Friday, 12 December 2014
Statement from the Ard Chomhairle of Republican Sinn Féin: We wish to place on record the facts relating to the events which followed the Ard Fheis. In her resignation statement Cait Trainor attempted to portray her resignation as being based on a point of principle. Coupled with this she also attempted to create a narrative in which she and others were persecuted because of a resolution put forward by her cumann at the Ard Fheis. All of this is entirely false. Firstly, far from viewing her position as being untenable within Republican Sinn Féin in the aftermath of the Ard Fheis she instead accepted positions on a number of Ard Chomhairle committees. Her decision to do so contradicts the attitude she adopts in her statement. Secondly, the charges that were brought against her were done so because of her behaviour during and following the Ard Fheis. Her right to support and speak on her cumann’s resolution was respected at all times and had absolutely no bearing on the Ard Chomhairle’s decision to bring charges against her. We point out that members of the Ard Chomhairle who had supported her cumann’s resolution also supported the levelling of charges against her. The charges brought against her were on the following grounds: A) That she engaged in conduct unbecoming a national officer of Sinn Féin by her conduct at the Ard Fheis on Sunday November 9. Her walk out of the Ard Fheis without explanation was a calculated insult to the Ard Fheis, the office of An tUachtarán and to the leadership of Sinn Féin. The position of a national officer and Leas Uactarán carries with it great responsibility. It is also a position of respect and consequently good example should be set by the office holder. Cait Trainor’s behaviour undermined that position. (B) That by posting a status on Facebook on Monday November 10 Cait Trainor was inviting public attack and ridicule on the organisation thereby undermining both Sinn Féin and its leadership. This was in gross violation of her trust as a national officer to safeguard the well being and good name of Sinn Féin.” The facts of the matter are these: a contentious motion was put to the Ard Fheis as was the right of the proposing cumann. Full rights were accorded to both sides and an open and democratic vote was taken following a full and open debate. However instead of accepting the democratic decision of the Ard Fheis certain sections of those who led the debate in proposing the motion that was rejected were not prepared to accept the democratic decision of the Ard Fheis. Instead the Ard Fheis was snubbed, with the actions of Cáit Trainor designed to send out a clear signal of contempt for the democratic decision of the Ard Fheis, the supreme authority of Sinn Féin. We are an open and democratic organisation, members can of course disagree and debate issues in an open and democratic manner. Where good will and sincerely held views are held by both sides reconciliation and comradeship will always follow. However when people are not prepared to engage in open and democratic debate and accept decisions that have been democratically arrived at and instead engage in open attacks on the integrity of our movement then we are faced with a threat to our organisation as a whole. When Cáit Trainor went on to facebook on November 10 she was inviting attacks on Republican Sinn Féin and its leadership. Her actions were an encouragement to the internet trolls to attack Republican Sinn Féin. This was a calculated decision and a throwing down of the gauntlet to the leadership of Republican Sinn Féin. Faced with such a challenge the Ard Chomhairle was left with no choice but to act decisively in order to protect the organisation. To do otherwise would have been a dereliction of our duty as a leadership and in violation of the mandate given to us to safeguard Sinn Féin.