Delegates at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis have voted in favour of a motion to hold a special conference on going into coalition Government.

The motion stated that the decision to go into government would be based on the party's 'ability to secure a progressive, Republican programme for government.'

The motion passed after a show of hands indicated approximately two thirds in favour.

Two subsequent motions against the party going into government as a junior partner were automatically withdrawn after the ard comhairle motion was passed.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the party is determined to implement its policies in government, north and south.

During her keynote address to the Ard Fheis in Dublin, Ms McDonald told delegates that those who say Sinn Féin were not interested in government were "very wrong".

She said "Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael shout loudly that they do not want Sinn Féin in government", "because they have had it all their own way for nearly a century".

She said her party would not go into government just to make up the numbers.

"We will only enter government to deliver," she  said.

She also criticised Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, telling delegates that Leo Varadkar's Republic of Opportunity was really a "Republic of Opportunists".

And she accused Fianna Fáil of being "fully paid up members of Leo's Republic of Opportunists".

Read more: Three key issues at Sinn Féin Ard Fheis


Members are also expected to vote on a motion against the Northern Executive lowering corporation tax.

Earlier, the party's leader in Northern Ireland, Michelle O'Neill, said she wanted to lead Sinn Féin back into a new executive, which represents genuine and equal government.

But she said the political institutions only had value if they were delivering fairly to all on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

During a session on housing, party spokesman Eoin Ó Broin told delegates that every single part of the current housing system is broken.

He said the Government's housing plan was a Republic of Opportunity for developers and builders, but not for families in emergency accommodation.


There will be live coverage of the Ard Fheis on RTÉ One from 11am to 1pm tomorrow, while Mr Adams' address to delegates will be televised at 8.30pm.