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SF needs to widen appeal: Adams

By Lesley-Anne Henry

Irish re-unification, building the economy, tackling crime and promoting the Irish language are Sinn Fein priorities, party president Gerry Adams has said.

Delivering the keynote speech at a major conference in Dublin yesterday he told delegates there was a need to widen appeal.

"Our first priority is achieving national unity and independence and an end to the partition of our country. This goal did not end with the formation of the Executive and Assembly and the all-Ireland Ministerial Council and institutional arrangements.

"Republicans also need to apply the same determination and commitment we brought to the peace process to the task of advancing our national objectives and delivering sustainable economic prosperity and equality."

He added: "Our task from this day onward is to broaden and deepen our roots in communities, in the colleges, the villages and towns, in every parish in every county on this island."

Also addressing the conference was Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson and Adams said: "Last January a special Ard Fheis overwhelmingly mandated this party to engage with the PSNI and to hold that organisation to democratic account. And while there is still a lot of work to do, already the benefits of this engagement can be seen in the north.

He told the conference Sinn Fein had achieved the impossible in forming the Executive but recognised testing times ahead.

He added: "Many observers, including elements of the Irish government thought that such a development could never happen. But it did and it has and it was this party which made that possible."

He also noted "huge challenges ahead" and said Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley had led a joint delegation to the USA to secure investment and said that building the economy is a major priority.

Belfast Telegraph


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