Fianna Fáil will stand for election in Northern Ireland in 2019 said party leader Micheál Martin.
The Irish Times reports that the party passed a motion from Donegal North East and Dublin Bay South delegates without debate and called for active and serious participating and engagement in the political process in the North.
“Following on from this, the party should begin fielding candidates for election there for 2019.”
Martin told reporters that Fianna Fáil has a growing membership in the North and the party had already begun to organize locally.
“We’re impatient with the lack of progress North/South,” he said. “The first phase of our engagement with the North is very much on a policy basis. In terms of an electoral phase, I think 2019 would be a key date in terms of targeting for participation in Northern elections.”
The debate on electoral participation in Northern Ireland is one of more than 200 motions being debated at the two-day ardfheis in Killarney, Co Kerry, reports the Irish Times.
The main focus of the ardfheis will be on promoting the party’s local and European election candidates. In the local elections, “we’ve over 400 candidates and it’s a good balance between trusted experienced public representatives and new people, about 35 per cent of the candidates are new and entering politics for the first time,” said Martin.
He added that more than 16,000 party members exercised their franchise in choosing candidates. “It’s the largest-ever participation of members in the selection of candidates.”