I’ll cover my impressions of the final stop in my accidental tour of party conferences – yesterday’s Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in Dublin – in a another post. But first we deal with the conference’s main gimmick. (Update - conference gimmick, but also serious longer-lasting retail merchandising stream.)
No, not the miniature hurling sticks commemorating republic heroes, nor the Bloody Sunday DVDs (the James Nesbitt version!), nor the “Drawing Support” guide for budding mural painters.
But instead, the “Only Our Rivers Run Free” branded bottled water – still and sparkling – that was selling for €1 throughout the conference.
“For a taste of a United Ireland” claimed the strapline on the bottles from Carrickmacross, County Monaghan. The hint of cloudiness might have been my imagination. Though the free RDS tap water tasted just as good as the chilled bottles.
Pity there weren’t any recycling bins to ease the environmental impact of all the bottles sold and emptied in the hot conference room! And I expect most workplaces would ban the bottles under flags and emblems policies!