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Sinn Féin Internal Conference - Maximising change

21 September, 2005

Over 70 Sinn Féin elected representatives and political activists including the party's MLAs, MPs, TDs, MEPs and council group leaders from across the island of Ireland will converge on the Tí Chulainn Centre in Mullaghbawn South Armagh for a day long internal party conference, tomorrow Thursday 22nd September.

The Conference will start at 9.30 am and end at 7pm.

Speakers will include Cllr Pat McGinn, Chairperson of Newry and Mourne Council, Cllr John O'Dowd, leader of the Sinn Féin Assembly team, Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin, Head of the all-Ireland department Martina Anderson, leader of the Leinster House team Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin and Mary Lou McDonald MEP and Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams.

The media are invited to the Gerry Adams speech. They should arrive by 4.45pm for 5pm start.

Speaking ahead of the conference Mr O'Dowd said:

"This conference is an important opportunity for our elected representatives and political activists from across the island to discus the current political situation.

"The IRA statement has created the potential to reinvigorate the political process.

"It presents many challenges - for the British and Irish governments who have dragged their feet in the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and for unionism. And to us as republican activists.

"In the days and weeks ahead it is essential that republicans continue to drive forward the agenda for change set out in the Good Friday Agreement.

"It is essential that patterns of poverty and deprivation, north and south are challenged wherever they exist.

"Equality is an all-Ireland issue. Sinn Fein must be the engine of change. We must maximise change and force the governments to accelerate the equality agenda so that there is a real difference on the ground." ENDS

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