and economic inequalities;
  • A radically alternative approach is needed in our economic paradigm if we are to address these problems;
  • A credible alternative to the economic growth paradigm is the steady-state paradigm which requires that we live sustainably (within the finite means of our natural resources) and that we replace economic growth with economic development. In a steady- state economy, we do grow but not by using more of everything; rather we grow by making better use of what we have and being smarter in how we use it.

This Ard Fheis therefore commits Sinn Féin to undertake a steady-state economic study for the purpose of exploring alternative economic models for the island of Ireland.

Barney McFadden Cumann (Greysteel)

Motion 83

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to ban all single use plastic and biodegradable plastics - irrespective of thickness - sourced from petrochemicals and instead introduce the use of bio-plastics made from natural materials.

West Galway Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 84

This Ard Fheis calls on Sinn Féin to examine:

  • A full, renewable and sustainable energy programme that involves local communities and ordinary residential citizens investment;
  • Opening the energy market to ordinary citizens by introducing a feed-in tariff for both local communities and residential micro- generation. Opening the energy market to micro-generation will help rural communities find new revenue streams, create jobs and help drive innovation;
  • Enabling local authorities to invest in renewable projects, which in turn will give a financial return to local authorities and helping to reduce financial dependence from central government. Ruth Hackett Cumann (Maynooth) Mitchell/Sands Cumann (Magheracloone) Keenan/Doherty Cumann (Carrickmacross)

Motion 85

This Ard Fheis calls on the British and Irish Governments to commit to the Bonn Challenge which seeks to:

  • Restore forests through mass sapling planting on appropriate open mountain land with native woodland species and alternative hardwood trees such as larch;
  • Better utilise forestry as a mechanism to meet climate change targets and to increase recreational amenities for community and tourism purposes.

Grey Abbey Martyrs Cumann (Kildare Town)

Motion 86

This Ard Fheis:

  • Deplores the mass felling of trees which is creating unsightly areas of landscape around the countryside;
  • Suggests that a four tree deep barrier of hardwood trees be planted around forestry areas so that these can be left to form a visual barrier to the devastation when felling takes place;
  • Suggests the replacement of sitka spruce with hardwoods such as larch.

Cumann Caisleán Nua Thiar

Motion 87

This Ard Fheis calls on Sinn Féin to examine the possibility of bringing forward proposals to allow flexibility in forestation programmes to facilitate farmers or their successors who wish to bring forested land back to green land to do so.

Hurson-Quirke Cumann (Galway City West)

Party Development, constitution and rules

Motion 88

This Ard Fheis fully endorses the proposed 2017 Constitution, Rules and Regulations which have been produced following extensive consultation across the party and commends its adoption.

Ard Chomhairle

Motion 89

This Ard Fheis calls for the reinvigoration of the National Councillors Forum, for this Forum to represent the views of councillors within party structures including the Ard Chomhairle and for the National Councillors Forum to roll out a series of training, education and policy briefings to assist and support our local elected representatives to represent the party and their constituents to the best of their ability.

Keating/Sands Cumann (Comeragh)

Motion 90

This Ard Fheis proposes that all future information and election leaflets produced by Sinn Féin would be bilingual, in the main Irish language dialects appropriate to the area they are to be distributed. We further propose that Irish be given parity with English on all publications.

Tomás Aghais Cumann (Dingle)

Motion 91

This Ard Fheis proposes that Sinn Féin should implement a policy of positive discrimination ensuring that there should be a set quota of Gaeilgeóiri in every representative forum throughout the country in which there are elected Sinn Féin members specifically, An Dáil, An Seanad, An Tionól, Na Comhairlí Cathracha. We propose that this is also implemented within the party structure especially the Ard Chomhairle.

Martin/Tracey Cumann (East Belfast)

Motion 92

This Ard Fheis:

  • Acknowledges that many members currently elected or co-opted to represent Sinn Féin have other means of salaried employment in addition to their council pay and are free to continue with that employment;
  • Agrees that there should be no prohibition on Sinn Féin Councillors working for the party or for other Sinn Féin elected representatives on a full or part time basis.

Devlin/Plunkett Cumann (Templeogue/Terenure) Drumm/Doherty/Clarke Cumann (Clondalkin) Bob Smith Cumann (Dundrum)

Motion 93

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes the importance of the party’s youth wing and their input towards building a progressive future, equal for all;
  • Believes that in order to successfully achieve and fulfil SFRY’S commitments, a budget is needed to cover costs of organising campaigns and events as well as supporting, when needed, young activists with transport and accommodation costs;
  • Believes that this budget should be administered by the National Youth Committee subject to party rules and allocated annually by Sinn Féin.

Roscommon Comhairle Ceantair National Youth Committee

Motion 94

This Ard Fheis calls for the Ard Chomhairle to initiate an urgent review the current membership policies including recruitment, education and retention of new members, with a view to protecting the integrity of the party and the commitment of its members. That this review should consider staged membership or associate membership, probationary periods, rights and responsibilities and allow for participation from cumainn and the wider membership. The objectives of this review would be to create a more robust party, inclusive of all, where membership rights and responsibilities are clearly defined, making the party fit for purpose in our new and dynamic, ever changing Irish society.

Cork City Comhairle Ceantar Margaret Skinnider Cumann (Ballygall/Drumcondra)

Motion 95

This Ard Fheis proposes that all cumann cláranna include Irish as a necessary fundamental agenda item for each meeting, whether or not they conduct their cumann business in Irish.

Dublin South Central Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 96

This Ard Fheis encourages all Sinn Féin members to become a member of a Trade Union given the important role of trade unions in alleviating the widespread exploitation and abuse of the minimum wage system.

Parle/Crean/Hogan/Gleeson Cumann (Taghmon)

Motion 97

This Ard Fheis recognises the importance of providing all elected representatives and activists with essential skills and training in suicide prevention and that a training programme will be devised and rolled out in all areas and made available to all activists.

Ireland South Cúige

Motion 98

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes that December 14th 2018 will mark the centenary of universal suffrage;
  • Recognises:
  • That equality as the cornerstone of republicanism;
  • That while some progress has been made for women in this country, targets of 30% representation for women fall well short of equality when women make up 50% of the population;
  • Reiterates Sinn Féin’s target of achieving 50% female representation in party membership, on internal party committees and structures as well as in public representation. North Clare Cumann

Justice and Equality

Motion 99

This Ard Fheis:

  • Believes that the An Garda Síochána and the PSNI must consistently work with local communities, as such a strong working relationship is at the core of good policing throughout the island;
  • Supports effective civic policing by police services that must be accountable, free from partisan political control, and representative of the community they serve;
  • Welcomes the recognition in the Terms of Reference for the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland of the need for an ethos and culture that “engages pro-actively, routinely and continuously with, and is responsive to the needs of, the diverse communities it serves”;
  • Is concerned at current trends in the North towards an overemphasis on the hard end of policing at the expense of the concerns and priorities of local communities as well as having concerns about the ongoing crises currently facing An Garda Síochána, and the public confidence in the force at present;
  • Views communities as an essential asset in assisting with policing and community safety solutions working in partnership with the PSNI or Gardaí.

