105th REPUBLICAN SINN FÉIN POBLACHTACH ARD FHEIS : NOVEMBER 14th AND 15th 2009 , DUBLIN - brief report and a few pics.
A section of the crowd voting on a motion.
The 105th Sinn Féin Ard Fheis , at which 112 motions were discussed , debated and argued over , was held on Saturday and Sunday , 14th and 15th November 2009 , in a Dublin hotel. It marked the last Ard Fheis at which Ruairí Ó Brádaigh presided over proceedings as President of the organisation , and also the last Ard Fheis at which Des Dalton (the new RSF President) was 'only' a member of the RSF Ard Chomhairle. Congratulations are due , and were loudly offered, to both men over that weekend , and no-one knows better than Des about the standards that have to be upheld. Ruairí has built-up a tight , secure and disciplined organisation during his years in charge , and without a doubt Des Dalton has a lot to live up to but , also without a doubt , he is more than capable of continuing on from where Ruairí left off.
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh's last RSF Presidential Speech , produced in booklet form , was a much sought-after item at the Ard Fheis , and is required reading for anyone interested in Irish Republicanism.
Starting to take their seats ,waiting for the Ard Fheis to start.
The Ard Fheis itself was a 100% success : such was the numbers of delegates , supporters and visitors in attendance that the smaller hall at the back of the main venue , where the RSF shop was set-up, had to be commandeered to accomodate the crowd -indeed, on more than one occasion the entry corridor was also suggested by the RSF 'Top Table' as a location where the overflow of people could at least find standing space ,which led to a war of words between said 'Table' and the RSF security team: the security people won that particular argument , but only just!
The State political police , the 'Special Branch' , were as expected , out in force , blocking the entry/exit to the hotel itself , and trying , unsuccessfully (!) , to mingle in the bar and dining areas with the Ard Fheis crowds , but the RSF security teams were, as usual, on top of them at all times. A full report of the proceedings , including details of motions accepted and lost , will be carried in the December 2009 issue of 'Saoirse' , which goes to print on Wednesday the 2nd of that month. We publish a few pics from the weekend with this brief report , and look forward to a more detailed report in the December 'paper.
'Group' photo of most of the 'Top Table'.
Breaking for lunch....
....and coming back after lunch for 'Round Two' !
POW banner on display at the 2009 RSF Ard Fheis.
A typical Ard Fheis session - standing room only!
RSF 2009 Calendar , hundreds of which were sold (€5 each!) over the weekend.
As stated , a more in-depth report , and other (better quality!) photo's will be published in the December 2009 issue of 'Saoirse'. Finally , two of us from this blog were honoured to have been given 'Visitors Passes' for that Ard Fheis , as it was such a momentous occasion , more so than usual , and we left on Sunday afternoon with no doubt but that the new people in place are of such calibre that Irish Republicanism is , again, in safe hands.