Thousands of members and delegates of Fianna Fail, ALDE Party member in Ireland, convened in Dublin over the weekend for the party’s 78th Árd Fheis (Congress) as the party affirmed its vision to build ‘An Ireland for All.'
This year’s Árd Fheis, the first since the snap general election in 2016 was an important opportunity for the party to reflect on the progress made since doubling their numbers of seats in the Parliament and entering into a confidence and supply arrangement with Fine Gael. It was also an opportunity for the membership to discuss the party’s strategy and the major issues in Irish society such as Brexit that will have a profound impact on the country.
The Congress was opened by ALDE Party Vice President Timmy Dooley TD, who was later re-elected as one of the Vice Presidents of the Fianna Fail party.
In his leader’s address, Micheál Martin TD proclaimed that Fine Gael and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar are “out-of-touch” elites who are seeking to divide Irish society and highlighted the party’s success in influencing Government policy.
“When we last met at an Árd Fheis we were facing into a challenging election. Commentators had written us off. They said that we would be pushed aside by an arrogant government and the hard-left parties. Together we agreed then that our country deserved better. You brought our positive message to every part of our country and we beat every prediction. We secured: the largest increase in votes, the largest increase in percentage terms, the largest increase in seats. You did it. And you have every right to be proud. But that’s now in the past. We have more important work to do than looking backwards,” he said.
Addressing Brexit, he continued: "in the spirit of the great generation which inspired our independence, Ireland is a positive, outward-looking European nation. Let no-one be in any doubt, Ireland will not be following Boris and his self-obsessed Brexiteers on their path of destruction. Brexit is a threat which has many economic, social and political parts. There are businesses and sectors which are already suffering. We can only meet and overcome the threat of Brexit if we have clear leadership – and this is something we are not seeing."
The ALDE Party was also present during the Fianna Fail Árd Fheis with a stand promoting ALDE Party individual membership visited by many of the participants.