Page last updated at 17:39 GMT, Monday, 10 August 2009 18:39 UK

Sinn Fein in 'significant' talks

Sinn Fein
The Sinn Fein leadership will discuss recent resignations

The Sinn Fein leadership and senior activists from across Ireland have been holding a strategy meeting billed as "significant" in County Meath.

The party has decided to campaign for a second no vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

It is thought disappointing election results in the Republic as well as the loss of Vice President Mary Lou McDonald's MEP seat were on the agenda.

In July, Kerry councillor Toireasa Ferris said the party "means nothing" to the bulk of people in the Republic.

She said voters saw Sinn Fein as a northern-based party.

There have also been resignations from the party in recent months.

In June, veteran Sinn Fein Dublin councillor Christy Burke left the party, as did Wexford councillor John Dwyer.

Pressure

The following month another Dublin councillor, Louise Minihan, resigned because she said the party had moved away from its "republican values".

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said election results were not the only matter on the agenda.

"A key part of the day's proceedings will be to formulate the party approach to the forthcoming referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

"In addition to this activists will be briefed on the current state of play with regard to the institutions in the north and in particular efforts to ensure the speedy transfer of powers on policing and justice and other outstanding matters," he added.

BBC Northern Ireland political correspondent Gareth Gordon said that in the Republic the party had "not really recovered from that disastrous Dail election of 2007."

"From a position where they were talking about doubling their number of seats they actually lost a seat. It hasn't been a cataclysmic fall-away but they haven't pushed on in the way they would have hoped."

Our correspondent added that while there had been some criticism of the party leadership Mr Adams' position was not under pressure.



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