Sinn Féin - On Your Side

McDonald calls for a debate within the Left on future of politics on the island

31 March, 2004


Sinn Féin Press Office

44 Parnell Square

Dublin 1

Tel: 353 1 8722609

Sinn Féin Dublin EU candidate Mary Lou McDonald is to attend a debate at Trinity College this evening, entitled: 'Is a Left alternative possible'‚ Ms McDonald said: The people are looking for an alternative and it is our responsibility to build one with them, not for them, in our parties, in our Unions, in our community and resident groups. I hope the discussion tonight will be the beginning of a wider debate within the Left that moves away from the narrow political sectarianism that has dogged us for so long.‚

The public meeting will take place at 7.30pm in the Swift Theatre, Trinity College. Representatives from the ATGWU, Peace and Neutrality Alliance, Green Party and th Labour Party will join Ms McDonald, in debating the advancement of left wing politics in this state.

Ms McDonald said:

"This year marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Irish Citizens Army by James Connolly and other far sighted socialist leaders, and tonight‚s event is a timely reminder of the importance of a leftist alternative to the corruption and sleaze which characterises politics in this state at present.

"We need to build an alternative that seeks new ways of expressing and using the power available to us. The people are looking for an alternative and it is our responsibility to build one with them, not for them, in our parties, in our Unions, in our community and resident groups. I hope the discussion tonight will be the beginning of a wider debate within the Left that moves away from the narrow political sectarianism that has dogged us for so long.

"Tonight I will outline the Sinn Féin position on the possibility of creating an alternative left alliance with other like minded groups. We need to define what we mean by a left alternative. Do we simply mean a coalition of parties in Leinster House? Or is it something bigger? I believe that a political alternative left restricted only to political parties is doomed to failure. The future of this country is far too important to be left to politicians, even left wing ones.

"I look forward to engaging in a constructive debate tonight, to present the Sinn Féin vision for the future, and listening to the views of others. A radical alternative is possible - our demands, as James Connolly put it back then, remain most moderate. We only want the Earth. Together we can achieve it."ENDS

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