Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Youth vote can deliver real change

2 June, 2004

Sinn Féin Councillor Matt Carthy speaking at the launch of the party's Youth Manifesto for the Local Government and EU election campaigns said "this is a manifesto written by and for young people. It sets out our demands for Irish Unity, for youth rights and against racism and sectarianism." Cllr Carthy attacked the government's arrogance and described the holding of the elections and referendum on a Friday as a deliberate attempt to prevent young people from voting. He called on young people to come out and vote on June 11th.

Cllr. Carthy said:

"Thousands of young people have come on the voters register since the last Local Government and European elections and their votes will be critical in deciding who will represent them at local and European level. Our task in the final two weeks of the campaign is to convince young people that their vote does matter and that if they stay at home those who want status quo will decide for them.

"This Youth Manifesto is a manifesto written by and for young people. It sets out our demands for Irish unity, for youth rights and against racism and sectarianism. We are demanding that young people be treated as equals in society and have a proper say in decisions that effect our daily lives.

"The Fianna Fáil/PD government have a very different attitude. They have ignored youth issues for the last seven years and they couldn‚t even facilitate young people on election day. Instead they are holding the elections in the middle of the Leaving Cert and on a Friday and closing the polls at 9pm ˆ making it difficult for young people to vote.

" Ógra Shinn Féin is the fastest growing youth political grouping on the island. We are an active youth organisation. We believe that young people can deliver change. They can make a difference. But to do so young people must vote for a party that can deliver change, for a party that is genuinely different. In Sinn Fein they see a radical political party. They sense change coming, great change, and they want to be a part of it."

Among the priorities of Ógra Shinn Féin are:

  • Irish Unity and Independence
  • A no vote in the government‚s racist and reactionary referendum
  • Opposition to Shannon airport being used for the US war effort
  • Support for positive neutrality
  • All future elections and referendums should be held at weekends
  • The reduction of the voting age to 16
  • Funding should directed at tackling inequality at all levels of the education system
  • Student grants should be increased to social welfare levels
  • Children‚s rights to be properly protected in law
  • Minimum wage to increased substantially
  • Establishment of a state insurance company that will have a particular emphasis on providing third party motor insurance and put an end to the rip off of drivers based on their age
  • Citizens in the Six Counties to be afforded the right to vote in the Presidential elections

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