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Sinn Féin Westminster 2015 Election Broadcast

Sinn Féin stands for equality and protecting the most vulnerable. Our progressive politics and commitment to the rights of citizens is the only alternative to the extreme austerity agenda of the British government. A vote for Sinn Féin is a vote for real and lasting positive change.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has said Sinn Féin's progressive politics is the only alternative to austerity.


Some of the sights and sounds of today's massive Right2Water rally on Dublin's O'Connell Street this afternoon (March 21).  Reports that up to...



Latest Statements

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In 1987 8 IRA volunteers and a civilian were shot dead by the SAS in an ambush at Loughgall.

In November that same year 11 civilians were killed by an IRA bomb at a Remembrance Day service in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.

80 other people died that year as a result of the conflict in the North.

That was the year I was born.

Yet even though I was born into a war situation I grew up in the context of peace - albeit a fragile and imperfect peace.

7 years later the IRA called a ceasefire, the loyalists followed suit and the road opened for engagement, talks, negotiations and eventually the Good Friday Agreement.

1998 promised a better future for everyone. I grew up amidst hope and optimism.

In the 17 years since 1998 we have had many more engagements, negotiations and Agreements -  Weston Park, St. Andrews, Hillsborough, and more recently, Stormont House.

Because at times we need to return to talks - when it is necessary to push both the political and peace processes forward.

But I believe, it is the failure to address the issue of reconciliation, national reconciliation, the very process of nation building and peace building, that brings us back to the negotiating table, time and time again.

This needs resolved in order to move our collective society forward.

In the wake of this latest agreement there will be a renewed focus on the need to develop a reconciliation process that addresses the trans-generational division and hurt created by conflict - on all sides.

It is Sinn Féin’s ambition to achieve real national reconciliation in our time.

To build an Ireland of Equals.

This process must be an all-inclusive one and it must address the past.

But ultimately - it must serve the future.

Those tasked with shaping such a process, must find a meaningful role for the many younger political and community voices on all sides in taking this process forward.

Those of us who grew up in peace from differing political backgrounds, and with a bigger stake in the future than in the past, have an important contribution to make.

Our voices must be heard.

Go raibh mile maith agat.

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Jimmy Deenihan might have been a great footballer, but he dropped the ball this week when it comes to the rights of Irish emigrants to vote.

The government launched their Diaspora Strategy on Tuesday and their Ministers will be peddling it out across the globe over the next couple of weeks. But they have kicked to touch on the crucial issues of representation for the Diaspora in the Dáil & Seanad, voting rights in Presidential, General & local elections and in referenda.

They tell us we are the best little country in the world to business in, but organising votes for the diaspora is a bit too complicated for this government to figure out.Nach aisteach é sin! Currently there around 115 countries and territories – including nearly all developed nations – that have systems in place to allow their emigrants to vote, including

· 21 African nations

· 13 North and South American countries

· 15 Asian countries

· 6 Pacific countries

· 36 European countries.

So much for ‘Is Féidir Linn’!Níor thuig mise gur duine den Diaspóra a bhí ionam agus mé ag fas anios. I knew I was a ‘Paddy’ in Huddersfield. And when I came home to Galway I was a ‘Sasanach’ in Connemara. Maybe that gives me a useful insight for my new role as Party Spokesperson on the Diaspora, agus is onóir mhór dom a bheith roghnaithe don ról sin.

Sinn Féin in Government won’t treat our emigrants as second class citizens. We unequivocally support the right of all Irish citizens to vote for the Irish President, to appropriate representation in the Dáil and a reformed Seanad, with full voting rights.

In my role as Diaspora Spokesperson I will build on the great work done by the party spokespersons up to now, in partnership with our comrades and all the Irish abroad. 

Ach tá i gceist againn i bhfad nío mó a dhéanamh….

We will establish a new party working group to further develop our policy on Diaspora matters. We will liaise and consult with stakeholders on the development of the policy. 

We will ensure that the policy being developed is included in any Programme for Government that the party would devise and implement. 

Until then, we will ensure that the Irish Government is held to account and encouraged to take on any policy initiatives Sinn Féin brings forward. 

