The relevance of European Union policies in Ireland was one of the issues for debate during the International Section of the Ard Fheis on Sunday 9 April. Motions tackling the need to preserve Ireland's neutrality and the disappointment with those European policies that promote partition mingled with resolutions expressing republican solidarity with the Basque Country, Afghan women, Kurds, Cuban people in their fight to reunite Elian González with his father and black political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, who has been in the death row in an US prison since the early 1980s.
As Joan O'Connor, the head of Sinn Féin's International Department pointed out as she offered an overview of the section, there is a commitment from republicanism ``to make the struggle of others our own struggle''. She highlighted the relevance of internationalising the fight for justice and real democracy to counteract those global policies which create discrimination and poverty.
Two members of the National Executive of the Basque pro-independence party Herri Batasuna (HB), Pernando Barrena MP and Loren Arkotxa, mayor of Ondarroa, witnessed the support of republicans for the Basque struggle, Basque political prisoners and their relatives and especially for the staff of HB's International department, recently arrested. There were calls for the Spanish and French governments to engage in some kind of conflict resolution mechanism and to end the repressive policies and attacks against Basque people.