Monday, 27 April 2009

A National conversation on Irish Unity

(Gerry Kelly, Alex Maskey, Bairbre de Brún & Gerry Adams)
Yesterday (Sunday) saw the third of this year's Sinn Féin 'Townhall' meetings held in St Mary's University on the Falls Road.

I and a number of other East Belfast comrades made our way over to hear the conversation that was due to take place.

Mo chara, Alex Maskey chaired the event and Gerry Adams kicked things off with an opening address encompassing a lot of the key political, social and economic factors facing us today but also in the time ahead and how it impacts upon our own struggle.

Following Gerry our current and soon to be re-elected MEP Bairbre de Brún spoke of her work at the EU but also the work that lies ahead not just for her and Sinn Féin but for Ireland and Irish society as a whole. Europe will play a vital role during the economic downturn, it is key that Ireland has a strong voice at it's centre.

The questions were opened up to the several hundred people attending the meeting.

Questions varied from Interface issues, to economic and social issues, to outstanding issues such as equality for the Irish language, a number of people also asked Bairbre about the specifics of her work as an MEP; of course people asked about Sinn Féin's work in Assembly as well.

What is crucial in all of this is that the meetings (10 in all) indicate a very confident and capable leadership who are prepared to go out on a regular basis and engage with such a broad shade of the public (the only party in Ireland to do so) but it also indicates the capable and confident activist base that Sinn Féin has, that they are so regularly willing to keep those elected reps on track and aware of where the grassroots are.

The other striking thing from yesterday and indeed other townhall meetings I have attended, was that the body of the hall wasn't just made up of Sinn Féin activists and members; people from right across the spectrum of our community come along to listen to the updates but also make their opinions heard.

Long may they continue!

(Alex Maskey, Balmoral Representative Vincent Parker, Gerry Adams, Baibre de Brún and Myself at Sunday's public meeting)


  1. When are we going to do something similar down south. We really need to get moving down here and we need the party leadership, not just Mary Lou, putting our message across. Martin adn Gerry carry the biggest pulling power in the party, let's get them down here.

    If we don't we won't make the advances that we could.

  2. Le Sinn Féin a "uasalú" tamall ó shoin, chuir pobal an deiscirt a chúl le aontú na tíre : an reifreann a bhain an "uaillmhian" sin ón mBunreacht.
    Is i mbrionglóid amháin anois atá aon "aontú"