Go raibh maith agat Michelle. Thanks for all your work, especially with
Micheal Colreavy and Martina Anderson in opposing fracking.
A chairde agus a chomráidithe, Tá failte romhaibh uilig
chuig Ard Fhéis Shinn Féin.
A special Céad Míle Fáilte to Jim Cullen and Alan McConnell
of Friends of Sinn Féin in the USA and Canada; and to our comrades from
Australia, from South Africa, Cuba, the Basque country, Greece, Britain and to
all our foreign dignitaries, including the Palestinian Ambassador.
Tonight, I call on the Irish government to act on the Sinn
Féin motion adopted unanimously by the Dáil and to recognise the state of
Mar a déarfadh Bobby, “It’s good to be back home in Derry”.
Taoiseach, if you’re watching – Dia duit – greetings from
Taoiseach, mar eolas duit, this is not a foreign country.
This is Ireland.
Derry is a special place.
The attack on the Civil Rights march at Duke Street 1968,
the Battle of the Bogside, and Bloody Sunday are key events in the history of
Comhghairdeas daoibhse agus buíochas do mhuintir Doire
Cholmcille; and in particular to the representatives of Bloody Sunday families
who are with us this evening.
I extend best wishes also to the representatives from the
Londonderry Bands Forum. You are also very welcome at this Ard Fheis.
The accommodation on loyal order parades here stands out as
an example of what can be achieved when citizens have the will to solve
Let’s see the same approach to contentious parades in
Belfast and elsewhere.
Best wishes also to another son of Derry, John Hume who was
central to the peace process.
To Mitchel McLaughlin who recently became Ceann Comhairle of
And to Martin McGuinness for his continued courageous and
These qualities were demonstrated again during the
negotiations that led to the Stormont House Agreement.
Despite the negative approach of the British and Irish
governments, and a reluctance by some of the local parties, progress was made.
And agreement was achieved.
I want to commend the hard work and dedication of Sinn
Féin’s Executive Ministers and our MLAs and Assembly team.
Tá an-áthas orm go bhfuil moltaí faoi choinne Acht na
Gaeilge foilsithe ag Caral Ní Chuilin, go bhfuil Michelle O'Neill ar
chamchuairt faoin tuath ag buaileadh le muintir na feirme, go bhfuil John
O'Dowd fós ag athchóiriú scoileanna, agus go bhfuil Jennifer McCann ag cosaint
cearta daonna agus cearta leanaí.
During the Stormont House talks this party put in place
additional protections for children and adults with severe disabilities, and
the long term sick.
We succeeded in protecting those on benefits.
We negotiated that there will be no reductions to any
benefits under the control of the Executive.
That is fundamental to this Agreement and Sinn Féin will
hold to that and hold other parties to that commitment.
Progress was also made on the issues of Parades, Flags and
Emblems and the Past.
Dealing with the past is very difficult.
Yesterday was the anniversary of the Gibraltar killings.
Today is Sam Marshall’s anniversary.
Every day marks an anniversary for someone, for some family,
for some community.
I hope the Stormont House Agreement will bring closure to
victims. That is the intention.
I want to extend solidarity to all of the victims groups
campaigning for truth and justice.
I welcome to this Ard Fheis the representatives of the
Ballymurphy Massacre families.
Failte fosta roimh Liam Shannon, one of the Hooded Men.
There are those who attack the Stormont House Agreement.
They attack Sinn Féin.
Let us be clear that Agreement did not resolve the issue of
British Tory cuts to the block grant.
Over one and a half billion pounds has been stripped away by
Those who opportunistically attack us should focus on that.
Why should a British government of millionaires have the
authority to impose economic punishment on citizens here.
Sinn Féin will continue to oppose austerity – north and
Those who argue that power should be handed back to London
need to get real.
That would be the road to disaster.
Instead there needs to be an island wide campaign to promote
progressive policies and Sinn Féin will build a positive alliance with everyone
who has this position, including other parties, the community and voluntary
sector and the trade unions.
Austerity is not the solution.
It is part of the problem.
Sinn Féin is not the problem.
We are part of the solution.
Beidh muid ag obair as lámh a chéile le daoine eile i ngach
cearn den oileán seo chun bealach eile a chur chun tosaigh seachas an déine.
Supporting austerity in the north is a logical extension of
Fine Gael and Labour’s policies.
Their budgets have been among the most regressive in the
There has been a huge growth in social inequality.
A third of our children now live in consistent poverty.
Public money which should be used to end the scandal of
patients lying on trolleys; to house our citizens; and to create jobs is being
used to repay private bank debt.
That’s Labour’s Way.
