Sinn Fein delegates to the party’s annual convention in Wexford have praised a drag queen currently fighting against homophobia in Ireland.
Irish state broadcaster RTE is at the eye of a political storm after settling libel actions for comments made by drag artist Panti Bliss – Rory O’Neill - on the recent show.
The Catholic Iona Institute and journalist John Waters have both received payments from the broadcaster over comments made by Panti Bliss on the Saturday Night Show hosted by Brendan O’Connor.
The story was discussed at the Sinn Fein convention when the party’s Lesbian, Gay Bi-Sexual and Transexual (LGBT) representative, Chris Curran condemned the $110,000 pay-outs.
Curran paid tribute to what he described as the courage shown by O’Neill.
Speaking to warm applause, Curran said: “Panti, Sinn Fein LGBT commends you, for you represent the future of Ireland.”
In his leader’s address to the convention, Gerry Adams claimed Sinn Fein is now a ‘major player’ on the Irish political landscape.
The Irish Times reports that Adams claimed his party had permanently put an end to one party rule in Northern Ireland.
He also stated that ‘two-and-a-half party rule’ in the Republic is also on the way out.
Adams said: “This toxic political culture led to the abuses of power in planning, in the banks, in church, and State-run, institutions, and in the health service.
“An elite - politically represented by the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil leaderships, often supported by the Labour Party - oversaw a culture of corruption and golden circles.
“These are the same interests that collapsed the Irish economy six years ago.”
Adams believes Sinn Fein will increase its standing in the forthcoming local and European elections.
He added: “One party rule in the North has gone and two-and-a-half party rule in this State is going also.
“However well they regroup, Fianna Fáil will never, ever again be the dominant force they once were. We are here and we are not going anywhere but forward.”
He also stressed: “The left needs to come together around viable alternative policies and take on the conservative establishment.”