We will ensure that the party, through our membership and elected representatives, keeps Diaspora issues on the agenda and looks for positive reforms in the institutions and organisations within which we are represented.

Tá an meas céanna againne ar shaoránaithe na hÉireann, cuma cá gcónaionn siad.

We cherish all the children of Ireland equally, no matter where they live.

Sinn Féin will uphold their rights.

We won’t drop the ball!

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Is mise Fintan Warfield. Mayor of South Dublin and Sinn Féin Councillor for Greenhills, Templeogue and Firhouse.

This year, almost 100 years since the proclamation of the provisional government was published, the task of building the Ireland of equals outlined in that document moves forward.

It moves forward because of those who were willing to take a stand, those who risked their lives to say enough was enough.

It moves forward because of those who triumphed over homophobia and criminalisation.

This May the Irish people have an exciting opportunity to say that we value all of our relationships equally.

Sinn Féin are proud to support this referendum and ask that you vote yes to civil marriage equality.

Imagine for one minute the message a yes vote would send to couples who have waited their entire lives to mark on the books of their state, a love for one another.

Imagine the message a yes vote would send to young people having difficulty coming to terms with their sexuality, who perhaps can’t go home after school or college to tell their family or friends who they fancy in class.

Five years ago, I was the 17 year old who looked on at the LGBT poster in school, wondering if I would ever have the self-confidence to come out.

I stand here with the knowledge that my small story is part of a larger, wider LGBT story reflected every day in homes across this island.

I want to commend the work of BeLonG To, Shout Out, and all organisations supporting our young people.

The upcoming referendum on civil marriage equality is an easy task for republicans.

Our politics are the result of decades of resistance to marginalisation and discrimination.

Self-determination is our core demand, not only as a nation, but as diverse communities within that nation.

This referendum was called by the citizens at a constitutional convention.

This is the peoples’ referendum.

Civil marriage equality is about protecting our families, neighbours and friends.

It is about two people making a commitment to share in the ups and the downs of life.

Lesbian and gay people are not alone in our demand for full equality of rights and opportunities, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity or background.

I understand what it feels like to be unequal.

I understand what it feels like to be beaten up for being gay.

Sinn Féin want everyone on this island to have the same opportunity no matter who we are, what we look like, where we’re from or who we love.

It is this spirit of love, of fairness and of justice that underpins our support for marriage equality.

When I read the proclamation, I see myself as a gay man reflected in its sentiment.

In its resolution to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, I see a real space for the LGBT community.

On May 22nd, take pride in voting yes to civil marriage equality.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir.

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Full text of the speech delivered by Cllr Rachel McCarthy to the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Derry.

A chairde,

Every day in my constituency of Cork South-West, I see the interdependence between rural towns, villages, - and the people who live and work in the surrounding areas.

I believe this interdependence is the very definition of rural community.

There is now a great feeling of abandonment in these communities. And with good reason

According to a recent study by Teagasc, rural towns have a consistent poverty rate of 10pc compared to 5pc in cities, unemployment in rural towns trebled in recent years, whereas it doubled in cities.  

Three years ago, Phil Hogan launched a political takeover of the community-based Leader programme. Today the troika of Ann Phelan, Alan Kelly, and Simon Coveney have continued this sabotage in the Programme presented to the European Commission last year.

In this Rural Development Programme, severe restrictive new measures known as GLAS, seem designed to force small to medium sized farmers off the land.

Hill farmers from Schull to Bantry may have to bulldoze trees, rocks, and ditches,- and set fire to hillsides to avoid fines, and  qualify for farm supports.

This will affect wildlife, the environment, rural tourism and the rural jobs so vital for our traders, co-ops, and shopkeepers.

This governmental blindness has also been extended to the hi-tech sector.

The Department of Communications has confirmed that many rural areas will not get Broadband for another 5 years.

Ireland was 27th out of 31 European countries in a recent survey of broadband provision

Perhaps, while living in their own virtual cloud this government can convince themselves that prospective visitors and business people will not notice the devastation, or maybe they simply don’t care.

Sinn Féin cares!

