Brits out’ remains in for Sinn Féin

‘Brits out’ remains in for Sinn Féin

By Paul O’Brien, Political Correspondent
THE phrase “Brits Out” is to remain part of the Sinn Féin lexicon.

The party has rejected a call from one of its branches to stop using the emotive phrase in campaigns and publications.

The Clogherhead cumann, based in Co Louth, proposed a motion at the Sinn Féin Árd Fheis this weekend effectively calling on the party to abandon the phrase.

The motion stated: “This árd fheis resolves that, in the spirit of Sinn Féin’s unionist engagement charter, which seeks to forge links with the unionist people of the six counties, all members of Sinn Féin and Ógra Shinn Féin will refrain from using the language of ‘Brits Out’ in any publications or campaigns.”

Delegates at the RDS in Dublin voted to defeat the motion. However, they did pass a motion condemning the North’s finance minister, DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson, “for his proposals to reduce available money for social housing projects”.

That was one of the few criticisms of the DUP which was heard at the weekend conference.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said the Unionist Party had to be commended for the steps it had taken towards peace. “The political institutions would not be in place if long-sighted DUP leaders had not taken the initiative,” said Mr Adams.

In that context, he said it was sad to see some unionists trying to force out DUP leader and First Minister Ian Paisley.

Meanwhile, Mr Adams yesterday accepted the blame for Sinn Féin’s poor performance in last May’s general election. He said he had been “totally exhausted” following the long process that led to the return of power-sharing in the North that month.

“But that’s not to make excuses,” he told TV3’s The Political Party programme. “You have to be on your game. If you’re not on your game, then that’s your fault.”

On his future as party president, Mr Adams would “love to be liberated” from his job, but stressed the leadership wasn’t an issue. “But, when it comes to it, I won’t have to be pushed.”

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