This Ard Fheis mandates Sinn Féin to:

  • Continue to demand that communities receive a policing service that has 'policing with the community' as its core principle with solutions co-designed between communities and police;
  • Engage with all policing institutions at every level, North and South, in pursuit of 'Policing with the Community'. This will include the accountability mechanisms in existence and third sector and campaigning groups who are working to make policing structures truly representative of, and a service to, the public;
  • Campaign to maintain and enhance the human rights approach which will be central to a civic police service;
  • Support the new beginning to policing and the rule of law in the North while remaining vigilant and critical of any misuse of policing powers by anyone;
  • Support policing and the rule of law in the South while pursuing the necessary legislative and other changes to strengthen accountability and to prevent any recurrence of recent scandals which has damaged the reputation of An Garda Síochána. This Ard Fheis calls:
  • On the Gardaí to implement the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate 2015 Report ‘Changing Policing in Ireland’;
  • For the Policing Authority in the South to be fully independent, representative, to include political representation, and to be given the powers necessary to ensure that it is fit to hold An Garda Síochána and its leadership to account, and to recruit and remove senior officers;
  • For additional powers for GSOC, to improve its operation and enhance its scope;
  • For the establishment of a Criminal Justice Inspectorate, to replace the Garda Inspectorate, and capable of inspecting the range of criminal justice organisations, agencies and services.

Ard Chomhairle

Motion 100

This Ard Fheis agrees that Sinn Féin should develop a position paper on the age of criminal responsibility and aim to publish within a reasonable timeframe.

Loughshore Martyrs Cumann (Ardboe)

Motion 101

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes that:
  • The Mediation Act 2017 which places mediation at the centre of resolving issues around family breakdown was signed into law by the Irish President on 2nd October;
  • It is well established across a number of jurisdictions that family mediation improves outcomes for children when families break up as it allows families to agree what will happen rather than the adversarial approach involved in court proceedings;
  • Calls on Sinn Féin to promote family mediation on an all-Ireland basis and to work for a society where family mediation is the default first approach to family breakdown. Burns/McKerr/Toman Cumann (Lurgan)

Motion 102

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to provide increased supports for families going through divorce or separation proceedings:

  • To include provision for a new family law court system entirely separate from the criminal courts;
  • To be located in purpose built family oriented centres which will be fully funded;
  • To provide free mediation services with an emphasis on non- adversarial solutions;
  • Where parties seeking a divorce or separation don’t qualify for legal aid, a reasonable set number of hours of free legal representation will be granted where required;
  • However, the right of either party to decline legal representation in order to represent themselves should be upheld and respected;
  • In such cases, a relevant alternative person of their choice may accompany either party at court, to be selected with the agreement of the presiding judge and with consideration that the presence of that particular person will not cause distress or detriment to the other party, to be permitted only on condition of an undertaking of confidentiality of the proceedings.

West Waterford Cumann

Motion 103

This Ard Fheis notes:

  • The prevalence of domestic violence and abuse across all sections of society North and South;
  • That resources for survivors of domestic abuse are severely lacking with thousands of women and children unable to access emergency refuge accommodation;
  • That ending the scourge of domestic violence must be a priority to ensure a healthy society;
  • That accessing legal protections can be particularly difficult for women from poorer backgrounds;
  • That as well as the physical, psychological and financial consequences of domestic abuse, it can also have a detrimental impact on the job performance of many survivors leading to disciplinary action and a loss of job security;
  • That, crucially, the victim of domestic abuse is never to blame. Accordingly this Ard Fheis calls for:
  • The timely progression of the Domestic Violence Bill and the ratification of the Istanbul Convention;
  • An increase in funding and capacity in domestic violence refuges;
  • The implementation of a "Donna's Law" to be explored which would ensure domestic crimes constitute a criminal offence, as well as a disclosure scheme and amendment of housing allocation rules;
  • A waiver scheme for survivors who should not have to pay the minimum €130 charge for legal aid when applying for court protections;
  • The implementation of legislation which makes coercive and controlling behaviour an offence. Furthermore this Ard Fheis calls for employers across the island to implement domestic violence workplace policies and that the party parliamentary teams will work towards this becoming a statutory requirement for all employers

Mulgrew/McCracken Cumann (Castle) Tom Flatley Cumann (Enniskillen) Barney Morris Seamus Harvey Cumann, Crossmaglen Clonard Martyrs Cumann

Motion 104

This Ard Fheis:

  • Recognises that child rearing and being a parent is the most important role any person can ever have, makes a massive contribution to society and should continue to be recognized in the constitution;
  • Commits Sinn Féin to campaigning for the retention of Article 41.2 of Bunreacht na hÉireann with amendment in the interest of equality to replace references to women specifically with parents. Tracey Cre Cumann Roscrea

Motion 105

This Ard Fheis, noting lack of maternity leave for local elected representatives, calls on the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to:

  • Conduct a legal review of the Local Government Act 2001, Article 37 which states that a public representative absent from their post for more than 6 months will be deemed resigned. This does not cover cases of maternity leave and therefore is discriminatory and the legislation is conflicting;
  • Introduce maternity leave entitlements for elected representatives.

Ireland South Cúige

Motion 106

This Ard Fheis applauds and supports the work done by traveller groups and commits Sinn Féin to working with the travelling community with a view to supporting a member of its community in future Seanad election campaigns. Martin Forsythe Cumann (Glencullen/Sandyford)

A National Health Service for Ireland

Motion 107

This Ard Fheis:

  • Endorses former Health Minister Michelle O'Neill's 10 year vision for transforming health and social care in the north of Ireland, "Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together";
  • Emphasises the importance of the principles of co-design and co-production-designing and delivering transformation in partnership with those who use and deliver health and social care services enshrined in Delivering Together;
  • Welcomes the endorsement it received by the former Executive and the cross-party support it received;
  • Recognises that the successful implementation of Delivering Together is subject to adequate investment being made in transformation and requires the maintenance of existing services to allow transformation to be established;
  • Notes that continued savage Tory cuts are a serious barrier to the success of transformation and will require a concerted effort by all parties to protect health and social care from its impact. Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Motion 108

This Ard Fheis notes that the health service in the South has been in a state of crisis for over a decade with no improvement under successive Irish Governments which have included Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the Labour Party, the Green Party, the Progressive Democrats and Independents, all of whom continued the commodification of health and reliance on the private sector.