That’s Fine Gael’s way.
That’s Frankfurt’s way.
That’s not the Sinn Féin way.
During the boom Sinn Féin called for the wealth to be
invested in public services. We called for the wealth to be socialised. We were
accused by the establishment parties of ‘fairy tale’ economics.
They have delivered nightmare economics. They refused to
socialise the wealth. But they have no problem socialising the debt.
Fianna Fáil wrecked the economy, drove hundreds of thousands
out of work, and forced many of our young people to emigrate.
Fine Gael and Labour made things worse by delivering Fianna
They made working people, senior citizens, patients and
children pay the price for private banking greed.
To add insult to injury, hard-pressed citizens were told
that the crash happened because "we all partied".
The Taoiseach said people went mad.
Raiméis atá ann.
191 individuals held €62 billion of the banking debt. 50% of
the Irish loan book of Anglo Irish bank was held by just 20 greedy people.
Bankers and their political cronies are the golden
circle. It is corrupt bankers and
corrupt politicians who should be in jail, and not water charge protestors.
When I suggested to the Taoiseach on numerous occasions that
he should stand up for Irish people at EU summits he said, “We will not have
the word defaulter stamped on our forehead”.
He refused to negotiate on bank debt.
Neither the Taoiseach nor the Minister for Finance have ever
asked for retrospective recapitalisation of the pillar banks.
If and when Sinn Féin have the mandate we will work with
others across the EU to find a sustainable long-term solution to the Eurozone
It took the government of Greece to break the conservative
pretense that austerity is the only way.
Failte romhat Euclid Tsakalotos of Syriza, the Greek
Minister for International and Economic Relations.
Sinn Féin is the effective voice of opposition in Leinster
House. We offer constructive and sustainable solutions and have held the
Government to account.
The Government claims that a recovery is underway.
If there is, it’s an unequal and unfair two tier recovery.
Sinn Féin wants to deliver a fair recovery.
The cost of the recession has been borne by those who played
no part in the economic disaster and who are least able to pay.
The economy should serve the people – not the other way
Sinn Féin is pro enterprise. We believe in a strong,
competitive economy which creates real jobs with decent pay and conditions.
A strong economy is required to pay for public services and
a living wage for workers.
To combat poverty, and to support those with disabilities.
For that reason Sinn Féin advocates a model of fair and
progressive taxation and stable public finances where everyone pays their fair
And where wealth is used to fund social equality. That means
that in government Sinn Féin will abolish water charges.
We will scrap the Property Tax.
Sinn Féin will introduce a Wealth Tax.
We will bring in a third rate of income tax for those
individuals earning over one hundred thousand euro; that’s seven cents on every
euro over One Hundred Thousand Euro.
And Sinn Féin will take a further Two Hundred Thousand
people out of the Universal Social Charge.
A fair recovery must be built on real investment in real
Foreign direct investment is an important part of the
economic mix for the island of Ireland.
So are the arts – so is the social economy.
But the biggest employers on this island are Small and
They are the greatest source of future job growth.
Tá Sinn Féin tiomanta do na daoine seo a chuidiú.
We are also for the exploitation of our natural resources
for the common good and not merely the profits of multi-nationals.
The economic crisis and austerity policies of Fine Gael,
Labour and Fianna Fáil have forced half a million of our people to leave.
It's time to bring our emigrants home.
But emigrants should not be denied a voice in our democracy.
Next week Sinn Féin will introduce legislation to extend the
right to vote in Presidential elections to Irish citizens in the north and
overseas as recommended by the Constitutional Convention.
Impím go láidir ar gach ball den Oireachtas tacaíocht a
thabhairt don Bhille seo.
The Fine Gael/Labour Government has been a disaster for
Rural Ireland needs a new deal.
A new deal that will create and retain jobs in rural communities,
protect rural schools and services, ensure access to health services and
maximise support for hard pressed Gaeltacht and island communities.
That’s the thing about rights.
You have rights no matter where you live.
These have to include the right to a health service, to an
education system, to quality childcare, to a home, to a job, to a clean
environment and to civil and religious liberties.
Sinn Féin will invest in local authority housing and
introduce rent controls to help stem the rising tide of homelessness.
Families in mortgage distress need to be able to remain in
the family home.
Last year Sinn Féin introduced legislation to curb
repossessions and to give other protections to families in mortgage distress.
The Government rejected our proposals.
Instead they gave the banks a veto.
Sinn Féin will end that veto.
Ní féidir le gach bean, gach fear agus gach páiste barr a
gcumais a bhaint amach, ach amháin i bpobal atá cothrom.
