Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin - Ireland's Voice in Europe

18 October, 2008


Cllr. Toireasa Ferris was today selected as Sinn Féin’s candidate for the South in the forthcoming European elections. Giving the keynote address to the convention event in Tralee Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said, "Next years European elections are about securing a strong voice for Ireland in Europe. It is about delivering for ordinary people on issues that affect their lives.”

Mr. Adams said:

“Since Tóireasa's election to Kerry Council Council she has worked tirelessly for her constituency. She has consistently campaigned for the rights of those with disabilities, for improved services for socially deprived areas throughout Kerry as well as for local fishing and family farming communities.

“Tóireasa has served the people of Kerry and of this party with exceptional energy and vision. European elections are always a challenge but I am confident that with Tóireasa’s record of exemplary work and a good organisational campaign by Sinn Fein, that we can look forward to a successful election campaign here as well as across this island.

“It is important given the role of the European parliament and of the EU in the lives of the people of this island in the years ahead. Europe impacts on so many areas of ordinary peoples lives and often the impact is not a good one.

“The Union is moving in an overly centralised, privatised and militarised direction. Sinn Féin's approach to Europe is rooted in our republicanism. And it is this that marks us out from all of the other political parties. We want to see a social Europe and a democratic, citizen based EU. Throughout the union there are many millions who share our view.

“The current banking crisis and economic challenges is affecting all the people of this island. Successive Fianna Fáil led government blew the surpluses of the boom years, leaving Ireland facing a 15 billion euro exchequer deficit by the end of 2009.

“This week saw Budget 2009 presented to the Oireachtas and it is no surprise to me that the government have not presented any new ideas for economic recovery. Instead the people of this state now face savage cuts and additional taxes of an unprecedented nature. Those of the lowest incomes now face increased personal taxation with the 1% income levy the over 70’s have had their automatic access to medical cards withdraw.

“This government has never been about the redistribution of wealth or utilizing the economy in the common good. It has always been about looking after its cronies. People are increasingly seeing through this. But unless a relevant alternative is built the establishment will survive yet again and the ordinary citizen will pay the price. This election gives us the opportunity to win more people to our cause.
“Of course this election will take place against the backdrop of the Lisbon Treaty. We have already seen a move by the government supported by the yes campaign to reshape the debate on Lisbon away from the Treaty to a question of is Ireland in or out of Europe.

“This is a manipulative move by the government and one that is deeply mischievous. That is not the decision being put to us by our European partners. The debate must centre on how a better deal for Ireland in the EU can be secured.

“Sinn Féin believes that Ireland's place is firmly in Europe. We want to see Ireland continue to play a central role in shaping the future of the EU in the interests of all citizens. We are ambitious for what we as a small member state can achieve in the interest of all the people of Europe.

“Léiríodh le linn feachtais na Liospáin go raibh Sinn Féin réidh agus ábalta glacadh páirt i phoilitíocht tábhachtach an Eoraip, phoilitíocht a bhfuil tionachar aige orainn anseo in Eirinn.


“Léirigh muintir na hEirinn go bhfuil said réidh éist le guth s'againne nuair a dúirt said 'NÍL' leis an chonradh Líospáin.

“This is the context within which Sinn Féin fought the Lisbon Treaty campaign. We were the only main political party to campaign on the doors and in the Oireachtas for a No vote. We were the only political party to put the interests and rights of the people first. Is é croí-lár phoilitíoch Shinn Féin.

“Next years European elections present a major opportunity for Sinn Féin and with Tóireasa leading us here in Munster I believe Sinn Féin is more than up to the campaign challenges ahead.” ENDS
 
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MLA

Speech October 18th 2008

 

I want to welcome you all here today to this very important event for Sinn Fein and for the south.

I am delighted to see so many familiar faces, as well as some new ones.

Being selected by comrades and colleagues to stand for elected office is a great honour and carries with it enormous responsibility.

Since Tóireasa's election to Kerry Council Council she has worked tirelessly for her constituency.

She has consistently campaigned for the rights of those with disabilities, for improved services for socially deprived areas throughout Kerry as well as for local fishing and family farming communities.

Tóireasa has served the people of Kerry and of this party with exceptional energy and vision.

European elections are always a challenge but I am confident that with Toireasa’s record of exemplary work and a good organisational campaign by Sinn Fein, that we can look forward to a successful election campaign here as well as across this island.

This is especially important as Sinn Fein continues to build political strength and to move ever closer to our primary goals of ending partition and achieving the reunification of our country.

Tá Shinn Féin ag leanstaint ar aghaidh, cinnte inár gcuid ballraíocht, ár stráitís agus ár gcuid poilitíochta chun Éire aontaithe a bhaint amach.

It is also important given the role of the European parliament and of the EU in the lives of the people of this island in the years ahead.

Europe impacts on so many areas of ordinary peoples lives and often the impact is not a good one.

The Union is also moving in an overly centralised, privatised and militarised direction.

Sinn Féin's approach to all of this is rooted in our republicanism.

And it is this that marks us out from all of the other political parties.