This Ard Fheis further notes that despite the hard work and dedication of the excellent workers in our health service that the crisis continues due to Government inaction and Health Service Executive impotence.

The crisis is currently reflected by the fact that:

  • There are nearly 700,000 people on hospital waiting lists;
  • 2017 could see over 100,000 patients being left on trolleys throughout the state;
  • Waiting lists for occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language therapy, and physiotherapy stretch from months into years;
  • There are mental health services are completely inadequately funded;
  • There is a recruitment and retention crisis in the health service;
  • Medical professionals and health care workers are ignored and not listened to by the Government;
  • Orphan drugs are not being funded correctly;
  • Some areas of the state do not have a GP;
  • National Rehabilitation Hospital beds remain closed, current funding and resources for neuro-rehabilitation teams and transitional services are not in place to enable people to return home are insufficient.

This Ard Fheis recognises the hard work the Sinn Féin Dáil and Seanad teams have done in the face of hostile opposition in bringing forward solutions and proposals, and commends their successes in forcing the Government into progressive change by:

  • Getting the Minister for Health to agree to trial the Sinn Féin policy Comhliosta;
  • Passing a Private Members Business Motion ensuring the new National Maternity Hospital would be built on the St. Vincent’s Hospital campus and remain within public ownership and have legally guaranteed independence from all non-medical influence;
  • Passing a Private Members Business Motion on automatically providing medical cards for very sick children who are in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance.

This Ard Fheis reaffirms its endorsement of Sinn Féin’s Better for Health – A Sinn Féin Plan for Universal Healthcare to increase investment in the health system, not simply to provide more resources and capacity, but to directly challenge and eliminate the structural inequalities that result in the less well-off die younger and live less healthy lives.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Chontae Smith/Savage Cumann (Castleknock) Murt Qualter Cumann (Athenry) Monaghan Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 109

This Ard Fheis endorses the new Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Access Programme in the 26 Counties as the optimal approach to ensuring that those patients who can safely benefit from cannabis-based treatments do so. We are mindful of patients who are sick and suffering across the State and are determined to ensure that no legal barrier impede their access to any drug or treatment that their qualified medical clinician wishes to prescribe.

We also call for the Access Programme to be extended to include the widest appropriate range of medical conditions, including pain, and will keep the development of the programme under review - should it fail to deliver we will bring forward legislation to rectify this.

Wilson/Coleman Cumann (Swords) Sheena Campbell Cumann (Rostrevor)

Motion 110

This Ard Fheis:

  • Commends Sinn Féin’s 2018 Alternative Budget which provided for a €12million (5%) increase to spending on the Drugs Strategy in the 26 Counties for 2018;
  • Responds to the call by previous Ard Fheiseanna for a review to be conducted of the party’s policies on drugs, this having regard to international experience and the views of the membership, by confirming that such a review has now been completed;
  • Recognises the harm caused by drugs and believes that recovery must become a primary focus of the response to drugs in the years ahead and that appropriate investment must follow this priority;
  • Finds that the offence of possession for personal use should be preserved but that legislation should be amended to provide the option for a judge to order a health intervention or community-based referral and no criminal record where there is strong evidence that the drug possessed was genuinely for personal use;
  • Reaffirms our belief that an interagency approach based on genuine partnership is absolutely paramount to addressing the harms caused by drugs, as is greater investment in health, education and communities.

Ard Chomhairle

Motion 111

This Ard Fheis is alarmed at the number of drug-related deaths that are occurring right across the island which is causing untold grief to bereaved families. More proactive steps must be taken by the appropriate statutory agencies North and South to engage the local community as a key stakeholder in the development of overarching strategies to tackle to the misuse of legal and illegal drugs. This Ard Fheis welcomes the community-led inquiry pioneered in West Belfast in conjunction with key statutory agencies which will:

  • Identify the scale and nature of the drug problem in West Belfast;
  • Report with recommendations to help tackle the scourge of unfortunate and untimely deaths in our community.

Blackmountain Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 112

This Ard Fheis:

  • Acknowledges and supports the work done by local drug & alcohol task forces and the community based projects they support;
  • Welcomes the commitment to harm reduction in the Irish Government's drug strategy Reducing Harm-Supporting Recovery 2017- 2025;
  • Calls on the Irish Government to support and strengthen the work of the local drug & alcohol drug task forces by immediately reinstating funding to at least 2008 levels.

Dublin South Central Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 113

This Ard Fheis calls for the decriminalisation of all drugs for personal use.

National Youth Committee UCC Cumann

Motion 114

This Ard Fheis recognises that there are almost 70,000 people across this island living with dementia and that for each one of these people with a diagnosis, there are approximately three other close family members directly affected. These numbers are expected to double in the next 20 years and treble in the next 35 years.

Dementia is a serious, progressive medical condition for which as yet there is no cure. It has a huge and changing impact on the person and on those close to them. Too often people with dementia and their families are left to cope with the effects of dementia alone and without the information, support and care they need.

This Ard Fheis recognises the significant challenge facing society in tackling dementia and calls for public health measures including:

  • Informing people how to reduce their risk of developing dementia;
  • Diagnosing dementia early;
  • Supporting people to live well with the condition;
  • Enabling dementia friendly communities;
  • Monitoring and managing data.

This Ard Fheis expresses its anger at the Irish Government regarding lack of investment in community supports for people with dementia in Budget 2018 and that more than half of a £6.2m fund earmarked for dementia care in the North has not been spent.

This Ard Fheis calls for the Irish Government and Northern Executive to provide adequate resources to ensure full implementation of the National Dementia Strategy and the development of a revised and reformed strategy that prioritises dementia.

Caraher/McCreesh Cumann (Ballymacnab)

Motion 115

This Ard Fheis calls for the introduction of electronic continuous monitoring of blood glucose sugar in Type 1 Diabetes and provision of the funding to deliver that program.

O'Carolan/Kilmartin Cumann (Dungiven)

Motion 116

This Ard Fheis supports the Stop Targeting Kids Campaign organised by the Irish Heart Foundation, and calls on the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment to protect children's health through strict controls, particularly on digital marketing, by introducing a comprehensive statutory system of regulation for online unhealthy food and drinks marketing directed at children.

Sherlock/Harford Cumann (Balbriggan)

Motion 117

This Ard Fheis endorses Sinn Féin’s 2018 Alternative Budget mental health priorities to:

  • Provide an additional budgetary investment of €51.23m in mental health services and care for 2018 and calls on the Irish Government to increase staff levels in line with the A Vision for Change mental health strategy recommendations;
  • Move towards 24/7 crisis intervention services in all HSE Community Healthcare Organisations (CHO) areas;
  • Increase access to primary care counselling, prioritise addiction and dual diagnosis, deliver additional Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) Teams and beds, and fund counselling and other mental health services for people currently in Direct Provision.

