Sinn Féin candidate for the upcoming by election in Carlow & Kilkenny Kathleen Funchion has stated that a victory for Sinn Féin in the constituency will signal the end for the Fine Gael and Labour Party Government.
Councillor Funchion was speaking to a crowd of over three hundred activists and supporters at the launch of her campaign in the Newpark Hotel tonight.
Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD, Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD and Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD were all on hand to rally support for the party’s effort to win another seat in the Dáil.
Councillor Funchion said;
“Let’s make no mistake about it; a victory for Sinn Féin in Carlow and Kilkenny will signal the end of this failed and detached government.
“This is because Sinn Féin is the real opposition to this government.
“A victory for Fine Gael will prolong the term of this government and prolong the suffering of lower and middle income families in this constituency and across the country.
“A victory for Fianna Fáil will have little impact on this government because they are only implementing the same policies that Fianna Fáil were advocating when they were booted out of office four years ago.
“I believe that the people of Carlow & Kilkenny will seize this opportunity and deliver a knockout blow to a government that has lost its mandate through a litany of broken promises, devastating cuts and a failure to deliver the type of “democratic revolution” that Enda Kenny talked about in 2011.
“I know that everyone here wants a brighter future for themselves, their children, their grandchildren. That is what I want to see - a brighter future for Carlow & Kilkenny and a brighter future for our country.
Full text of Kathleen Funchion’s speech follows:
Just over 5 years ago a person sitting in this very room took a step that helped bring to an end one of the most disastrous governments this state has ever seen.
Pearse Doherty’s successful high court challenge against the then Fianna Fáil government for delaying the holding of a By Election in Donegal South West and his subsequent victory was the final nail in the coffin to the Fianna Fáil government that wrecked the economy.
Thanks to Pearse Doherty’s efforts no longer will unpopular governments be able to deny people their democratic right to full representation in the Dáil. We owe Pearse a debt of gratitude for the stance he took.
Thanks to his efforts, in just 3 months’ time, the people of Carlow and Kilkenny will have the same opportunity as the people of Donegal had in 2010.
The opportunity to signal the end for this government.
Let’s make no mistake about it; a victory for Sinn Féin here is the only result that will do this because Sinn Féin is the real opposition to this government.
A victory for Fine Gael will prolong the term of this government and prolong the suffering of lower and middle income families in this constituency and across the country.
a victory for Fianna Fáil will have little impact on this government because this government is only implementing the same policies that Fianna Fáil were advocating when they were booted out of office 4 years ago.
I believe that the people of Carlow & Kilkenny will seize this opportunity and deliver a knockout blow to a government that has lost its mandate through a litany of broken promises, devastating cuts and a failure to deliver the type of “democratic revolution” that Enda Kenny talked about 4 years ago.
But like in all elections people will be given a clear choice.
A choice, between more of the same, the FF, FG and Labour cohort, the nodding dogs for the government, who have all been a part of implementing devastating cuts and unfair taxes on families and communities here in Carlow and Kilkenny: The alternative Choice a party and a representative who will not be afraid to stand up for this constituency and send a powerful message to the establishment.
That message is simple. People have had enough. Enough of broken promises, enough of cronyism, enough of the nod and wink, enough of austerity.
I know that people have lost trust in our political system and in politicians, there are many people who think, what’s the point in voting at all, ye are all the same anyway? And who can blame people for thinking this way?
When you look at who has represented us in government over the past number of years I can understand why people feel like this but Sinn Féin IS different and we are NOT in the business of making empty election promises that we cannot keep.
We are in the business of change. We are in the business of progressive and fair policies. We will build a fair recovery, not a recovery for the wealthy elites.
We will ensure that the voices of ordinary working people are represented.
We have a dynamic team of SF TDs in the Dáil, who are not afraid to ask the difficult questions or hold the government to account.
I want to be part of that team; I want to bring the issues in this constituency to the floor of the Dáil and to make sure that the voices of all the people of Carlow and Kilkenny are heard, not just the voices of those who are well con-nected or those who are well protected.
Everyone in this room knows what the issues are that face this constituency. They are largely the same throughout the length and breadth of our country. Housing and homelessness have reached crisis point here in Kilkenny city, in the Aspect hotel, not far from here there are currently over 20 families, all with children, that are calling that hotel home.
How can this be right or fair or just?
Unemployment is a massive issue in both our counties, Braun, L’apple, the sugar factory, all closed their doors in Carlow in the last 10 years and we have had nothing to replace them. Instead of tackling the unemployment problem by creating real and sustainable jobs, the government has opted for schemes such as gateway and job-bridge.
Schemes that are little more than slave labour, where there is very little if any chance of full time work afterwards.
But Sinn Féin isn’t in the business of just opposing unjust policies. We offer real, practical and fully costed alternatives. Just last week we launched an internship scheme that supports jobseekers to attain real quality jobs. Also last week our proposed legislation Jakes Law will make our estates a safer place for our children to play in. These are the proposals that Sinn Féin would seek to introduce in government.
Our proposals will ensure a living wage for all workers.
Our proposals will support Rural communities which have been devastated by continuous cuts, garda stations have closed under the watch of both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, our post offices and bus services have all been under attack over the past number of years with many small villages and towns being left like ghost towns, without public transport despite what our Taoiseach tried to tell us last weekend!
Our proposals will show Farmers that Sinn Féin is a party that will really fight their corner and puts more emphasis on the indigenous rural economy.
By electing me to Leinster House for Carlow Kilkenny in May; you are electing someone who knows what it is to struggle to make life work.
Someone who will be a voice for working people who are struggling with the burden of new taxes that this government has forced on them.
Because I will be a voice for people who go out to work every day, rushing around in the morning, trying to get kids out the door while worrying about bills, and thinking will I try pay the gas or electricity this week?
A voice for mothers who struggle with the cost of childcare.
A voice for families that are burdened by mortgages.
I want to be a voice for the people of rural Ireland who are discriminated against because of where they live.
These are all ordinary people, people like you in this room, people like myself.
So on the 22nd May, the people of Carlow and Kilkenny have a chance to make history. However History is not made by chance but by choice, your choice; that’s a choice between the stale and failed politics of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour or the politics of change and equality.
I know that everyone here wants a brighter future for themselves, their children, their grandchildren. That is what I want to see. A brighter future for Carlow & Kilkenny. A brighter future for our country. History is made by the actions of people, People like you in this room. It is you that has to be a part of creating a brighter future for all our people. It is you that will elect a Sinn Féin TD for Carlow – Kilkenny and therefore signal the end for this government. It is you that will make history by voting for Sinn Fein. The ability, the will, and the drive is here in this room all we have to do now is to go out and do it.
Ar Aghaidh Linn!