Sinn Fein brings its strengthened team of southern representatives to Stormont today [Monday] for the first time since the party’s General Election gains in the 26 Counties.
Sinn Fein Assembly group leader John O’Dowd said the party’s 14 Dail members will meet MLAs to plan their cross-border political strategy.
Mr O’Dowd said on Sunday: “Tomorrow’s meeting will see 41 Sinn Fein TDs and MLAs gather in Stormont for the first time since the recent southern election.
“This first meeting will focus primarily on advancing the united Ireland and all-Ireland political agenda.
“No other political party on this island has the depth and geographical spread of Sinn Fein elected representatives. We are the only party with a strategy and a team to deliver all-Ireland political change.”
He added: “Others talk about the all-Ireland agenda. Sinn Fein are the all-Ireland agenda in action.”
His comments came as the party hopes its political gains in the 26 Counties will help boost its campaign in the North ahead of the May 5 Assembly election and local government elections.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he hoped Sinn Fein could ensure a presence in the Seanad [Senate] and particularly urged northern voters entitled to participate in the Seanad selection process to support party candidate, former Belfast city councillor, Eoin O Broin.
Elections to the upper house of the Dublin parliament are taking place despite the new government’s often-repeated promise to scrap the powerless chamber. Designed as a replacement for the hereditary ‘House of Lords’ in Dublin, the Seanad is comprised of sixty members from nominated and ‘elected’ elite groups, including eleven members appointed by the Taoiseach and 43 chosen by the State’s elected representatives.
O Broin is one of 27 candidates for election by graduates of the National University of Ireland, who pick a total of three Seanad members, with graduates of Trinity College also electing three.
The postal vote closes April 27.