Dublin Cúige James Connolly Cumann (Ballyfermot) Dunne-Kelly-Whitty Cumann (Wexford Town) Wexford Comhairle Ceantair Robert Emmet/Joe Clarke Cumann (Inchicore/SWIC) James Connolly Cumann (Cahir)

Motion 118

This Ard Fheis:

  • Acknowledges that a significant number of men aged 15 to 34 years in Ireland today are lost to suicide; alcohol is a factor in more than half of all suicides and over one third of cases of self-harm and that the State has the second highest rate of binge drinking in the world;
  • Calls on the Irish Government to ensure there is no further delay in progressing the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 through the Seanad and Dáil, a complete ban on alcohol sponsorship of sporting events and TV advertising of alcohol. Gaughan/Stagg Cumann (Ballina)

Motion 119

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes the impact that suicide has on individuals, families and communities;
  • Acknowledges that death by suicide is a preventable death, as identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO);
  • Recognises the wide range of work carried out by the voluntary and community sector as well as the statutory services in tackling this issue, often in challenging circumstances;
  • Commends the work carried out by former Health Minister Michelle O’Neill in tackling stigma and ensuring parity of esteem for mental health and physical health, as part of a wider effort to tackling suicide and promoting proactive prevention;
  • Calls for a fully resourced all-Ireland Suicide Prevention strategy.

North Belfast Comhairle Ceantair Colin Comhairle Ceantair Fermanagh Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 120

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government’s Minister for Health to initiate the provision of a Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory at Sligo University Hospital.

Noble Six/Fr. O`Flanagan/MacManus Cumann (Sligo Town)

Motion 121

This Ard Fheis, in recognition of Sinn Féin’s commitment to equality in the Better4Health policy document, and with regard to the government’s proposal to open a new hospital in Cork, notes that:

  • This year marks the 30th anniversary since the closure of the North Infirmary hospital;
  • At that time, Sinn Féin pledged to the people of northside of Cork City/ County that we would advocate for a new hospital to be located on the northside of Cork City/County;
  • Such a hospital could seek to cater for currently under-served areas as diverse as the northside of the city, Mitchelstown, Glanmire, and Fermoy, amongst others;
  • A northside location makes strategic sense given the current City/ County focus on this region for future housing development. This Ard Fheis recognises that Sinn Féin is obliged to honour its pledge to the people of Cork by:
  • Advocating such a hospital is located to the Northside of Cork City, or the rural hinterland reasonably beyond;
  • Ensuring the matter is given priority and due regard during formulation of any future programme for government. Furthermore, in recognition of the general depreciation of services in Cork over the past number of years, that this Ard Fheis would advocate that such a facility would:
  • Act as a regional response unit for the co-ordination of emergencies under the Major Emergency Framework;
  • Have a separate training research focus with regard 3rd level training.

Ahern/Crowley Cumann (North East Ward)

Motion 122

This Ard Fheis supports:

  • The demand for the Health Social Care Boards in the North to bring the provision of IVF treatment to three full cycles in accordance with evidence based recommendations;
  • Moves in the South to address more roundly the issue of fertility, that whilst welcoming proposals for one cycle of IVF acknowledging it doesn't go far enough and that access to IVF on the island of Ireland for all couples should be 3 full cycles.

Derry City Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 123

This Ard Fheis notes with concern:

  • The hurt and harm women and men have experienced through the use of mesh in surgery to address incontinence, prolapse, and hernia;
  • The life changing debilitation and pain experienced by people harmed through mesh and that one person hurt by mesh is one too many. This Ard Fheis calls for:
  • An immediate moratorium on the use of mesh to address incontinence, prolapse, and hernia;
  • A comprehensive independent review of emerging evidence of the serious risk the use of mesh poses;
  • A comprehensive care pathway to ensure timely appraisal and treatment of those experiencing side effects following mesh implant operations.

Cúige na Sé Chontae

Motion 124

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to:

  • Act urgently to guarantee early assessment and diagnosis of children on the autistic spectrum;
  • Provide funding for private professional medical consultation where necessary;
  • Ensure that no child has to wait more than six months for such an appointment;
  • Ensure that the education system from primary school through to third level is equipped to cater for those who live with autism, to provide financial and essential supports for the parents and families of autistic children where necessary;
  • Provide funded training for professionals in the early assessment and diagnosis of children on the autistic spectrum.

Dwyer/Parnell Cumann (Arklow Rural)

Motion 125

This Ard Fheis call on the Ministers for Housing, Planning and Local Government and Rural and Community Development in the 26 Counties to ensure that all new builds for senior citizens are fitted with emergency pendant alarms, and calls on the Irish Government to restore the telephone allowance to senior citizens to allow them avail of emergency pendants through their landline.

Logue/Marley Cumann (Crumlin)

Motion 126

This Ard Fheis commends the health policy development team on the promotion of the Better for Health policy, currently led by Louise O Reilly TD. The development of a single-tier health system will bring benefits for all. The current public health system is broken. Some of the issues that require immediate change include:

  • Under 6 GP service should not be an opt-in service. Many parents are not aware that their GP’s do not provide the initiative until they need it;
  • Registration of professionals such as radiographers and nurses is taking far too long. It would be beneficial to have an automatic recognition of qualifications between European and Irish colleges to expedite the registration process;
  • More multidisciplinary teams should be available in local health centres to ensure that older and more vulnerable are getting a holistic healthcare service and to ensure they are linking in with services;
  • Mental health reforms and the provision of 24/7 services and supports.

Clarke/Smith/Doherty Cumann (Finglas)

Motion 127

This Ard Fheis calls on the authorities North and South to ensure that there is dialysis unit and renal team access for citizens across the whole island in order to end a situation where people living in rural areas, and particularly in the west of Ireland, have to travel for more than an hour to receive such treatment.

Tom Shevlin/Joe McDonnell Cumann (Strokestown)

Motion 128

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to provide immediate funding to cater for free medical health check-ups for all adults over 30 years of age. It is hoped that early professional interventions may greatly reduce the incidents of mental and physical illness at an early stage thus avoiding future over dependence on harmful and costly prescription medication.

Coen/Vaughan Cumann (Drumshanbo)

Motion 129

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes that gambling is an increasing problem across the whole island of Ireland, in particular amongst young people;
  • Commends the work that local communities, the GAA and other organisations are doing to tackle gambling and its underlying causes;
  • Calls for:
  • Recognition that gambling is a public health issue;
  • More support services to be provided to address gambling and to assist people with gambling problems;
  • Sinn Féin to develop a comprehensive policy on gambling including proposals for the regulation of advertising, promotion and sponsorship by gambling businesses.