Last November, I accompanied our MEP Liadh Ni Riarda as she led a delegation of the Leader groups to express their concerns to the European Commission.

As a result of this pro-activity a number of measures have been rolled back.

This shows what we can achieve as a party, working together.

Rural communities are resilient.

We are not satisfied to raise our children in the ghost towns that Austerity has created.

We in Sinn Féin will continue to struggle for a society based on equality for all our citizens regardless of their address.

We will continue to prioritise fairness and equal rights, and we will bring hope and action to all communities.”

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Speaking today at the Sinn Féin Ard Fhéis, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy has stated that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will be together after the next election – the only question is whether they will be together in opposition or in Government.

Carthy said:

“The fundamental difference between Sinn Féin and our political opponents is Vision.

“It is a vision of a United Ireland, prosperous but fair. 

“It is the vision that was epitomised in the 1916 proclamation.

“Not only do we have the vision but we have the means of achieving that vision.

“That’s what sets us apart from our detractors whether they be rival parties or the expert commentators. 

“It is now clear to almost everybody that following the next Leinster House elections that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will be together. 

“The only question remaining is whether they’ll be together in government or in opposition.

“Our job is to make sure that it’s in opposition.

“Let them look across at a Sinn Féin led government – A government that sets itself the task of making our vision a reality.  Of breaking down partition; of creating an Ireland, a united Ireland that we can deliver to our children with pride.”ENDS

Full Text of Mr Carthy’s speech as follows:

The fundamental difference between Sinn Féin and our political opponents is Vision.

We know that Ireland is a great country, but we know too that it could be much better.

Not only can we imagine a better Ireland; we have a vision for that Ireland.

It is a vision of a United Ireland, prosperous but fair. 

It is the vision that was epitomised in the 1916 proclamation.

Not only do we have the vision but we have the means of achieving that vision. The means of building a country we can be proud to pass on to our children.

That’s what sets us apart from our detractors whether they be rival parties or the expert commentators. 

Irish politics has been so long devoid of vision that they can’t understand us and they don’t understand why people are embracing our vision in ever increasing numbers.

Rather than being an isolationist, reactionary message the Sinn Féin message is one of hope of a strong economy – north and south; of a fair recovery – east and west; it’s a message of a belief in ourselves as a people and our future together.

Today, our vision is fused with an appetite for change within the Irish people that hasn’t been witnessed in almost 100 years.

It is now clear to almost everybody that following the next Leinster House elections that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will be together. 

The only question remaining is whether they’ll be together in government or in opposition.

Our job is to make sure that it’s in opposition.

Let them look across at a Sinn Féin led government – A government that sets itself the task of making our vision a reality.  Of breaking down partition; of creating an Ireland, a united Ireland that we can deliver to our children with pride.

That’s the Sinn Féin vision – let’s go from here tonight and let’s ‘We Ourselves – the people of Ireland’ make it happen.

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Derry, the town we love so well, is synonymous with the struggle for civil rights and equality. The people of this great city know the pain of conflict and division; today they, and we, look forward, in a time of peace, to reconciliation and new beginnings.

We all have a very personal vested interest in creating that new beginning.

We have the capacity, as people and a society, to listen, to debate and decide on those matters that matter most to our families, our communities, and to our country.

Our people have the talent and the tolerance to seize the opportunity now to transform Ireland.

Public service is about defending the public good, standing up for citizens on the basis of equality and facing down those that have a vested interest in division and disadvantage.

That is what Sinn Féin is all about.

Those that say that we are simply a party of protest don’t understand us and underestimate the people.whi in increasing numbers give us their support.

Those that criticise us as a party of idealistic rhetoric miss our determination to achieve and to change our country for the better.

Opponents that may sneer at us or discount our ambition for Ireland reveal only their own cynicism.

Sinn Féin is preparing for government, fit for government and ready to serve.

We will debate anybody; anywhere, any time.

I will debate anybody, anywhere, any time.  Joan Burton challenged me to a debate, both Vincent Browne and RTE offered to facilitate the debate but Joan has changed her mind – Well Joan you know where to find me!

Minister Alan Kelly has vowed to rip us apart – we are quaking in our stilettoes! 

