Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Mary Lou Mc Donald TD – Uniting Ireland – Ard Fheis 2011

9 September, 2011 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Enda Kenny, Éamon Gilmore and their respective political parties thought that sovereignty was old hat. They told us so in debate after debate on various EU treaties. They told us that Brussels would look after us. That the Lisbon treaty would bring jobs. Then the IMF arrived.

Enda Kenny and Éamon Gilmore have vowed to win back Irish sovereignty. They told us so. There’s no Lisbon jobs so they tried their own jobs initiative. It hasn’t created any jobs. The troika has told them that cutbacks are the order of the day and they are following instructions.

The moral of the story: Enda Kenny and Éamon Gilmore are wrong. They called it wrong on the Lisbon Treaty. They called it wrong when they joined FF’s consensus for cuts. And they are calling it wrong on the EU and IMF. There has been no renegotiation. Just like FF they want to put 30 billion into toxic banks and just like FF they want to sell off state companies that are critical to our future. The Labour Party have spent the last six months working very hard to deliver Fine Gael’s agenda in government. Fair play to you Eamon. You can stand with the big boys in the EU and IMF and do their bidding. I’m proud to stand with the men and women in the ESB, Bord Gais, An Post, Aer Lingus, Coillte and the citizens who own these assets and will need them in the future.

Protecting and defending sovereignty is right.

The endemic corruption and gombeen politics of the back slapping classes have laid the southern economy low. With economic sovereignty ceded to the IMF and EU, domestic politics is relegated to messenger boy status.

Meanwhile the northern assembly and executive are hamstrung in their capacity to plan and manage the economy with London holding the purse strings and imposing vicious Tory cutbacks.

To stimulate and rebuild the economy north and south, powers to raise and spend taxes must be vested in our democratic institutions the Dáil and the Assembly.
A single island wide economy makes sense.

It makes sense to integrate and harmonise service provision, to remove barriers to trade and business, to work together to promote exports and to attract investment into Ireland.

It makes sense to have a joined up strategy for agriculture, energy supply and environmental protection.

Planning and working on an all Ireland basis can bring an economic and social dividend for people across the island – a real win win situation.

Is gá go mbeadh an chumhacht ag na hinstituiúd daonlathach, an dáil agus an chomhdháil, cáin a ghearradh agus a chaithemah ionas go mbeimis in ann an eacnamaíocht a ath-thógáil, agus a spreagadh.

Tá ciall le coras eacnamiúil amháin a bheith againn don oileán ar fad.

Tá ciall ann le bacanna ar trádáil agus gnó a bhaint, le chomhoibriú chun easportáil a chur chun cinn, agus infheistíocht a mhealladh go héireann, agus tá ciall ann chomhréitiú agus chomhcheangail a dheánamh ar soláthar seirbhisí

Ní mór dúinn straistéis chomhghreamaitheach a bheith againn don talamhaíocht, soláthar fuinneamh, agus caomhnú timpeallachta, agus is cinnte go bhfuil ciall leis an méid sin.

Tá díbhinn eacnamiúil agus sóisialta le teacht do gach duine ar an uile ó pleanáil uile éireann, agus obair uile éireann. Beidh an bua ag cách.

There is a responsibility on political representatives and leaders north and south to seize the all Ireland opportunities.

Sinn Féin is the united Ireland party. Our primary objective is to secure a united, independent republic.

The 1916 proclamation provides the blue print. Equality is a watchword of the republic. So too is diversity. The common good guides the republic in its governance and in the use of national resources and assets.

The equal position of women is firmly asserted but perhaps the most often quoted aspiration of the 1916 proclamation is to cherish the children of the nation equally.

The revelations of wide spread systematic abuse of children in state and religious institutions, north and south, are damning indictments of the two states.

The Vatican has come in for harsh criticism following the publication of the Cloyne report; rightly so. The Vatican’s defensive, legalistic response offers no reassurance, solace or confidence to abuse victims, parents or Irish society at large.

The Cloyne report highlighted again the state’s deplorable record in child protection.

The Church has failed children, so too has the state.

We need robust, statutory, all Ireland child protection measures as a matter of urgency.

We need also full state acknowledgement of their negligence and failures in respect of victims north and south.

Sinn Féin’s peace strategy and the ongoing peace process have transformed politics and relationships in Ireland. The northern orange state is no more. The power sharing and all Ireland institutions challenge partitionism. Republicans and Unionists work together as equals.

We have made great progress but challenges remain.

The practical planning for unity must begin. It must be driven by the Irish government.

The legacy and hurts of conflict, inflicted and endured, must be faced.

The united Irish Republic must be home to citizens of all creeds and none.

Gathering here in Belfast, Ireland’s second city, we can take some satisfaction from our electoral achievements over the past year and our political achievements over the past number of years.

As the centenary of the Easter Rising beckons let us be confident that the republic is within our grasp.

Let’s go out and work for it.

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