Gerry Adams to speak at 100th anniversary of Irish Volunteers at Rotunda this evening
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has said that it is ‘time for all of those who believe that a government without Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael can deliver a better Ireland – to work together.’
The Sinn Féin leader will be speaking this evening (Saturday November 16th) in the Rotunda in Parnell Square at an event to mark the centenary of the founding of the Irish Volunteers.
Gerry Adams said:
"The next stage must see a genuine process of reconciliation among the people of Ireland and between Ireland and Britain.
"We need to address, comprehensively, issues such as respect for identity, symbols and culture.
"We need to deal properly with the legacy of the past and tackle the scourge of sectarianism.
"This requires nationalists and unionists and republicans working together.
"It requires republicans continuing to show leadership and self-confidence as Belfast Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir did last Monday.
"It requires political, civic and community effort.
"It requires the Irish government acting as a co-equal guarantor with the British and not as a junior partner."
The Sinn Féin President reiterated his call for a border poll and will call for a realignment of Irish politics. He said:
"The Good Friday Agreement provides for a border poll and a simple majority vote, to determine the constitutional status of the North.
"Such a poll could provide a unique opportunity for a historic debate on the future of this island.
"The government here needs to encourage that debate instead of trying to close it down.
"The political geography of the North is also changing. It is no longer an Orange state.
"Politics across on the island is in flux. A new Ireland can be what we make it.
"Ireland today needs a realignment of politics which reflects the radical spirit of 1913 and of the years that followed.
"Last month the Fine Gael/Labour government again targeted the most vulnerable in our society by attacking the elderly, the young and the sick.
"The British government has cut the block grant.
"Austerity works for the wealthy and the elites – the financiers, the bankers and developers. Austerity is not working for working families.
"Our task must be to oppose it at every opportunity - North and south.
"That means building alliances on social and economic matters with others in Ireland and abroad, who share our opposition to austerity.
"It means working to secure real change - including a realignment of Irish politics.
"At a time of great challenge for Irish workers who are facing relentless austerity and attacks on basic social protections, there has been a failure of leadership in the Labour movement.
"Some of this is also because some trade union leaders place too much trust in the Labour Party leadership.
"The trade union movement needs to get back to activism; to organising, to campaigning, to recruiting, to agitating for the rights of workers, including unemployed workers, the poor and demonstrating across all employment sectors.
"The vast majority of Irish people want a society that is based on values of social justice, fairness, equality and decency.
"I firmly believe that this can be achieved if we work together.
"This means trade union activists, community activists, individuals, political parties, like Sinn Féin, and independents of like mind joining together in common cause against austerity.
"It means developing viable alternative policies to meet the economic and political challenges of today and tomorrow.
"It also means raising issues relating to the Good Friday Agreement; equality issues, social and economic matters, as well as pushing anti-sectarian strategies and working with disadvantaged communities across this island, including loyalist communities.
"It is also time for all those who believe that a government without Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael can deliver a better Ireland – to work together."