Sinn Féin Ard Fheis 2008

The Sinn Féin Ard Fheis takes place in Dublin this weekend. The Ard Fheis is the supreme governing body of Sinn Féin, as laid out in 6.1.1 of the party constitution.

It is at the Ard Fheis that the leadership of Sinn Féin is elected, policy is decided upon and any changes to the constitution or rules are made.

This years Ard Fheis is one of the most critical that we have held in recent history, after our setback last year in the 26 counties it is here that we must get the basics right in order to regain our momentum.

Now at the time of our setback down South many reasons were bandied about for our failure, I made my own feelings quite clear.

Some would argue that we must head towards the centre, the worst possible path in my opinion.

There are some very interesting motions this year, the clár of which can be found here.

There is a motion which seeks to censure the national leadership after comments they made in relation to our corporation tax policy in the last 26 county general election.

There are also motions that seek to remove our disgraceful gender policy in relation to candidates for election and even motions which seek to change the membership of the Ard Chomhairle.

Abortion once again raises its ugly head with a motion that seeks to reverse our policy on abortion and make us a pro-abortion party.

My own Cumann's policing motion has already been debated on this site before.

For me though the most serious challenge to our raison d'être is a motion which seeks to remove from our constitution our goal of a 32 county socialist republic and have it replaced just with a 32 county republic.

For me that is totally unacceptable and indeed references to Clause IV are well made.

As Connolly said "The cause of labour is the cause of Ireland. The cause of Ireland is the cause of labour. They cannot be dissevered"

Any attempt to remove Socialism from Sinn Féin is unacceptable; we are a Socialist Republican party.

The Ard Fheis is a great time when you get to meet Comrades that you may not have seen since last year, it's a time when the rank and file of the party have their say.

I'm in Dublin for the weekend and it promises to be a very interesting Ard Fheis.

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