In a statement this afternoon, Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams said:
“Despite the sad circumstances in which it came about, the Meath East by-election is an important chance for voters to make their voice heard on the challenges faced by people in Meath East and throughout the state.
“Sinn Féin is seeking every available first preference vote in order to strengthen the argument for a change in political direction.
“We are not advising our voters to transfer to Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or Labour.
“The very last thing that Meath East needs is another government backbencher or a return to the failed politics of Fianna Fáil which have left this state with a legacy of bank debt, mortgage distress and unemployment.
“Fianna Fáil created the economic and fiscal crisis. Fine Gael and Labour are now making things worse for struggling families.
“Austerity isn’t working. It is creating hardship not jobs. There are more than 10,000 people now unemployed in Meath.
“Meath East needs a new voice, someone who is not part of the cosy political consensus of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or Labour.
“A vote for Sinn Féin’s Darren O’Rourke is a vote for fairness. It is a vote against the property tax. It is a vote to cut huge wages at the top of the public sector including that of TDs, Ministers and formers Ministers.
“If elected Darren O’Rourke will be part of a strong Sinn Féin Dáil team putting forward the case for economic stimulus and action on jobs. He will be a voice for fairer economic alternatives and will stand up for the rights of ordinary citizens.”