The Workers’ Party Ard Fheis / Annual Delegate Conference 2014 took place on 27th September at the headquarters of the Communication Workers Union in Dublin.
The aim of the conference was to create the basis for the renewal and rebuilding of The Workers’ Party.
Over 100 delegates from across Ireland and several representing the British WP branch debated several motions including education within the party, the TTIP US-EU trade deal and an extensive document outlining the party’s core principles.
Members gave a standing ovation to outgoing party president Mick Finnegan who had served ably in that capacity since 2008. A new Central Executive Committee was elected and Michael Donnelly, a lecturer at NUI Galway, was elected as the new party president. The conference welcomed new members of the party, many of whom contributed to the discussion and debate.
Unite union member Paddy Redmond was introduced to the delegates by WP national teasurer Séan Garland. Paddy spoke of the conditions imposed on workers at a JJ Rhatigan school building site in Lucan, South County Dublin which had led them to take strike action.
During the conference a collection was taken up from among the delegates and guest and €1,000 collected for the striking workers.
In a rousing closing address, WP President Mickey Donnelly said: “I feel very strongly that the Party now stands on the cusp of a new, potentially progressive period in its development, and that we are entitled to look forward with confidence to a new future for our politics”.
He added: “It is most heartening to note that there is at last a new generation now stepping forward to take our radical, progressive policies to a fresh and vital stage in its development”.