Sinn Féin leaders begin setting out ten year plan
Speaking at a meeting of Sinn Féin elected representatives and senior party members from across the island today Gerry Adams said there are wonderful opportunities for progressive politics in the time ahead.
The meeting is taking place in Ballyfermot Civic Centre to begin the process of setting out the party’s strategic direction for the next ten years. It is the first of 46 meetings taking place across the island over the next week.
Teachta Adams said;
“In 1992 Sinn Féin held its Ard Fheis here in the Ballyfermot Community Centre.
“The previous year Dublin City Council had barred Sinn Féin from the Mansion House and the political establishment was united in its efforts to block us from all municipal buildings.
“It was a historic Ard Fheis.
“Sinn Féin launched our Towards a lasting Peace in Ireland policy document which was the cornerstone of our peace strategy and which within within three years saw the opening up of the peace process.
“At that time the community centre was a ramshackle and deprived public utility.
“The community association led by Vincent ‘Ballyfermot’ Jackson where threatened with a loss of funding if they let us use their building.
“They told the government where to go.
“When this new modern community centre was subsequently built local activists saw it as a vindication not only for their hard work but for their principled position.
“Today’s party conference comes during the mid-way point of this momentous centenary year of the 1916 Rising.
“If follows two major elections, north and south, in which Sinn Féin increased our mandate across the island and won almost half a million votes.
“Today’s conference is the beginning of a consultative process which will include 46 local meetings.
“We had a similar process in 2007 when we set our party’s strategic direction from then until now.
“This democratisation of our strategy formulation is an opportunity for the national and regional leadership of Sinn Féin to set the agenda and map out our aspirations and ambitions for Ireland over the next decade, as we continue to work towards Irish unity and transformation of Irish society, north and south.
“Sinn Féin is very ambitious for our country and for our people.
“There are huge challenges at this time but there are also wonderful opportunities for progressive politics.”