Gerry Adams in Cork this weekend
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD arrives in County Cork this evening in advance of addressing Easter Commemorations in Bandon and Cork City tomorrow.
Speaking today he urged a No Vote in the May Austerity Treaty referendum.
The Sinn Féin leader warned that the Treaty is not the vision of those who struck for freedom at Easter 1916.
Teachta Adams said:
“After one year of Fine Gael and Labour in government it is obvious that the austerity policies of this and the last Fianna Fáil-led government are not working.
“That is one good reason for opposing the Austerity Treaty in the May referendum.
“This Treaty would entrench austerity policies in the constitution.
“That’s not the vision of 1916. It is the complete opposite of the Proclamation.
“It would mean another significant reduction of our sovereignty and a handover of the democratic rights of Irish people to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels, Strasbourg and Frankfurt.
“The Fine Gael/Labour Government, backed by Fianna Fáil, want to hand our future over to them!
“That’s not in the interests of the Irish people.
“The Austerity Treaty must be opposed.
“I would appeal to the 50% of citizens who refused to pay the Household Charge and the many others who were coerced and bullied into paying it to make a stand against the government’s austerity policies by voting No in the referendum.”
The Sinn Féin leader went on to identify a number of key strategic goals for republicans, which would help achieve Irish unity.
The Louth TD said:
“Irish republicans come from that long and honourable republican and internationalist tradition which seeks to unite Irish citizens and break the connection with England.
“Tone captured its spirit when he wrote that “the weight of English influence in the Government of this country is so great as to require a cordial union among all the people of Ireland, to maintain that balance which is essential to the preservation of our liberties and the extension of our commerce.”
“This is Sinn Féin’s starting point – a belief in a new union – a cordial union of all the people of this island. Built through reconciliation.
“To achieve re-unification will require the consent of a majority of people voting in referenda North and South.
“To secure this Republicans need:
· To popularise re-unification as viable, achievable and in the best interests of all and to build consensus for this.
· To encourage all non-unionist political parties and sections of civic society to become persuaders and actors for re-unification.
· To convince a section of unionist opinion that their identity, self-interest and quality of life will be best served, secured and guaranteed in a united Ireland.
· To challenge those who would seek to maintain the status quo.
· To ensure the Irish Government act on the constitutional imperative of re-unification.
· To encourage the British Government to become persuaders for re-unification.
· To build on international political and practical support for re-unification drawing in particular on the support and influence of the diaspora.
“Ireland north and south is changing. We are an island people in transition. The north is particular has been transformed in recent years.
“In this state more and more people realise that we do not have a real republic.
“Uniting Ireland makes economic sense. Uniting Ireland will bring jobs, create prosperity and deliver a better standard of living for this and future generations.
“So, the people of Ireland need to plan responsibly for the future direction of politics on the island and to do that we need a fully inclusive, rationale debate.
“It is up to republicans and nationalists and democrats to make the argument for a united Ireland – likewise it is up to unionism to make the case for the union.
“That is good healthy debate. That is good for democracy.”