Clarke/Smith/Doherty Cumann (Finglas) Burns/McKerr/Toman Cumann (Lurgan) Markievicz/Ryan Cumann (Tallaght Central)

Motion 130

This Ard Fheis:

  • Recognises that disability is a societal issue, affecting people of all ages and their families, directly and indirectly and wants to see a society in which all citizens, including those with disabilities, can play a full and independent part in all aspects of life, relying, as far as possible, on mainstream services for health, education and employment but with the support of tailored disability services where necessary;
  • Commends the Sinn Féin Oireachtas team on the range of costed measures provided for people with disabilities in the Sinn Féin Alternative Budget for 2018;
  • Condemns the current Irish Government’s failure, supported by Fianna Fáil, to once again provide any appreciable improvement in supports for people with disabilities in Budget 2018 and calls on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health, Simon Harris to now commit to putting those needs and rights front and centre in Budget 2019;
  • Urges that the Independent Alliance Deputies, including Minister of State with responsibility for People with Disabilities Finian McGrath, secure a solemn commitment in writing from An Taoiseach and Minister Harris that Budget 2019 will seek to address the real cost of disability in the lives of those with physical and/or intellectual challenges.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 26 Chontae O'Hanlon/McMahon/Lynagh Cumann (Monaghan Town)

Motion 131

This Ard Fheis notes:

  • That the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) provides the framework to promote, protect and ensure the rights of all people with disabilities and promotes equal rights in all areas of life;
  • That it is unacceptable that the Irish state has still not ratified this important convention and is now the only EU state which has not done so.

This Ard Fheis fully supports the participation and inclusion of people with disability in all areas of Irish life and calls on the Irish Government to immediately ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Peadar Clancy/Mairéad Farrell Cumann (Ennis) Swinford Cumann Sean Mac Giola Bhríde Cumann (Westport) Mayo Comhairle Ceantair Glenavy Cumann

Motion 132

This Ard Fheis recognises the needs of those in our community with disabilities and those who care for them. The Irish state remains the only state in the European Union that has failed to ratify the UNCRPD and continues to fail those with disabilities by displaying a lack of commitment to ensure they are not further excluded from decisions that impact their own daily lives. This failure is evident in the low level of Housing Adaptation Grant budget for those with severe health issues that affect mobility and enable them to stay in their own home while continuing to function to the best of their ability. We recognise that the right to Home Care Services (respite/home care packages, home help, specialist therapies, etc.) is essential and should be available to all care recipients regardless of age. Family carers are a vital resource in our communities and deserve proper recognition. Carers experience enormous levels of physical and mental stress and should have access to necessary supports to assist them continuing in the caring role. The Minister of State with responsibility for People with Disabilities must ensure children who access support due to disability or developmental delay are provided with adequately financed resources to ensure they continue to receive the ongoing care they require into adulthood.

Barnes/McCormack Cumann (Mullingar)

Motion 133

This Ard Fheis:

  • Acknowledges the Irish Association of Social Workers, Age Action, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice in UCD research (2016) which found that the home care services system in the 26 counties is disorganised, fragmented and underfunded with social workers estimating more than half of the older people they work with could be at home instead of in long-term residential care if the appropriate services were available;
  • Notes that this echoes previous Irish research studies, which show that older people want to remain living at home for as long as possible and to receive care there when it is needed;
  • Commends Sinn Féin’s 2018 alternative budget proposals to provide 2.1 million additional home help hours and 2,485 extra home care packages providing an €72.65 million additional investment in home care services;
  • Calls on the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Mental Health and Older People to urgently address the shortfalls in funding and resources that unnecessarily forces elderly people out of their homes and into residential care.

Duffy/Downey Cumann (Dundalk East)

Motion 134

This Ard Fheis supports changing building regulations for all publically accessible buildings to have their disabled access built, as a minimum standard, to guidelines put forward by the Irish Wheelchair Association.

Mitchell/Sands Cumann (Magheracloone) Keenan/Doherty Cumann (Carrickmacross)

Motion 135

This Ard Fheis renews and strengthens its commitment to making every village, town and city disability friendly to ensure Ireland is at the forefront in making certain that those living with a disability are equally respected and valued. Furthermore we seek to mandate all elected representatives to significantly increase resources to remove physical barriers to participation, to remove the obstacle courses that those living with a disability encounter each and every day. We commend the #MakeWayDay campaign and urge all members to sign the online petition that commits to creating a more equal society for people with disabilities.

Robert Emmet/Joe Clarke Cumann (Inchicore/SWIC)

Motion 136

This Ard Fheis recognises that the early identification of special educational needs (SEN) and the timely provision of appropriate support, together with high aspirations, can help ensure that children who have SEN or disabilities excel into adulthood.

This Ard Fheis notes with concern that:

  • 79% of statements of special educational needs within the 6 Counties were completed outside of 26 week statutory limit;
  • The recent trend towards the reduction in the number of hours allocated to children with special educational needs at nursery level. This Ard Fheis commits to:
  • Delivering SEN provision on the basis of need;
  • Implementing measures to ensure assessments and statements are completed quickly as possible and that the statutory time-frame for statements is reduced to 20 weeks.

Limavady Comhairle Ceantair

Education, Childcare and Social Policy

Motion 137

This Ard Fheis:

  • Recognises the importance of a properly resourced education sector to both the society and the economy;
  • Recognises that education was one of the sectors that suffered some of the harshest cutbacks and levels of underinvestment during the slash-and-burn budgets by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael Governments in recent years;
  • Condemns the choices of the recent joint Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil budget which prioritised tax cuts over real investment in public services;
  • Welcomes the provisions in the recent Sinn Féin Alternative Budget 2018 to increase the quality and funding of the 26 County education system at all levels including:
  • Reducing the pupil-teacher in primary schools by 2 points;
  • Increasing school capitation grants;
  • Restoring school guidance councillors;
  • Additional resource teachers and SNAs;
  • Significant funding to tackle back to school costs;
  • Increased funding to the School Transport Scheme;
  • Reducing Third Level Fees in and abolishing PLC course fees;
  • €100m additional capital investment in education.
  • Calls on the Irish government to prioritise real investment in education in subsequent budgets to ensure a world-class system to the benefit of all citizens.

