Will this be another false dawn for Fianna Fáil’s oft promised yet rarely materialised intention to organise as a political party in the north-east of Ireland?
“Thirty Fianna Fáil members met last night to launch a new Belfast unit. The inaugural meeting took place at The Pavillon, Stormont Estate, Belfast.
Peter Armstrong, an IT entrepreneur from South Belfast, was elected acting Chairperson of Belfast Fianna Fáil. He explained: “Fianna Fáil has a growing membership throughout Northern Ireland, particularly young people involved in our youth group Ógra Fianna Fáil. Ógra have a very active cumann at Queen’s University that meets once a week during term time. We’re now establishing a senior party unit so we can retain university members after they’ve graduated, and so we can continue to recruit new members from across society in Belfast.”
“There is a growing frustration across the north that the current political establishment in Belfast, the DUP and Sinn Féin, are more interested in playing to their political bases than they are in addressing the big challenges facing our community . Fianna Fáil can bring fresh policies and new thinking to the north of Ireland, we can develop new policies that will work right across the island, we can bring our communities closer together and we can further the causes of peace, integration, prosperity and unity, in line with our republican values. We welcome new members of all ages from all communities throughout the greater Belfast area.”
“Fianna Fáil had a very successful Ard-Fheis last weekend at the RDS Dublin attended by more than 4,000 delegates and the largest ever northern contingent. Key motions were passed that will see Fianna Fáil create a northern roadmap with a view to developing the party structure across Northern Ireland. We will work with Party Headquarters in Dublin to move this forward and bring the Fianna Fáil message to more and more communities.”
Another empty announcement to add to a decade of such empty announcements? One would hope not but we will have to wait and see (and wait, and wait, and wait…).
Interestingly Hoboraod draws attention to a claim in the Irish News that Fianna Fáil’s new leader in Belfast, Peter Armstrong, is the son of Rankin Armstrong, the current editor of the Unionist-leaning Belfast Newsletter.