All citizens whether they live in the Bogside or Baile Mhuirne,
or on the Shankill or Southhill are entitled to equality before the law,
regardless of background, sexual orientation or gender.
That is why Sinn Féin supports marriage equality for LGBT
Most people know a family member, work colleague or a
neighbour who is gay, and we love them for who they are.
Tá na saoránaigh seo i gceart Chothrom na Féinne.
On May 22nd I am calling for a resounding YES vote.
The centenary of events from 1912 to 1922 – from the signing
of the Ulster Covenant to the Civil War - provides a unique opportunity for all
our people, north and south, nationalist and unionist, to critically examine
The fact is that the revolutionary period was followed by a
That’s why Ireland is partitioned.
Two conservative states with narrow minded, mean spirited
elites were created.
Our people suffered, emigrated and died as a result.
Our potential is stunted – our communities divided.
It’s little wonder that the response of the Irish Government
to these centenaries has lacked ambition and substance.
It is little wonder they don’t want to celebrate the
For their part they are embarrassed by its relevance for
For our part the 1916 Proclamation remains the mission
statement of modern Irish republicanism.
The Government’s failure to protect the National Monument in
Moore Street has also been shameful.
“Mór mo náire. Mo chlann féin a dhíol a mháthair”.
In the year ahead, Sinn Féin will celebrate at home and
abroad the courage and vision of those who participated in the Easter Rising.
Sinn Féin's goal, like theirs is to build a real Republic.
But Sinn Féin cannot transform politics or the social and
economic conditions on our own.
There are strong elements in both parts of the island who
are against positive change.
These include unionists who see no alternative to the union;
but there are others who are not so sure.
They too have been politicised by recent developments.
In particular the peace process.
They are also learning that austerity is the price of the
Republicans have to listen and pay heed to constructive
criticism of our alternative.
The Unionist parties say they are against Irish unity but
will support measures that are to the mutual advantage of both sections of our
That’s welcome and sensible.
We have to build and hold them to that.
Politics in both parts of this island is in flux.
Many people now realise that that it makes no sense to have
two economies, two education systems, two health systems, two tax codes, two
currencies on one small island.
The sense of one island, one Ireland can work for everyone.
I believe we need a national conversation on all of this.
A conversation about the future.
I believe all genuine progressive social and political
forces across this island, including unionists and working class loyalists,
should develop a common platform for political progress.
A new Citizens’ Charter, encapsulating fundamental
principles could take us towards a citizen-centred, rights-based society.
It could be a new departure in Irish politics.
Ní neart go cur le chéile.
The people of this island, whether urban or rural, from
whatever background or tradition, share a common history and our futures are
We need reminded again and again that our flag is Orange.
Orange as well as green.
Orange is part of what we are.
That is our potential.
And our challenge.
To unite Orange and Green in equality and mutual respect.
The immediate period ahead will see elections to the Dáil,
Westminster, the Assembly and a by-election in Carlow/ Kilkenny.
Is í Kathleen Funchion ár n-iarrathóir.
Caithfidh mé a bheith soiléir.
Tá muid ag lorg bua le Kathleen.
So let’s be ambitious not just for ourselves but for our
On May 7th the people of the north will go to the polls.
Good luck to all our candidates here.
The imposition of an unfair water charge has been the final
straw for many families in the south.
The huge demonstrations are proof of that.
The water charge protestors should be released.
Sinn Féin has seen unprecedented growth in the last European
and local government elections thanks to the work of our activists and
especially our voters.
Mo bhuíochas lenár n-iarrathóirí agus go háirithe leis na
daoine a thug votaí dúinn.
I especially commend our MPs, our TDs, Seanadoirí, MLAs all
of our Councillors and our MEPs Martina, Matt, Liadh, Lynn.
Happy international Women’s day Matt.
As our political strength increases our opponents have
become more strident. There has been a tsunami of untruth and smears against
It didn’t work.
It didn’t work because of you.
Because people listened to the lies and they looked at you,
their neighbours and family members, their work colleagues and they said, the
Shinner I know isn’t like the one depicted in the Independent group of
newspapers and by our political opponents.
So thank you for your steadfastness.
Your diligence. And your work.
Little wonder that Enda and Joan are worried.
They and their cronies will be even more strident in the run
in to the election – so brace yourselves.
They know the people want change.
Sinn Féin wants a mandate for government.
I believe we can win that mandate.
Sinn Féin will not prop up either a Fine Gael or a Fianna
Sinn Féin wants to lead the next Government.
I am confident that when it comes to making a choice, the
people will make the change.
The future hasn’t been written yet.
Let’s write it together.
Let’s make it happen!
Make the change.
Ar aghaidh linn le chéile.