Government has lost its mandate - Adams
Responding this evening to the results of by-elections in Dublin South West and Roscommon/South Leitrim, Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams said:
"I want to thank Cathal King and Martin Kenny for putting their names forward for Sinn Féin in these by-elections. I also want to thank their wives, families and all those who worked for Sinn Féin in the campaigns and the voters in both constituencies.
“Both candidates stood on a platform for political change, for fairness and for Irish unity. They, and their teams, ran a positive campaign and put forward clear alternatives to the Government's record of cuts and charges for those on low and middle incomes.
"The people responded by giving Sinn Féin a hugely increased vote share in each constituency. Citizens in Roscommon/South Leitrim and Dublin South West also delivered a damning judgment on the performance of Fine Gael and Labour in government.
"While counts were ongoing, thousands of citizens took to the streets of Dublin and Belfast to protest at the imposition of unjust austerity policies by the Fine Gael/Labour government in Dublin and the Tory-led government in London.
"It is clear that the government is detached the reality of life facing ordinary citizens and struggling families and in denial as to the impact of their policies.
“Today demonstrates that this government has lost its mandate; it has lost the support of the people. The government must listen to what the people have said in the polling booths and on the streets of Dublin.
"Sinn Féin has demonstrated that there are alternatives and choices to be made in the upcoming budget. The government must end the imposition of Water Charges and introduce a budget that gives a break to families and hard-pressed citizens. If it fails to do so, it should go to the people to seek a mandate for its policies."