Sunday 18 March 2018

Celia Larkin: Sinn Fein takes aim and continues its military-like assault on State power

There was no triumphalism at the SF Ard Fheis in Killarney -- just a relaxed confidence among delegates that their time is coming, writes Celia Larkin

I've been to many an ard fheis. All Fianna Fail ones, of course. But somehow I thought that Sinn Fein's would be different.

The similarity, familiarity even, of the surrounding, the backdrops, posters, passes, information points -- even the structure of the event -- were eerily the same.

The difference lay in the precision about the organisation of this ard fheis, which made you feel as if you were at a military conference. Every entrance from the sprawling maze that houses the conference centre in Killarney had a checkpoint. No matter how many times you passed in and out of the main area, no matter how familiar you became with the personnel manning the checkpoints, your belongings were always searched. There was no room for error.

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