Sinn Féin Leader, Gerry Adams TD has said the new leader of the Labour Party, Joan Burton cannot distance herself from the disastrous policies of the Government and should not be allowed to.
He said the Labour Party should cease its alliance with the forces of political conservatism and work with Sinn Féin and others on the left to build an alternative to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.
Addressing a Sinn Féin event in Monaghan on Saturday night, Mr Adams said:
"I wish Joan Burton well in her new job.
"But let’s not forget that Ms. Burton helped negotiate the Programme for Government which saw Labour buy into the austerity policies of Fine Gael an deliberately break its election promises.
"She was a member of the Cabinet which implemented that Programme for Government.
"Those policies have pushed up unemployment and forced hundreds of thousands of our young people to flee abroad in search of work.
"As a senior Cabinet member she has overseen the implementation of water charges, the property tax on the family home, the cuts to child benefit, the removal of medical cards, the cuts to health and welfare, and the succession of stealth taxes that have added to the burden of low and middle income families.
"The new Labour leader cannot distance herself from the disastrous policies of this government and nor should she be allowed to.
"Joan Burton was one of the architects of austerity; she has robustly defended it against all criticism, and must, along with Eamonn Gilmore and the Taoiseach, bear the responsibility of its adverse impact on citizens.”
The Sinn Féin Leader said that what the Labour Party needed to do now was:
"End its alliance with conservative parties; stand up for working families; become the party Connolly founded and agree to work with Sinn Féin and others of like mind on the left, to build a radical alternative to the conservatism of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil."