Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams offers to meet Orange Order as Ard Fheis concludes

Saturday 08 February 2014 22.24
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Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams gave his closing speech at the party Ard Fheis tonight
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams gave his closing speech at the party Ard Fheis tonight
Sinn Féin TD for Donegal North East Padraig MacLochlainn addressing the Ard Fheis
Sinn Féin TD for Donegal North East Padraig MacLochlainn addressing the Ard Fheis
Martin McGuinness addressed the Ard Fheis last night
Martin McGuinness addressed the Ard Fheis last night

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has closed the party's Ard Fheis tonight with an offer to meet the Orange Order to discuss parades in Northern Ireland.

Delivering his address in Wexford, Mr Adams said he wanted to see the Orange Order treating its Catholic neighbours with respect, and he wanted to see the order treated with respect.

There was also strong criticism of the government, austerity measures and the management of public services.

During his speech the Mr Adams also said a toxic political culture had resulted in many of the issues the country was facing.

Earlier, controversial environmental issues such as fracking, wind turbines and overhead power lines were discussed at the two-day gathering in the Wexford Opera House.

Motions supporting underground electricity cabling and calling on local authorities to draft and implement local climate change action plans have been passed this evening.

Prominent Sinn Fein figures such as Martin McGuinness, Padraig MacLochlainn and Mary Lou McDonald delivered keynote addresses this morning. While each of the party's European election candidates have been prominent at the event.

There was a standing ovation for young teacher and Sinn Fein councillor Catherine Seely, who has been forced to leave her job in North Belfast after she was subjected to online sectarian abuse.

Mr McGuinness said sectarianism is no different to racism, sexism or homophobia.

Party members have spent today agreeing policies ranging from health to education. 

Party finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty accused the Government of putting banks and bondholders before the Irish people.

International speakers from the Basque Country, Palestine and a representative of the ANC in South Africa have addressed delegates over the weekend.


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