James Stephens Cumann (Kilkenny)

Motion 138

This Ard Fheis notes that:

  • Wages in the Early Years sector are low with the average wage for the profession significantly below living wage and does not reflect staff qualifications with consequent recruitment and retention difficulties which put additional pressure on an already overstretched sector;
  • Hundreds of early years staff will be forced to sign onto social welfare for the summer months due to 38 week work contracts;
  • High quality early childhood education and care is beneficial to young children at the foundation stage of their development and that provision of high quality early education and care is dependent on quality interactions between early years staff and the children they engage with. This Ard Fheis therefore Calls on the Irish Government to:
  • Carry out, as a matter of urgency, an independent early years’ service cost and sustainability review;
  • Increase State funding to European levels to ensure sustainable high quality provision, professional pay scales and paid non-contact time;
  • Commission the development of a State-wide agreed pay scale for the early years workforce linked to the Occupational Role Profiles that recognises qualifications, experience and length of service using the living wage as a starting point and to ensure higher capitation rates are passed on to staff through an agreed salary scale that reflects qualifications;
  • Immediately address the issue of extra non-contact hours which have been added to providers' already extensive workload due to the introduction of the ACS this year and ensure that both service providers and staff are remunerated for this additional work in adequate time for the additional work necessary for the preparation and implementation of the Department's new scheme.

Meaney/Dunne Cumann (Ballybrack)

Motion 139

This Ard Fheis:

  • Welcomes the publication of the Sinn Féin document Time to Make Childcare Affordable;
  • Notes that:
  • Childcare costs in the State are twice the European average;
  • Decades of Irish Government under-investment in the sector has resulted in these soaring childcare costs;
  • Many highly-skilled and qualified workers are lost from the labour force every year due as they take time out of work to care for their children due to the prohibitively high cost of childcare;
  • Many childcare providers are operating on a break-even basis.
  • Calls on the Irish Government to:
  • Significantly increase the Universal Childcare Subsidy (UCS) from its current rate in order to ease the burden on families;
  • Increase sustainability funds for community childcare providers;
  • Increase and expand investment in the early years sector year upon year in order to reduce costs to parents and arrive at a situation where accessible, high-quality and affordable childcare is available to all who wish to avail of it.

Cole/Colley Cumann (Coolock)

Motion 140

This Ard Fheis notes that:

  • The sedentary nature of Irish children and adolescents is compounded by the fact that many schools have no indoor sports facilities;
  • As the Irish school year runs through the winter, it is vital that children have access to facilities that are not weather dependant. This Ard Fheis therefore calls on the Irish Government to provide immediate funding so that all schools, primary, secondary and special, have access to an on- site indoor sports hall and believes that if the Irish Government is serious about tackling obesity and its associated health problems it should immediately make these funds available.

Carrick-On-Shannon Cumann

Motion 141

This Ard Fheis commends Former Deputy First Minister and former Education Minister Martin McGuinness for abolishing the 11 plus transfer test to establish a transfer system based upon parental choice and recognises that:

  • Despite the abolition of the 11 plus many schools continue to select pupils on the basis of school transfer tests;
  • School transfer tests continue to drive educational inequality and are a barrier to parental choice. This Ard Fheis welcomes the publication of the report Investigating Links in Achievement and Deprivation (ILiAD) which concluded that:
  • Attainment is enhanced when schools develop effective links with local communities;
  • Good quality teacher interaction with pupils significantly enhances the potential for achievement;
  • Transfer tests inhibit the attainment of young people in areas of deprivation;
  • Negative experience of transfer tests result in reduced confidence and self-esteem;
  • Transfer tests favour those young people whose parents can afford to pay for tuition.

This Ard Fheis reaffirms its commitment to an education system based upon equality and parental choice, and calls on schools to show leadership by ending the use of transfer tests and building a fully inclusive and non-selective education system for the betterment of all our young people.

Cúige na Sé Chontae

Motion 142

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish Government to carry out a thorough review of the CAO and leaving certificate system, having regard to:

  • The strain imposed by the present system on the physical and mental wellbeing and health of students;
  • The need to ensure equality of access to third level education and, in particular, to the most sought after courses and;
  • The detrimental effect that the excessive emphasis on examination results and points has on the educational environment in schools and on learning outcomes for students.

Mick Murray Cumann (Clontarf)

Motion 143

This Ard Fheis calls for Sinn Féin to develop a comprehensive policy on end of life issues, including proposals to allow a person who is terminally ill to be assisted to die where that is their declared intention and where they have clearly and freely given their consent.

Ard Chomhairle National Youth Committee Tommy Kavanagh Cumann (The Commons)

Motion 144

This Ard Fheis reaffirms our support for the repeal of the 8th Amendment of Bunreacht na hEireann.

This Ard Fheis further affirms our commitment to campaign to achieve this objective.

This Ard Fheis calls on the government to hold a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment without any further delay. Sinn Féin believes that full information and non-directive pregnancy counselling embodying all choices should be freely available. We re-assert our opposition to the criminalisation of women who make the decision to have an abortion.

The party accepts the need for the availability of abortion where a woman’s life, health or mental health is at serious risk or in grave danger, and in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and in the cases rape or sexual abuse.

Ard Chomhairle Tormey/Mannion Cumann (South Roscommon) Dublin Mid-West Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 145

This Ard Fheis acknowledges Sinn Féin’s position on Repealing the 8th Amendment and commits Sinn Féin to actively supporting the forthcoming Repeal campaign.

This Ard Fheis recognises that the Citizens Assembly was a fair and rigorous process of deliberative democracy that resulted in workable and compassionate recommendations which Sinn Féin will endorse.

Furthermore this Ard Fheis commits Sinn Féin to developing a Women's Health Policy based on the Citizens Assembly recommendations.

Mulgrew/McCracken Cumann (Castle) Kevin Barry/Frank Stagg Cumann (North West Inner City) McLaughlin/Cahill Cumann (Howth) Devlin/Plunkett Cumann (Templeogue/Terenure) Markievicz/O'Farrell Cumann (Tallaght South) Markievicz/Tadhg Barry Cumann (North West/Central Wards) MacDiarmada/Gilgunn Cumann (Manorhamilton) Margaret Skinnider Cumann (Ballygall/Drumcondra) Gaughan/Stagg Cumann (Ballina) Cole /Colley Cumann (Coolock)

Motion 146

This Ard Fheis acknowledges that every day women leave this country to travel abroad to avail of terminations. We acknowledge the hardship and trauma which is added to by the need to travel to another jurisdiction and which can in some instances cause complications for aftercare. We acknowledge that while women in crisis pregnancy must and should receive supports they are choosing to terminate pregnancies for socio economic reasons and we can no longer ignore this. Mindful of the recommendation of the Citizens Assembly this Ard Fheis recognises the need to legislate for terminations in socio economic circumstances and resolves to develop a 32 county policy to reflect this and to campaign on this policy.

Dublin Mid-West Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 147

This Ard Fheis acknowledges that every day women on the island of Ireland travel abroad to avail of terminations and that we can no longer ignore this fact. This Ard Fheis acknowledges that women deserve respect, protection and fulfilment of their human rights through access to legal abortion services. This Ard Fheis mandates Sinn Féin to commit to developing both policy and legislation regarding women’s health and termination services. This Ard Fheis supports the introduction of legislation for the termination of pregnancy on the following grounds:

  • When the pregnancy has not exceeded 12 weeks;
  • When the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life, physical health or mental health of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated;
  • in the event of a fatal foetal abnormality.

