Sinn Féin have now replaced the DUP as the largest party in local government. Its electoral victory will accelerate political progress in Ireland, north and south.
The mood at the Ard Fheis was very upbeat. At the heart of the party is the commitment to Irish reunification. The key issue being how to further encourage and channel the debate around unity.
Sinn Féin has become the most popular party on the island of Ireland, and on both sides of the border.
“..Ireland is on the cusp of an historic opportunity to unravel the generational political, social and economic trauma which partition has brought about.”
Barring some dramatic and unforeseen development, Sinn Féin is on course to be the largest party and win the First Minister’s position. This would be an historic development, completely shocking to Unionism and undermining British governance in Ireland.
The government’s aim is to remove all legal liability for serious crimes, including murder, committed by the army and other British state forces.
The fundamental reason for the turmoil in the north of Ireland and in the main party of Unionism is the outcome of Brexit and the NI Protocol which was part of it. These change the relationship with Britain – the north of Ireland is effectively in the same customs and trade bloc with the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the EU, while there is now a customs border between Britain and Ireland as a whole.