On Saturday, 29th of August, members of Sinn Féin’s college cumainn from all across Ireland gathered in the Party’s Ard Oifig, Baile Átha Cliath in order to plan and build for the coming college year. The day was a mix of teambuilding, presentations and workshops intended to help forge a common identity as college cumainn, build relationships and exchange ideas which would better equip republican students in each campus.
Workshops on education, Finance, Public relations, Campaigns and Recruitment were run on a collective basis by those present – sharing views and ideas across Ireland from Universities, ITs and Colleges. The Uladh Colleges Comhairle Ceantair gave a presentation to the university cumainn from the other three provinces on the model which they have developed during the last year – showing the advantages of efficient communication between third level campuses and the pooling of resources in a particular geographic area.
Commenting after the meeting Sinn Féin elected SU rep and Jordanstwon SF chairperson Caolan Quinn said,
“It is essential that any approach to building Sinn Féin in universities must be done with an all-Ireland approach. There is so much cross over in the Third Level education sector with students choosing courses in campuses all over the 32 counties of Ireland. As the only all-Ireland party and such the only political movement involved in colleges across the island, Sinn Féin is ideally placed to recruit members across the country . Each college community provides us with an unparalleled opportunity to make contact with many 'movers and shakers' of the future and to expand our own contacts in different areas of expertise.
“Fresher’s Days provide a great opportunity for our Party in terms of recruitment, not just for the college cumainn but to the Party nationally. Last year Sinn Fein college cumainn attracted over 1,000 sign-ups across Ireland. However we intend to build on this further by promoting vibrant activism among new recruits. Already this year we have developed a new approach for our Fresher's Day Stalls and have developed new Freshers' Packs – with a greater variety of Sinn Féin branded items for interested students. This year Sinn Féin will have Fresher’s stalls at NUI Galway, GMIT, SligoIT, QUB, UUJordanstown, UUColeraine, UUMagee, UUBelfast, St Mary’s, LetterkennyIT, DundalkIT, NUIMaynooth, AIT, UCD, TCD, DIT, DCU, Griffith College, ITTallaght, UCC, CorkIT, CarlowIT and WIT.
Caolan concluded by appealling to all republicans attending colleges to join and support their campus cumann. To contact Sinn Fein college structures at any time during the college year call:
Uladh: Paddy Quinn 078-54628991, Mumhan/Laighean/Connacht: Dianne Nolan 087-7944642 or Darren O’Rourke 087-4119654
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