Hundreds of Aontú delegates are expected for the party’s first in-person Ard Fheis This Saturday in the City North Hotel, Gormanstown, Co Meath.
Speaking in advance of the Ard Fheis Aontú leader and Meath West TD, Peadar Tóibín, stated;
“There is already a significant buzz developing amongst the 1,300 Aontú members in anticipation of the Ard Fheis on Saturday. I am delighted to announce a growing list of well-respected guest speakers who will address the Aontú Ard Fheis this year.
Speakers at the party’s meeting include Briege Voyle, Justice for Ballymurphy Massacre Campaign, Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life of America, Vincent Roddy from the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association, Roger Cole, Peace and Neutrality Alliance,and Patrick Murphy, South and South West Fisheries Association, amongst others.
An Teachta Tóibín will deliver the Leader’s speech at 5.30pm today.
“Delegates will debate 167 key policy motions ranging from the Cost of Living Crisis, fixing the Housing Crisis, reforming the Health Service, Human Rights and the Right to Life, a United Ireland, the Irish Language, Crime and Antisocial Behaviour, Regional, Rural, Agricultural and Environmental issues. These debates are important as unlike other parties, carried Ard Fheis motions direct party policy and the actions of our elected reps,” he said.
“Aontú is just over 3 years old. We are one of the fastest growing political movements in Ireland. In many policy areas we are the only opposition. We won over 55,000 votes in the last elections coming ahead of long established well-funded parties on the island. We now have a membership base of 1,300 members and 6 elected reps who serve citizens from Wexford to Derry. Our poll ratings north and south put us on a par with, and ahead in some cases, of political parties such as PbP, Labour and the Greens. That this has been achieved with no state funding is significant.,” he said.
“This success has been achieved through development of a strong organisation, hard work on bread and butter issues and standing up for hundreds of thousands of Irish people who no longer have a voice in the political establishment. We are preparing continue to build our foundations by winning seats in the Local Elections in the north next May and south the following year”.
“Despite our size Aontú has made a significant impact on the political culture in Ireland north and south. We were the first to call out the Zappone appointment, the first to call for Robert Troy’s resignation. We were to the fore in calling out the Robert Watt appointment and salary, and the Tony Holohan secondment. We have consistently exposed the duplicity at the heart of the government’s approach to Cervical Check. We have regularly exposed wrongdoing in the Prison Service. Governance and accountability are key issues for Aontú”.
“We were the only party to vote against the introduction of the annual Carbon Tax increases. We are the only party calling for reform of the Block Grants system to include devolution of further tax powers from London to the north. We are the only nationalist party seeking to reform the Stormont Institutions to prevent any party holding democracy in the north to ransom. We were the only party to push back on the severity and length of Covid restrictions north and south seeking a policy more in line with other democracies,” the Aontú leader said.
“We have fought for ethos pluralism within schools north and south. We are the only party that believes that everyone should have a legal right to life. We have led campaigns for the protection of Health services. We have introduced legislation on issues such as speaking rights for MPs form the North of Ireland in the Dáil, a Commission of Inquiry into the handling of Covid in Nursing Homes by the State, the protection of children from exposure to hard core pornography, taxing REITs properly, banning Air bnbs in towns and cities during a housing crisis and free car parking charges in hospitals..”
“We are new but we are impactful and are puncing well above our weight,” he added.