We will not be distracted by macho posturing or aggressive, negative noise from the Labour party, from their Fine Gael bedfellows or from anywhere else.

Let the debates commence, let the Republican alternative be scrutinised and understood by one and all.

Our alternative is anchored in equality.

An equal chance to live and work at home in Ireland; equal access to education and health services, an equal start for all our children and all our families in their myriad of forms; The equal right to love, to be loved and to marry.

Our alternative is based on shared prosperity.

Creating wealth by investment in jobs, innovation and enterprise; sharing wealth through decent work, a living wage and social supports for citizens. IN other words a dynamic,  productive economy and a robust welfare state

Our alternative is rooted in excellence.

That means aiming high,  for first class public services and public administration, first class democratic institutions serving first class citizens – that is all of us, women and men, young and old, travellers and settled, people with disabilities, black and white, orange and green.

Our country can be the best little country in which to live and work, in which to invest and prosper. 

We are here to do the business, to roll up our sleeves and to shape that country.

It is a big challenge.

Years of austerity and cutback governments have laid low the living standards and expectations of working people and their families.  The marginalised, the working poor, the coping classes have borne the brunt of the economic bust and the lazy adherence to austerity of successive administrations.

Years of cronyism, corruption and mé féin governments have alienated citizens and left a bitter taste of disappointment.

Years of broken election promises and pledges torn up at the first opportunity have left the people wondering if anybody, any party can be trusted again.

Today, we pledge to the people that we will not make false promises to grab political power. We are not the Labour Party.

When we say that we will abolish water charges at the first opportunity we mean it.  When we say that we will abolish property tax we mean that too.

We pledge today that we will not protect any privileged few at the expense of the many. We are not Fine Gael.

When we say that we will not allow banks to veto settlements with families struggling with debt and at risk of losing their homes we mean it.

Above all we pledge that we will not shy away from any decisions, or any of the tough negotiations necessary to put Ireland and our people first.

When we say that the bankers and speculators debt is not our debt, and when we challenge powerful EU institutions and the current government to lift the burden of that debt from the shoulders of the people - we mean it.

We will work with everyone who shares our ambition to build a real Republic, to bring about the new beginning for our people, to provide leadership and hope now.

We are preparing for government.

We are ready for the challenge.

We are ready to deliver. 

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Full text of the speech delivered this afternoon by Cllr Kathleen Funchion, Sinn Féin’s candidate for the Carlow/Kilkenny by election, to the Ard Fheis in Derry.

“Next year we will mark the 100 anniversary of the 1916 Rising.

I am sure that when those brave men and women set out in 1916 they didn’t imagine that nearly 100 years later Irish children would be going  to bed hungry , or be forced to live in B&Bs and hotels  due to lack of suitable and affordable housing.

I am sure they didn’t imagine a 100 years later that Irish children would be wondering why their parents worried and stressed every time another bill lands in the door. Nor did they imagine the flight of our bright young people, forced to leave their country in search of work.

Rural towns and villages, across my constituency of Carlow and Kilkenny and throughout the island of Ireland have been devastated by the curse of emigration.

Housing is at crisis point. Post offices, garda stations and most recently our bus services have all been under attack by both the Fine Gael and Labour government and the previous Fianna Fáil government.

This is not the Ireland that the 1916 leaders envisaged, in Carlow Kilkenny or anywhere else in 2016

The type of Ireland they fought and died for is a country where you will not be left lying on a hospital trolley because you cannot afford to pay for private health care.

They dreamed of a country that encourages our young people to stay at home by creating jobs and where housing is a right, and not a luxury- a country that genuinely cherishes all of the children of the nation equally.

The only way to achieve this type of Ireland is with a Sinn Féin government.

We are the only party committed to bringing about real change: to put an end to cronyism, to bringing about real solutions for real people to the crises that exist in housing and in our health system.

We are the party committed to creating sustainable employment which benefits our economy, our people and will breathe life back into our rural towns and villages.

When our opponents attack us it is because they know this.

They fear us because they fear the type of change that we want to bring about.

They fear an Ireland where the economy is developed for the good of all our people and not just the wealthy elite.

