A change of direction is needed - Adams
The below is the full text of the address delivered by the President of Sinn Féin, Deputy Gerry Adams, live on RTÉ One this evening (17 December)
A chairde, this state was bankrupted through the recklessness, greed and incompetence of a golden circle of bankers, speculators and corrupt politicians.
Is cuma le fear na mbróg cá leagann sé a chos.
On Sunday the Taoiseach heralded the Troika's departure. But under Fine Gael and Labour, the Troika policy of Austerity continues.
Irish citizens will continue to pay back a debt that is not ours. The old, the young, the sick, citizens with disabilities, carers and mortgage holders will still carry this unjust and unfair burden.
Public services, including health, will be cut. Wages will be lowered. Medical cards will be cut. The Tax on family homes will increase. Water charges will be introduced. Food and fuel poverty will continue.
Meanwhile those at the top, including the Government, pay themselves and their cronies obscene salaries and huge bonuses, in breach of their own guidelines. This is wrong.
Tá an Rialtas ag dul an bealach mícheart. Tá bealach níos fearr ann.
A change of direction is needed. The cycle of austerity and inequality must be broken. The Irish people deserve better.
Sinn Fein has promoted a fairer way to close the deficit, retain and create jobs and regenerate the economy. A republican way.
We need fair taxes, real and meaningful investment in jobs, and a proper deal on bank debt.
Our people have rights. The right to public services. The right to a home. The right to a job – in Ireland. Not Australia, Canada or Britain.
This Christmas will be a hard one for many families. Skype is no substitute for spending the festive season together.
Our history is replete with great injustice. But Irish are no mean people.
We have come through it all. We will come through this crisis despite this Government. But we have to break the cycle of boom and bust, where only the elites prosper.
We need to stand united against Austerity. Parents, carers, teachers, health workers are showing the way.
Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail must be challenged.
The Irish people deserve better. Sinn Féin believes in the Irish people.
We want this to be the best small country for people to live in - a united, peaceful and prosperous Ireland.
B’shin an fís atá ag Sinn Féin. An economy that serves you – not the elites. A real republic of equals.
That requires a new Government and a realignment of Irish politics.
Join us in bringing this about. Bígi le Sinn Féin.
Let’s have the best Christmas possible and let’s make 2014 the Year of Change.