Sinn Féin Ard Fheis sets out the way forward

13th September 2011 Socialist Action 0

By Frances Davis

Sinn Féin held its Ard Fheis (Annual conference) over 9-10 September. Described as ‘a conference of firsts’, it was indeed the first time the event had taken place in Belfast at the prestigious Waterfront Hall. The rising confidence and strength of the party was evident, reflected in the breadth of speakers and policies over the two days, and laid out in both keynote speeches of party president Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. Vice President Mary Lou McDonald gave the perspective for ‘reuniting Ireland’.

Photo: endiaferon

Greek workers struggle wins first partial victory for themselves, Ireland and Portugal

25th July 2011 Socialist Action 0

By Brian Jones

The working class of Greece obviously still faces a huge uphill fight against the savage austerity measures being imposed on them to pay for the crisis created by the Greek capitalist class. The new ‘bailout’ package for Greece agreed by the Eurozone countries only represents the mildest of ameliorations of the terms of the previous such package – 21 per cent effective reduction in the size of debt on Greece’s bonds, reduction of interest rate for bailout funds from 5.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, and extension of the period of repayment. But nevertheless it contains a crucial lesson – struggle pays.

Elections mark further steady rise of Sinn Féin

18th May 2011 Socialist Action 0

By Frances Davis

This week, as Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams’ announced the party’s new Ministerial Assembly team, the party emerged from the fourth consecutive election this year which has seen Sinn Féin’s vote steadily rise – north and south of the border. The 5 May Assembly and council elections in the six counties saw a continuation of a trend in the north – that of an increase in support for Sinn Féin, and of endorsement for the Good Friday Agreement.

The 1981 Irish Hunger Strike – ‘ one of the most heroic chapters in human history ’

26th April 2011 Socialist Action 0

By Frances Davis

This year will mark the 30th Anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, in which Bobby Sands and nine other republican prisoners died in a struggle for political status against the Thatcher government’s brutal policy of ‘criminalisation’. The hunger strike was a critical turning point in the most prolonged struggle against colonialism anywhere in history – the more than 800-year-long struggle against British rule in Ireland. This historic moment in Irish history, which ultimately saw the victory of the hunger strikers’ demands, was indeed, as Fidel Castro described that year, ‘one of the most heroic chapters in human history’.

Gerry Adams on the Ireland election

2nd March 2011 Socialist Action 0

Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Féin and elected to the Dáil in the recent Irish elections, draws out the historic turn in the politics of Ireland marked by the 1981 hunger strike and the elections of hunger strikers Bobby Sands (to the Westminster Parliament) and Ciaran Doherty and Paddy Agnew (to the Dublin Dáil). He draws out how this period marked a turn in the politics of Ireland on both sides of the border and shaped the subsequent three decades of Irish politics. The article orginally appeared on his blog.

Photo: An Phoblacht

Historic breakthrough for Sinn Féin as Dáil election marks turning point in Irish politics

2nd March 2011 Socialist Action 0

By Frances Davis

The 2011 Dáil election last Friday represents one of the most significant political shifts in the 26-county state for over nine decades. As Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said, it potentially represents ‘the beginning of a realignment of Irish politics’. He also pointed out that, while the outcome is likely to be Fine Gael and Labour implementing Fianna Fáil policies – one right wing government replaced by another one – an examination of the results reveal a more fundamental change. This is the beginning of the break-up of the post-civil war political domination by Fianna Fáil (FF) and Fine Gael (FG) and in fact some significant move to the left – most notably the dramatic rise in support for Sinn Féin and their consolidation as a significant party in the south, potentially the leading opposition voice in the coming Dáil.