Sinn Fein leader to speak in Aus. on ‘uniting Ireland’

July 10, 2011
Martin Ferris
Martin Ferris.

Martin Ferris, a TD (MP) from Irish republican party Sinn Fein, will address audiences in Australia in late July on the ongoing struggle for Irish reunification and independence.

Ferris will address audiences in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney on the topic of “Uniting Ireland”.

The tour is part of an international campaign by Sinn Fein to gather support for ending British rule over the six counties in Ireland's north.

Ferris, a former Irish Republican Army volunteer and political prisoner who has been active in the Irish republican movement since 1970, said: “For centuries Britain's involvement in Ireland has been the source of conflict, partition, discord and division.

“The Irish peace process has delivered an end to conflict and that is to be welcomed. But the underlying cause of conflict persists the British government's claim of jurisdiction over a part of Ireland.

“It is this denial of the Irish people's right to self-determination, freedom and independence that is the core outstanding issue that must be resolved.”

Ferris was part of the Sinn Fein negotiating team in the lead-up to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in 1998.

He will speak on the progress and challenges of the ongoing peace process in the six counties, and the implementation of the GFA and subsequent international agreements.

Elected to the Dail (Dublin-based parliament) in 2002, Ferris is the Sinn Fein spokesperson on workers’ rights.

Ferris will discuss the impact of the economic crisis across Ireland, which has caused soaring unemployment and emigration, and the mass opposition to the Irish government’s austerity measures and International Monetary Fund/European Union “bailout”.

In the February elections to the Dail, Sinn Fein campaigned against the austerity measures and increased its number of seats from five to 14.

Ferris will also discuss the legacy of the 1981 hunger strikes. Ten republican prisoners died on hunger strike demanding political status in Belfast-based Long Kesh prison.

The hunger strikes, and the callous way the British government allowed 10 men to die, led to huge protests in Ireland and around the world. The events caused profound and long-lasting changes in Irish politics.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the hunger strike and events are being held all over the world to commemorate their deaths.

Ferris said: “The Irish diaspora and supporters have a very important role to play in the ongoing struggle for Irish reunification and independence.

“In the construction of the peace process, the progress we achieved would not have been possible without that support, especially in Britain, the US, Australia and Canada.

“Sinn Fein has organised a series of conferences and meetings on the topic of Irish unity in Ireland, Britain, the US and Canada over the past two years in order to start a conversation about achieving these goals.

“We are glad to be bringing similar events to Australia this year and hope it lays the basis for future engagement with the Irish community and supporters of Irish self-determination here in Australia.”

The speaking tour is being organised by Friends of Sinn Fein Australia and the Casement Group Melbourne.

Details of meetings with Ferris:

  • Perth: Wednesday July 27, 7.30pm. Irish Club, 61 Townshend Rd, Subiaco. $5 entry - tickets at door.
  • Sydney: Thursday July 28, 7.30pm. Maritime Union of Australia office, 365 Sussex Street. $5 entry - tickets at door.
  • Melbourne: Saturday July 30, 7.30pm. Celtic Club, 316-320 Queen Street. Supper and entertainment. $40 entry. Tickets available at door. Ph John 0407 863 291.

For more information, phone Emma on 0450 835 189.

Video: Martin Ferris addressing the Dail (Irish parliament) on the government's anti-poor Universal Social Charge. Sinn Féin.


looks like a great tour, wish it was in bris
Sinn Fein raises most of its funds in this this way, overseas trips designed to milk the Irish diaspora and Irish wannabees. But many countries around the world (notably the US) have now placed limits on overseas funding of their domestic political parties. How would you feel if Australian parties raised money this way, untraced and undeclared, just collected at "speaking engagements" where the speaker is unlikely to be challenged in any meaningful way.
intersted to know if he has a tourist visa. Neither the The casement group melbourne nor Friends of Sinn Fein Australia has a website or any kind of legal registration or standing in this country. Basically they are 50's era emigrants still living in the past
Mainstream parties in Australia are funded by vast donations from evil capitalist megacorporations (both Australian and foreign-owned). In return, these corporations get to set the political agenda. If the mainstream parties raised money from donations given by ordinary people at public meetings (whether here or overseas), that would be a lot more accountable.
What about those of us whom have family in Ireland and support Ireland being freed from British rule? Who are you to decide who is 'let in', I make up part of a huge community of people born in Australia who hold this issue very close to their hearts. When we choose to allow atrocities to continue just because they were in the past we are by that action condoning them to continue in the future. Maybe you should go do a little research as to why so many in your opinion are 'living in the past'. How dare you.
about time should be very informative hopefully shed some light on how close we are to reaching the orginal goal... slan!!!!!
Incorrect and ignorant! Members of a party in Ireland informing the world of the plight of the Irish people about time they were allowed to do so!!!

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