In the event of this motion passing it would repeal all prior Ard Fheis motions regarding the termination of pregnancy.

National Youth Committee

Motion 148

This Ard Fheis agrees that all Sinn Féin members be allowed to articulate and vote on the issue of abortion according to their conscience.

John Joe Sheehy Cumann (Tralee) French/Doyle Cumann Johnstown (Navan) Thomas Allen Cumann (Trim) Ráth Cairn Cumann Kelly/Arthurs Cumann (Kells) Matthew Kane Cumann (Tullamore) Erris Cumann Logue/Marley Cumann (Crumlin) Tom Keely Cumman (Celbridge) Gallagher/Foy Cumann (Drumconrath) Seosaimh MacDiarmada Cumann (Bohermeen)

Motion 149

This Ard Fheis believes that all Sinn Féin elected representatives should be allowed to vote on the issue of abortion according to their conscience or personal opinion and should not be bound by party policy. Lynch/Grogan Cumann (Duleek/Kentstown) Doherty/Delaney Cumann (Navan) Eneas McNulty Cumann (Achill) Meath Comhairle Ceantair Séamus Fox Cumann (Ratoath) Jimmy Guy Cumann (Limavady) Gleann Na Rua Cumann (Magilligan/Greysteel) Markievicz/O'Farrell Cumann (Tallaght South)

Motion 151

This Ard Fheis believes that a woman’s reproductive rights, and control over her body and sexuality, are entirely a matter for the woman concerned in each particular circumstance.

Pádraig Pearse Cumann (Bogside)

Towards a New and United Ireland

Motion 152

This Ard Fheis recognises that the prospect of Brexit, of the North of Ireland being removed from the European Union against the will of the people, the possibility of the reimposition of a hard border on the island of Ireland, a changing political landscape in the North and demographic changes have all underlined the case for Irish Unity.

Therefore this Ard Fheis:

  • Endorses the Sinn Féin discussion document Towards a United Ireland, as providing constructive and imaginative ideas and in contributing to the debate of the achievement of a united Ireland;
  • Calls on all those political parties which claim to support a united Ireland, to bring forward their own ideas and proposals on how best to move this objective forward;
  • Calls on the Oireachtas to:
  • Introduce automatic Dáil membership for MPs from the North of Ireland and, pending this, to immediately introduce speaking and consultative rights for Northern MPs and Assembly members in the Dáil and Seanad.
  • Establish a national forum to bring together all parties and key sectors representative of civic society on the island to consult together on the constitutional and political future of the island, including the issue of Irish unity and national reconciliation.
  • Calls on the Irish Government to:
  • Encourage and lead an informed, reasoned and respectful public dialogue on the issue of Irish unity;
  • Prepare a realistic plan for Irish reunification, including the establishment of an Oireachtas all-party group to bring forward a Green Paper for Irish reunification;
  • Initiate a referendum on Presidential voting rights for citizens in the North of Ireland and the Irish diaspora;
  • Develop an all-island National Health Service and all-island public services through a ‘United Ireland Investment and Prosperity Plan’.

Ard Chomhairle

Motion 153

This Ard Fheis acknowledges the damage inflicted on the health service North and South by successive right wing governments in Dublin and London and the impact that this is having on the lives of patients, service users, their families and those who work in the health service. Mindful of the need to prepare for Brexit and protect and enhance the cross border services which have been developed to date, we reaffirm our commitment to the delivery of a 32 county rights based health service which is free at the point of delivery and which delivers care based on health need. In order to do this the Ard Fheis mandates the party to develop a fully costed all island health policy which will enhance the delivery of care in the 32 counties and which will have as its foundation legislation for an all-Ireland National Health Service.

Ard Chomhairle

Motion 154

This Ard Fheis reaffirms Sinn Féin’s absolute commitment to tackling and eradicating sectarianism in Irish society.

Sectarianism is the antithesis of Irish Republicanism and the development of an agreed, united Ireland.

It is the most significant obstacle to achieving healing and reconciliation in our society.

We are committed to the principle of the Good Friday Agreement which promised to its citizens "the right to live free from sectarian harassment".

In practice this must include:

  • The right to employment free from sectarian discrimination, intimidation or attack;
  • The right to housing and to live in your home free from sectarian attack, intimidation or other discrimination;
  • The right to free association, recreation and to socialise at places of choice free from sectarian attack, intimidation or other discrimination;
  • The right to practice religious faith and worship free from sectarian attack, intimidation or other discrimination;
  • The duty to report or challenge sectarian speech, attack, intimidation or other discrimination when witnessed or heard.

We recognise that sectarianism exists throughout Irish society. Sectarian attitudes and behaviour regardless of the source must be actively confronted. Sinn Féin proposes that anti-sectarian measures and initiatives must be embedded within the institutions of government at all levels and that sectarianism is defined as hate crime and enshrined in legislation. To that end this Ard Fheis adopts the policy document One Community - Tackling the scourge of sectarianism in Irish society.

Ard Chomhairle

Motion 155

This Ard Fheis notes that:

  • Recent events in south and east Belfast have displayed most vividly that sectarianism remains a cancer in some elements of Irish society;
  • The use of flags to intimidate and to create an atmosphere where sectarian intimidation becomes inevitable;
  • Sectarianism is the antithesis of republicanism. As with all other forms of hate or discrimination, unreservedly condemns the sectarian intimidation of catholic families from their homes in south and east Belfast and commits Sinn Féin activists to proactively challenge sectarianism and sectarian attitudes regardless of their source and commends the submissions to and participation in the Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition by residents and activists to in the North.

South and East Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 156

This Ard Fheis:

  • Recognises that there is a significant gap in dealing with the past in our society and a disappointing approach by governments in light of UNSCR 1325;
  • Notes that UNSCR 1325 which was passed in the year 2000 called for greater participation and integration of women’s unique perspectives in conflict prevention, peace-building, and reconstruction. It also called for the protection of women’s and girl’s rights during conflicts, and the prevention of and attention to gender based violence;
  • Is disappointed in the lack of responsibility by the British government to carry out their obligations to women on these islands as a result of their definition of the 30 years of conflict;
  • Recognises that without a gender specific approach we cannot identify experiences or support recovery;
  • Fully supports the participation of women in all stages of the post conflict process;
  • Calls for the immediate implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.

