Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis to discuss independent police commission

Wednesday 19 March 2014 13.16
Fianna Fáil members will gather in Killarney, Co Kerry, next weekend
Fianna Fáil members will gather in Killarney, Co Kerry, next weekend

Fianna Fáil's Ard Fheis next weekend will hear calls for the establishment of an independent police commission to ensure accountability in law enforcement.

The proposal is one of a number of motions on the programme for the Killarney conference.

Delegates will also hear a call for the party to take an active part in political life in Northern Ireland, with a view to fielding candidates in 2019.

The clar also has a range of motions on party organisation, including measures aimed at enhancing the role of ordinary members.

Speaking at this morning's launch, Honorary Secretary Dara Calleary said the main focus will be the Local and European Elections.

He told reporters that 120 of 400 candidates selected by the party were first-time contenders.

However, he said the party is disappointed at the number of women candidates coming forward for the May local elections, revealing the figure was as low as 20%.

Party General Secretary Seán Dorgan said the party had reduced its debt to just over €800,000 and aimed to be debt free next year.

The pattern of fundraising had changed radically in recent times, Mr Dorgan said. 90% of donations were now €100 or less, with the national party draw raising over €500,000.

He said no decision had been taken on whether to sell St Luke's in Drumcondra, the headquarters of former leader Bertie Ahern.

The party now has 20,000 members, with over 16,000 taking part in recent selection conventions, according to Mr Dorgan.