We want to see a social Europe and a democratic, citizen based EU.

But my friends, be very conscious that throughout the Union there are citizens who share our view.

The current banking crisis and economic challenges is affecting all the people of this island.

Successive Fianna Fáil led government blew the surpluses of the boom years, leaving Ireland facing a 15 billion euro exchequer deficit by the end of 2009.

But Sinn Féin believes that the economy can be turned around. The next twelve months are crucial.

We support measures that can and must deliver a sound economy based on the principles of equality and fairness.

This week saw Budget 2009 presented to the Oireachtas and it is no surprise to me that the government have not presented any new ideas for economic recovery.

Instead the people of this state now face savage cuts and additional taxes of an unprecedented nature.

This government has never been about the redistribution of wealth or utilizing the economy in the common good.

It has always been about looking after its cronies.

People are increasingly seeing through this.

But unless relevant alternative is built the establishment will survive yet again and the ordinary citizen will pay the price.

This election gives us the opportunity to win more people to our cause.

When the Credit Institutions Bill came before the Oireachtas last week Sinn Féin supported it.

 

We did so because we believed that it was necessary to stabilize the state's banking system and we believe that our read of that situation has been proven correct.

But we did not take the decision to support the Credit Institutions Bill lightly.

We did it in the interests of the people of this state.

We also made it clear that we had a number of reservations about the ambiguity of the guarantee's terms and conditions.

Our Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan met with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan to express Sinn Féin's concerns.

The Minister told him that the taxpayer would see adequate remuneration for their insurance scheme for the banking sector.

Sinn Féin wanted to see terms that included a windfall payment to the state, the introduction of a bank levy and an onus on banks to negotiate as much as possible with homeowners facing repossession.

The terms of the Credit Scheme were published this week and what the government delivered are terms that have no real return whatsoever for the taxpayer for underwriting the banks.

There are no additional protections for families facing home repossessions and although additional transparency and enforcement measures are put in place we have huge concerns that much of these rest with the Financial Regulator.

Sinn Féin voted against the terms of the scheme.

Budget 2009 also saw the reintroduction of means testing for medical cards for the elderly.

Fianna Fail never had any real commitment to the provision of universal healthcare but this final nail in their social policy gives the electorate a real sense of whose interests this government takes decisions in.

The Green Party and others may back peddle and backbench TDs may protest but this is a government that punishes the young and the elderly and then describes this as a patriotic duty.

Despite all the problems in the Executive in the North last month the Health Minister announced that free medical prescriptions would be introduced for everyone there.

And the Health Minister Michael McGimpsey is a Unionist!!

The northern Executive is far from being a republican institution but its action on this matter is in marked contrast to the disgraceful Thatcherite approach of Fianna Fail.

Healthcare and education are basic rights and all citizens are entitled to them.

That is the democratic and republican position.

 

The Fianna Fáil budget is punitive and anti-citizen.

It is also anti-republican.

Last week also saw the first meeting of the Oireachtas joint committee tasked with addressing the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty.

Senator Pearse Doherty reaffirmed that we would play a constructive and positive role in the committee.

Senator Doherty also made it clear that Sinn Féin will not be part of a cynical exercise to clear the way for a re-run of the Lisbon Treaty.

The government, and all the parties who supported Lisbon should note that the people will not accept empty opt outs and meaningless declarations.

The debate must centre on how a better deal for Ireland in the EU can be secured.

Creideann Sinn Féin go bhfuil áit Eirinn go cinnte san Eoraip.

Sinn Féin believes that Ireland's place is firmly in Europe.

We want to see Ireland continue to play a central role in shaping the future of the EU in the interests of all citizens.

We are ambitious for what we as a small member state can achieve in the interest of all the people of Europe.

Léiríodh le linn feachtais na Liospáin go raibh Sinn Féin réidh agus ábalta glacadh páirt i phoilitíocht tábhachtach an Eoraip, phoilitíocht a bhfuil tionachar aige orainn anseo in Eirinn.

Léirigh muintir na hEirinn go bhfuil said réidh éist le guth s'againne nuair a dúirt said 'NÍL' leis an chonradh Líospáin.

And this is the context within which Sinn Féin fought the Lisbon Treaty campaign.

We were the only main political party to campaign on the doors and in the Oireachtas for a No vote.

We were the only political party to put the interests and rights of the people first.

Is é croí-lár phoilitíoch Shinn Féin

Next years European elections are about securing a strong voice for Ireland at the European parliamentary table.

However, as well as voting for an MEP, the European election next year will provide an opportunity for Sinn Féin to continue with our strategy of building the party, of building political strength and the values of republican politics beyond party boundaries.

It is about delivering for ordinary people on issues that affect their lives.

 

It is about building republican politics. It is about policy and politics that delivers.

Tá a lán obair romhainn agus tá mise breá cinnte go bhfuil gníomhaithe anseo réidh den streachailt atá romhainn chun Toireasa a thabhairt arais chun na hEorpa.

The European elections present a major challenge to Sinn Fein but here in Munster with Tóireasa leading us, it is a challenge that I believe this party is more than up to.

 

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