The government accuses us of fantasy economics.

This is coming from a government that is cutting services in rural Ireland while at the same time telling us that rural Ireland is on the up.

This coming from a government whose leader finds it hard to get by on three grand a week.

It is this government this is living in a fantasy land and it is ordinary people of this country who are living the nightmare.

Let’s bring an end to the endless austerity promised by Westminster and Dublin that impoverishes our people and our children.

Let’s show that for a brighter future for this country, Sinn Fein needs to be in power.”

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The fundamental difference between Sinn Féin and our political opponents is Vision.

We know that Ireland is a great country, but we know too that it could be much better.

 Not only can we imagine a better Ireland; we have a vision for that Ireland.

 It is a vision of a United Ireland, prosperous but fair. 

 It is the vision that was epitomised in the 1916 proclamation.

 Not only do we have the vision but we have the means of achieving that vision. The means of building a country we can be proud to pass on to our children.

 That’s what sets us apart from our detractors whether they are rival parties or the expert commentators. 

 Irish politics has been so long devoid of vision that they can’t understand us and they don’t understand why people are embracing our vision in ever increasing numbers.

 Rather than being an isolationist, reactionary message the Sinn Féin message is one of hope of a strong economy – north and south; of a fair recovery – east and west; it’s a message of a belief in ourselves as a people and our future together.

 Today, our vision is fused with an appetite for change within the Irish people that hasn’t been witnessed in almost 100 years.

 It is now clear to almost everybody that following the next Leinster House elections that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will be together. 

 The only question remaining is whether they’ll be together in government or in opposition.

Our job is to make sure that it’s in opposition.

 Let them look across at a Sinn Féin led government – A government that sets itself the task of making our vision a reality.  Of breaking down partition; of creating an Ireland, a united Ireland that we can deliver to our children with pride.

 That’s the Sinn Féin vision – let’s go from here tonight and let’s ‘We Ourselves – the people of Ireland’ make it happen.

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Go raibh mile maith agaibh a chairde.

This Government’s list of failures and broken promises is extensive. From jobs targets to social welfare cuts, water charges to political appointments, they have come up short time and again. Their handling of our health services is a case in point.

Both Fine Gael and Labour made bold statements about health sector reform in their individual manifestos in 2011. In their coalition Programme for Government they committed to introducing free GP care for all, they committed to delivering a health service based on Universal Health Insurance with equal access, and they committed to abolishing the HSE.

The simple fact of the matter is that none of this has happened. And none of it is going to happen.

Through Leo Varadkar and James Reilly as lead Ministers and Kathleen Lynch as Junior Minister this Government has failed, and continues to fail, miserably, in its duty to provide a health service that people can be proud of.

In 2013, James Reilly, with his back firmly against the wall, said, and I quote “We will never again see 569 people on trolleys on a single day while this Government is in office”. He was wrong. His successor would go 32 better. Or rather worse. On the 6th of January this year, Leo Varadkar sat at the helm of a health service that left 601 patients on trolleys and chairs waiting for admission to hospital. 601.

Delayed discharges, a lack of home care packages, a lack of nursing home beds – they’re 2,000 beds short in the Dublin North East area alone – these are all as a direct result of decisions taken by this Government. There is no walking away from that fact. In the meantime our frontline healthcare workers perform heroics on a daily basis.

Leo Varadkar’s “address” of the Emergency Department crisis in January has since precipitated a crisis in access. We now have 77,000 adults and children waiting for inpatient procedures - that’s a year on year increase of 28%. More evidence of the cost of their incompetence.

Two weeks ago at the Fine Gael National Conference Minister Varadkar called on doctors and nurses, who he and his Government forced to emigrate, to come home. This Ard Fheis should echo that call. You should come home, from around the world, and in your thousands. And at the next General Election you should kick Leo Varadkar and James Reilly out of office and you should replace them with a Sinn Féin Minister for Health. With Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin as Minister for Health, and with the help of you and your colleagues, together, we can, and we will, deliver a health service that we can all be truly proud of. Go raibh míle míle maith agaibh.  

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Mary Lou McDonald TD