Sinn Féin’s senior leadership will meet in Derry tomorrow in a rare convention of its Ard Comhairle outside Dublin, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.
The Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald is expected to preside at the meeting of the party’s national executive that has been moved to Derry in a clear nod to the city’s role as the cockpit of the civil rights movement in Ireland.
The party’s Vice President Michelle O’Neill, its Chairperson Declan Kearney, its General Secretary Dawn Doyle and its Treasurers Pearse Doherty and Conor Murphy, are also likely to be in attendance.
Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney confirmed to the ‘Journal’ that the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle will meet in the city ahead of the party’s commemorative march that gets underway from the Duke Street train station at 3 p.m. tomorrow.
“The Duke Street Civil Rights march was a pivotal event in our history and the fact that the Ard Comhairle meeting has been moved from Dublin to Derry is a recognition of the importance of marking this occasion,” he said.
Mr. McCartney said Liadh Ní Riada - Sinn Féin candidate in the forthcoming Irish Presidential election and daughter of the late composer Seán Ó Riada of ‘Mise Éire’ fame - will also attend the meeting and take part in the march through the city.
“The party leadership including President Mary Lou McDonald and newly-selected candidate for the Irish Presidential election, Liadh Ní Riada will be at the meeting and then taking part in the commemoration.
“I would again call on the people of Derry to join us in not only marking an historic occasion, but also continuing the fight for full rights and equality in the here and now.
“We have come a huge way since 1968 but the LGBT community, women, victims, workers and gaelgoiri are still not afforded their full rights as citizens.
“So join us on Saturday and together, we shall overcome,” said the Foyle MLA.