Sinn Féin holding key internal conference in Drogheda
Today, Friday 10 February 2012, Sinn Féin is holding a major internal party conference in the Boyne Valley Hotel in Drogheda.
Almost 100 key leadership activists from all levels of the party and across the island, have come together to discuss the party’s approach to building a new republic.
Among those taking part is party president Gerry Adams TD, deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald TD, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.
Also present are TDs, councillors, MLAs and ministers, as well as party strategists and activists.
The party meeting is taking place two weeks after a very successful conference in the Millennium Forum in Derry. Almost 1,000 people, including a sizeable section of unionist opinion, attended the Derry event. The Millennium conference was the sixth in a series that has attracted large numbers of people from every walk of life to capacity packed halls in Monaghan, Dublin, Cork, Galway, Newry and Derry.
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said: “Uniting Ireland is Sinn Féin’s key political objective. Making progress on this involves building political strength, developing strategies, challenging partitionism, engaging with other political parties and society, reaching out to the diaspora and taking part in a dialogue with our unionist neighbours.
The Good Friday Agreement and the all-Ireland political institutions are an important step in this direction, but more effort is needed.
Today’s meeting will examine progress made thus far, evaluate current strategies and examine how Sinn Féin can move this project forward. Partition has failed the people of Ireland, North and South, the unionists and the rest of us.
A new agreed Ireland based on the rights of citizens is needed. This is best achieved by unity through reconciliation. That means building on the progress that has been made toward uniting Ireland. All of those who desire Irish unity face many challenges but it is clear that there is already significant support for it.
Our focus must be on building even greater popular support for re-unification; to develop governmental and non-governmental structures and policies which transcend the border and engage with unionist opinion with the aim of persuading it that their identity, self-interest and quality of life will be best served in a new Ireland, a new republic for the 21st century.”