Sinn Féin registers as a political party and can now stand candidates in local and general elections.

Sinn Féin (Gardiner Street) has officially registered as a political party meaning that it can now contest elections.

The registration occurred following division in the party over parliamentary abstention, with Sinn Féin (Kevin Street) on the opposing side.

The application was made following the January Sinn Féin Ard Fheis and has now been accepted by the Register of Political Parties in Leinster House. The party voted by 171 votes out of a total of 224 in favour of the abolition of the abstentionist policy at the Ard Fheis.

The name of the party entered on the register is Sinn Féin with an address at 30 Gardiner Place, Dublin.

Tomás Mac Giolla, President of the newly registered political party Sinn Féin, says that the decision so far has been to abandon the abstentionist policy and no decision as yet has been made to contest elections for Leinster House, Stormont or Westminster.

Now we are changing from a passive negative type of role to an active progressive role.

Sinn Féin (Kevin Street) has strongly criticised the decision to register as a political party saying that Sinn Féin should not recognise partition institutions. Tomás Mac Giolla says that Sinn Féin continues to refuse to accept the legitimacy of these parliaments but they do accept that they exist. He argues these parliaments have been participating in the destruction of the Irish nation for the past fifty years. He believes that it is now time for Sinn Féin to take an active progressive role in republicanism and their opposition to free statism.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 August 1971. The reporter is Tom McCaughren.