Sinn Féin’s cross-border parliamentary representatives met in Dublin today to plot the party’s campaign for the forthcoming General Election.
It was the first get-together of the party since May’s British general election in Northern Ireland.
Sinn Féin’s Dail leader, Caoimhghin O Caolain, was joined by party members including Dail TDs, party president Gerry Adams, MEP Mary Lou McDonald and newly-elected Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy.
Mr O Caolain said the party was on an election footing and met today to engage in selecting candidates and formulating its campaign strategy.
“We’re preparing our constituencies where a number of priority candidates have been selected. We’re ready for the fight,” he said.
He refused to predict the exact timing of a General Election, adding: “The option of 2007 is still real but it will depend on the ongoing relationship between Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats.”
Mr Adams added: “We’re up for an election. The Coalition is on automatic pilot.
“The difficulties won’t be lessened in the time ahead. The sooner the people have their opportunity to vote, the better for everybody.”
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams later travelled to Cork city to rally party activists.
Mr Adams said: “We’re up for an election. The sooner the people have their opportunity to vote, the better for everybody.”
The party discussed plans for forthcoming public campaigns on health, education, Irish unity and speaking rights for northern representatives in the Dublin parliament.
Sinn Féin is also stepping up its campaign for a public inquiry into the murder of its Donegal councillor, Eddie Fullerton, in 1991.