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Adams Speech on Programme for Government in Dáil

15 March, 2011 - by Gerry Adams

Speech by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD in the Dáil on the motion on the government’s Programme for Government.

Mr. Adams described the government’s Programme for Government as “the same old Fianna Fáil austerity strategy, as dictated by the EU and IMF, wrapped up and presented as something new and radical”.

He added: “The Taoiseach says he will not compromise on our 12.5% corporation tax. This is making a virtue out of a necessity. It is the very least he can do. The fact is the EU/IMF deal is a bad deal for Ireland.”

The Text of Mr. Adams Speech:

A Thaoiseach,

Bhí m ag éisteacht ag an deireadh seachtaine leis an nuacht.

I listened at the weekend to news of the Taoiseach’s homecoming to Mayo.

Great joyous community celebrations. Mighty craic.

In your speech in Castlebar you cited Michael Davitt.

Davitt was a former political prisoner and a former member of the British Parliament.

After he was released from prison, where he spent 7 years for Fenian activities, in the most awful conditions, he was asked by Parnell what he intended to do.

Davitt said ‘I shall join the revolutionary movement, of course’.

As you know he was the founder of a mass movement for the rights of the people of Ireland something much needed today.

Davitt was also an idealist, a nationalist, a fenian, a republican, a revolutionary, a labour activist, a writer, a journalist, a historian and an internationalist.
Agus fear as Muigh Eo a bhí ann.

Taoiseach in your remarks at the weekend you referred to the election results as being a democratic revolution.

It was far from that.

People did vote for change.

But in this Programme for Government they are getting the same old Fianna Fáil austerity strategy, as dictated by the EU and IMF, wrapped up and presented as something new and radical.

Ní h-aon fhíor Clár comhaontaithe don rialtais é seo le socruithe nascatha in éindí le clár gníomhaíochtaí dearfacha.

It is filled with fudge and reviews.

When that happens in any negotiation it means that there was no meeting of minds on the issue invovled.

So the issue is kicked up the road.

Instead of agreeing a Programme for Government and then going into coalition on that basis Fine Gael and Labour cobbled together this piece of work to facilitate their ministerial ambitions.

What this illustrates is the eagerness of these two parties to get into government.

Níl aon sainordú do Chlár rialtais é seo.

There is no strategy for getting people back to work or resolving the economic crisis.

So, there is patently no excuse for describing it as a democratic revolution.

Taoiseach please call it something else but don’t call it a democratic revolution. That has yet to come.

Tá sé sin fós le teacht.

And what you may wonder would a democratic revolution look like?

Firstly, it would mean reclaiming economic sovereignty.

It would mean rejecting the IMF/EU deal.

Not modifying it. Not tinkering with it.

The loans would not be drawn down.

The bank bondholders would be made to pay their own gambling debts.

A real democratic revolution would ensure that the banks served the Irish economy and the economy served the people.

Ní bheadh aon airgid poiblí eile caite isteach i mbancanna dona.

A real democratic revolution would see the most vulnerable protected, the livelihoods of working people safeguarded and public services, particularly health and education, properly organized and funded and available to all on an equal basis.

Those with the ability to contribute more would be required to do so.

Thabharfaidh aire dóibh siúd a dearnadh faillí eacnamaíochta orthu.

Healthcare and education would be provided fairly and equitably and efficiently, and the shameful division of children and of the sick on the basis of wealth or lack of it would be no more.

To be fully democratic a democratic revolution in Ireland would also transform politics, make elected representatives more accountable and institutions more effective.

Ministers and TDs would take a real cut in their salaries.

And there wouldn’t be 15 junior Ministers, the first u turn away from the 12 promised by Fine Gael.

A democratic revolution would empower local communities and make local government meaningful.

Bheadh an teanga Gaeilge ar ais i mbéal an phobail i sochaí dátheangach ó Ghleannta Aontrama go Ciarraí, ar sráideanna Bhéal Feirste agus Baile Atha Cliath.

Our natural resources would be reclaimed and used for the national benefit.

Women would reclaim their rightful and equal place in positions of responsibility and leadership in all sectors of society.

And of course no-one can credibly speak of a democratic revolution in Ireland unless it ended partition, ushered in national reconciliation and united the people of Ireland and the island of Ireland.

These objectives are deeply held by people throughout Ireland, including many who voted for your party and others across the world.

The Programme for Government put before us by the Fine Gael/Labour Government, which we have to rush through by 7.30pm tonight, pays lip-service to some of these ideas, ignores others completely and it contradicts many of these basic points.

One of the single biggest issues on the doorsteps during the General Election was the grossly unfair universal social charge.

Fine Gael and Labour rightly savaged the Fianna Fail/Green Party Government for bringing in this regressive and oppressive flat tax.

Where then is the commitment in the Programme for Government to abolish the Universal Social Charge?

Níl sé ann.

We are promised a review – one of the dozens of reviews promised in this Programme.

The two coalition parties also denounced the banking policy of the outgoing Government and its deal with the IMF/EU.

But that flawed fiscal and banking strategy forms the basis of this Programme. It is the cornerstone of government policy.

The most significant and clearest line is: “The new Government supports the objectives of the EU/IMF Programme of Support”.

The Taoiseach says he will not compromise on our 12.5% corporation tax.

This is making a virtue out of a necessity.

It is the very least he can do.

The fact is the EU/IMF deal is a bad deal for Ireland.

Sin é an fáth go bhfuil Sinn Féin ag cur in aghaidh an Clar rialtais

There is no certain way of knowing what Davitt might think of it.

My guess, based on his life and his writing, is that he too would be against it.

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