The Peace Process motions called for the transfer of some military sites for regeneration sites in Omagh, for the release of republican prisoners in the Republic of Ireland (under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, as implemented in Northern Ireland), and for the USA to drop its deportation order for “Long Kesh escapee” Pól Brennan.
While listening to the speeches, I roamed the floor and took some occasional photographs. I was intrigued by Gerry Adams’ constant awareness that there could be a camera focused on him (as there usually was, and not by me!).The conference organisers are very conscious of media communications. This was the first local conference I’d been to with the deployment of a teleprompter, which the audience found mild amusement in watching Gerry Kelly get used to using. But my favourite light moment was the selling of plush teddy bears wearing jumpers displaying cross rifles, Irish tricolour and Plough and Stars flag, and slogan “Tioceaidh Ar La”. As tempting as it was, I did not acquire this souvenir as a gift for my wife. Of course, I was there to work, and I can assure you that I had relevant conversations with those who could provide some requisite support for NIF projects.