Glenavy Cumann

Motion 157

This Ard Fheis recognises:

  • The importance of a Bill of Rights which is a core part of the Good Friday Agreement, containing rights supplementary to European Convention on Human Rights and reflecting the particular circumstances of the north of Ireland; 
  • The central role a  Bill of Rights would play in safeguarding peace, equality and human rights within the context of Brexit and the proposed repeal of the Human Rights Act by the British Tory Government; 
  • The concerns and recommendations in the most UN reports on the repeal of the Human rights Act. This Ard Fheis supports a Bill of Rights for the north of Ireland and all-Ireland Charter of Rights.

Grúpa Parlaiminteach na 6 Chontae

Motion 158

This Ard Fheis calls for support for the Loughinisland families and all victims of British state collusion. Following the publication of the Police Ombudsman report detailing indisputable and credible evidence of collusion in the Loughinisland Massacre, this Ard Fheis calls on the British Government to publicly apologise, and admit their involvement in the collusion and murders as laid out in the report.

Betsy Gray Cumann (Ballynahinch)

Motion 159

This Ard Fheis welcomes last Septembers decision of the European Committee of Ministers Human Rights Body which highlighted their ‘deep concerns’ around a number of outstanding legacy issues. This decision, lodged against the British Government, included the Pat Finucane case, where the Committee urged further progress on the issue once the Supreme Court appeal by the Finucane family was concluded.

They also;

  • Registered their ‘deep concerns’ in relation to the HIU (Historical Investigations Unit) and other legacy mechanisms, like the ICIR (Independent Commission on Information Retrieval) and the OHA (Oral History Archive), agreed at the Stormont House talks in December 2014, which have still not been established;
  • Strongly call on the British Government ‘as a matter of urgency’ to take all necessary measures to ensure that the legacy inquest system is properly resourced in accordance with the Lord Chief Justice’s proposals and that full cooperation is forth coming from both the PSNI and the MoD to facilitate the conclusion of effective investigations;
  • Decided to review the progress made on these issues at the next meeting of the committee in June 2018, at the latest. In conclusion this Ard Fheis demands that the British Government must now honour their international obligations and fully comply with the decision of the Committee of Ministers. In addition, they must also adequately resource the Police Ombudsman’s Office to allow them to complete outstanding legacy investigations.

Fermanagh Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 160

This Ard Fheis calls for the immediate release of Tony Taylor and reiterates our support for the human rights of all citizens.

Derry City Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 161

This Ard Fheis commends the work of Sinn Féin and other Irish-language activists who are championing our language rights across the island. In particular, this year we commend all those involved in the campaign for the implementation of Acht Gaeilge in the North.

Sinn Féin is committed to the promotion of the Irish Language, to its re- establishment as a major spoken language in Ireland and to the delivery of rights for Irish speakers.

The Ard Fheis acknowledges and commends the significant attention and investment suggested for the Irish Language in Sinn Féin’s Alternative Budget 2018.

This Ard Fheis endorses as party policy the Sinn Féin Irish Language Policy Document ‘Tír gan Teanga, Tír gan Anam’ and commends its detailed proposals relating to:

  • Language Rights;
  • Gaeltacht areas;
  • Education;
  • Public Sector Reform;
  • Promoting the Irish language in the Media;
  • The creation of the widest opportunity to learn and use the Irish Language.

We further recognise that the Irish Language belongs to all the people of Ireland and that in the context of mutual respect and our multi-cultural society, can contribute most positively to the realisation of an agreed, independent, united Ireland.

Ard Chomhairle

Motion 162

This Ard Fheis:

  • Acknowledges the 50th anniversary of the first Civil Rights march which took place in August 1968 from Coalisland to Dungannon when over 2000 people marched for equality and civil rights for Nationalists in the 6 counties;
  • Notes that much has changed in the North as a result of the first civil rights march but that there is still some way to go to deliver equality to all and we must continue to strive to deliver this through all avenues open to us including activism, elected institutions and the judicial system.

Coalisland/Clonoe Martyrs Cumann

Motion 163

This Ard Fheis notes with concern the lack of progress in implementing the legacy mechanisms agreed in the Fresh Start Agreement and calls for the British Government to immediately release funding for outstanding legacy investigations.

Coleraine Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 164

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes that we are approaching the centenary of the 1918 election and the First Dáil;
  • Demands that Dáil speaking and voting rights for the North’s MPs be implemented without further delay;
  • Specifically proposes that elected representatives from the North would be invited to participate in a sitting of the Dáil on the 21st January 1919, to mark the centenary of the first sitting of the First Dáil;
  • Proposes that, should the Oireachtas fail the legislate for speaking and voting rights for Northern MPs, Sinn Féin should consider organising a symbolic peoples election standing a candidate in each of Six County constituencies where future Dáil elections would be held.

South Down Comhairle Ceantair Seamus Wrynn Cumann (Ballinamore)

Motion 165

This Ard Fheis, in recognition of the fact that on the 21st of January 1919, when Dáil Éireann met for the first time, the business was conducted entirely through the Irish language. In recognition of this, a day should be chosen as close to this date, 100 years later, on which the business of the Dáil will be conducted entirely through Irish.

Seamus Wrynn Cumann (Ballinamore)

Motion 166

This Ard Fheis supports the establishment of an Irish Republican historical library where the recent history and local experiences can be complied and chronicled to ensure our narrative is protected into the future.

Mairéad Farrell Cumann (City Central Ward)

Motion 167

This Ard Fheis:

  • Notes the recent announcement by An Taoiseach that a referendum will be held on amending the constitution to allow Irish citizens resident in the North and amongst the diaspora to vote in Presidential elections;
  • Calls on Sinn Féin to step up the campaign for this referendum to be held next year and calls on the people of the South to support this necessary change in the constitution by extending the vote to their fellow citizens;
  • Commends the leadership of both Gerry Adams TD and Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile for putting this matter front and centre of the political agenda in both houses of the Oireachtas and the Seanad. South and East Belfast Comhairle Ceantair

Motion 168

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish government to make every effort to have Roger Casement’s personal papers, including his diaries and other personal memorabilia returned to Ireland.

John Joe Sheehy Cumann Tralee

Motion 169

This Ard Fheis calls for the introduction of mandatory voting in order to increase the level of political participation and increase the legitimacy of political institutions.

Hurson-Quirke cumann, Galway City West.

Motion 170

This Ard Fheis believes that the office of President is not relevant in modern Ireland.

Cumann Mháirtín Uí Chadhain (South Connemara)

Motion 171

This Ard Fheis calls on the Irish government to reduce the cost of becoming an Irish citizen from €1,125 to €60 to properly reflect the administration costs incurred. It is absolutely exploitative to charge somebody €1,125 for something they are entitled to. If someone has lived in Ireland for 7 years (or whatever exact specific time duration or durations) and is entitled to be a naturalised Irish citizen, then that person should receive their citizenship with as little bureaucracy and costs as possible.

Coen/Vaughan Cumann (Drumshanbo)