Sinn Féin return strengthened team north and south
Speaking during a break at the party’s Ard Chomhairle meeting in Dublin Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams TD described the recent gains made by the party in three elections as “significant”.
The Sinn Féin leader said: “Sinn Féin has consolidated its vote across the island. We now have five Ministers on the northern Executive and 29 seats in the Assembly to join our 14 TDs in the Dáil and our three Seanadóirí. Sinn Féin also has representation in Europe, on Údarás na Gaeltachta and on 264 council seats throughout the island.
“In the north we will continue with our work to date in the areas of education and agriculture and anticipate making a significant contribution in the area of culture, arts and leisure. In the south, following the election of our three new Senators we will use this reaffirmed mandate to follow through with electoral commitments to stand up for the people and hold the Government to account.
“The only purpose for Sinn Féin in standing in any election is to win support for our republican objectives which include improving the quality of life of citizens, building peace and prosperity, creating jobs and defending public services and achieving Irish reunification.
“This is our primary political goal and next month the party will be holding two major conferences – on the theme of Towards a New Republic - in Dublin and Cork.
“The Dublin conference will be on Saturday June 18th in the Rotunda Pillar Room at Parnell Square and the second will be in Cork City Council Concert Hall on Saturday June 25th.”
Asked about the imminent visit of Queen Elizabeth of England Mr. Adams said:
“I want to see a real and profoundly new and better relationship between the peoples of Ireland and Britain — one built on equality and mutual respect. Sinn Féin has been to the forefront in working to bring this about and we will continue to do so.
“Sinn Féin is for a new relationship.
“I hope that this visit will hasten the foundation of that relationship, but much will depend on what the British monarch says.
“Understandably the visit is troubling for many Irish citizens, particularly victims of British rule and those with legacy issues in this state and in the North. It is for precisely this reason that we in Sinn Féin oppose this visit and believe that it is premature and insensitive. This is why the party is holding alternative events in Dublin and across the state during the visit.
“British interference in Irish affairs has come at a huge cost to the Irish people, including partition and its consequences which are still being felt to this day.
“Irish republicans too have caused much hurt to people in Britain. I regret this.
“The full normalisation of relationship between Ireland and Britain is therefore important. This will require the ending of partition.
“The Good Friday Agreement is the foundation upon which this new relationship, between unionists and nationalists, and between Ireland and Britain can be forged.
“Increasingly decisions affecting the lives of people in the north are being made in Ireland and not in Britain. Republicans want to continue and to accelerate this process.
“The first meeting of the new Assembly on Thursday and last night’s agreement on government departments is evidence of this.
“The united Ireland that republicans seek to build must embrace our islands diversity in its fullest sense, including the sense of Britishness felt by many unionists, as well as our indigenous and traditional Irish culture and the cultures of people who have come to Ireland in recent times.”