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
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
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
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
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
Years of broken election promises and pledges torn up at the
first opportunity have left the people wondering if anybody, any party can be
Today, we pledge to the people that we
will not make false promises to grab political power. We are not the Labour
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
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
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.