Government has lost its mandate - Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said the Fine Gael/Labour Coalition Government has lost its mandate. Addressing a major internal party conference in the Red Cow Hotel today Teachta Adams said the government is in crisis and has broken most of the promises it made during the general election in 2011.
He went on to call for the biggest possible mobilisation for the Right2Water rally on December 10th.
Teach Adams said;
“The Government is in deep crisis. As each day passes it is clearer that it will struggle to stay in office until the end of its term. This Government has broken most of the promises it made during the last General Election. Since taking office Mr Kenny has stumbled from one debacle to another. His policies have been rejected and his Government faces widespread public anger.
“The support enjoyed by Fine Gael and Labour in 2011 has been eroded beyond the point where they no longer have a mandate for what they are doing.
“This Government's Frankenstein creation - Irish Water, has been characterised by excessive spending on consultants, bonuses and cronyism.
“Sinn Féin is part of the Right2Water campaign. I am calling for the biggest possible mobilisation on December 10th to demonstrate the continued widespread opposition to water Charges.”
Full text of Teachta Adams’ speech follows”
Government in crisis
The Government is in deep crisis. As each day passes it is clearer that it will struggle to stay in office until the end of its term.
Tá an chomhdháil seo inniu mar pháirt d’ullmhúcháin Shinn Féin le go mbeidh muid réidh don lá nuair a chaithfidh an droch-rialtas seo, guth a thabhairt do na doine a rá cén cineál rialtais atá siad ag iarraidh.
This Government has broken most of the promises it made during the last General Election.
Since taking office Mr Kenny has stumbled from one debacle to another.
His policies have been rejected and his Government faces widespread public anger.
The support enjoyed by Fine Gael and Labour in 2011 has been eroded beyond the point where they no longer have a mandate for what they are doing.
The reasons are clear. Fine Gael with the support of Labour have imposed relentless austerity on struggling families and vulnerable citizens.
They have failed to deliver on any commitment to political reform, accountability or parliamentary effectiveness.
Chonaic muid arís is arís eile le bliain anuas nach bhfuil an rialtas ag éisteacht leis na daoine
They have arrogantly trampled on the rights and welfare of citizens.
They have used their huge majority in the Dàil to force through their austerity policies in complete contradiction of their election promises.
Last year the electorate voted against abolishing the Seanad.
It was clear, during the course of that campaign, that citizens demanded not just a reformed Seanad, but widespread reform of our political system.
There been no Seanad reform.
Instead this Government has used and abused the Dáil, the Seanad, State Boards and Ministerial positions to a degree that would make even Fianna Fáil blush!
Yet again, this week, the Tánaiste would not answer a straightforward question put to her by Mary Lou McDonald.
The Taoiseach does that regularly with me.
Sinn Féin in the Dáil voices the concerns of countless thousands of citizens. That is our mandate.
Yet time and time again, the Tánaiste and the Taoiseach refuse to answer straightforward questions.
The Ceann Comhairle continually allows Ministers to get away with this.
Is é is bunús le parlaimint ar bith ná go gcoinníonn an freasúra súil ghéar ar an rialtas.
Ní tharlaíonn sé seo sa Dáil.
Bíonn an Ceann Comhairle i gcónaí fábhrach d’Airí Rialtais agus don Taoiseach.
The Ceann Comhairle’s treatment of Mary Lou on Thursday was unfair and petulant.
She asked legitimate and appropriate questions about whether water charges would be deducted from the pensions, social welfare and wages of those who cannot afford to pay.
His refusal to return to the Dàil chamber until Mary Lou left was silly and bizarre, especially when she sat tight - quite rightly - and refused to meekly serve her time.
Given his treatment of opposition parties and Independents and particularly Sinn Féin, I have no confidence in the Ceann Comhairle.
The way the Ceann Chomairle wasted Dáil time on the back of the Tanaiste's opaque, diversionary answers is another example of the urgent need for political reform.
Rather than use the exit from the EU/IMF bail-out agreement on 15th December to provide relief to those hit hardest by austerity, the Government inflicted further painful measures.
Fine Gael and Labour can no longer hide behind the Troika for their decisions.
They can't say that 'the big boys made them do it'.
This Government mishandled the GSOC affair, and the Whistleblowers controversy around Garda corruption culminating in the firing of Commissioner Martin Callinan and the resignation of Justice Minister Alan Shatter.
In June, Eamon Gilmore resigned as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tánaiste and as leader of the Labour Party in the wake of his party's disastrous performance in May's EU and local elections.
He got out just in time.
Since the Summer, Labour and Fine Gael have been plunged into yet another series of controversies.
There was McNultygate and by-election defeats for the Government in Dublin South West and Roscommon/South Leitrim.
The Government also lost its Seanad majority.
The Budget was an opportunity to give people a break.
Instead citizens got Water Charges, Property Tax, no help for carers, no investment in mental health, and a cut to the top rate of tax, rewarding a wealthy minority.
The Government failed to listen to citizens and now faces its deepest crisis yet.
This Government's Frankenstein creation - Irish Water, has been characterised by excessive spending on consultants, bonuses and cronyism.
Léirigh Sinn Féin gur féidir leis an Stát íoc as seirbhís uisce den chéad scoth gan bac a chur ar an lucht oibre. Mar pháirt d’aon rialtas gheobhadh muid réidh le táillí uisce. Tá sin déanta again sa Tuaisceart.
Sinn Féin is part of the Right2Water campaign. I am calling for the biggest possible mobilisation on December 10th to demonstrate the continued widespread opposition to water Charges.
Is mithid don Rialtas na táillí uisce a scriosadh.
This incompetent Government, which has no intention of fulfilling the vision of the 1916 Proclamation, is now determined to dishonour its legacy.
This week - under mounting pressure due to the fact that, after three years, it clearly had no plan for marking the Rising's 100th anniversary - it produced a glossy brochure devoid of historical substance or detail.
Jennifer McCann and myself were in the GPO when they launched it.
Outside the rebellious noise of anti-water charge protesters drowned out the self-serving Ministerial speeches.
The video to launch Ireland 2016 makes no mention of the Easter Rising or of the signatories of the Proclamation.
Going by this corporate-style video, the Government believes that the Rising was about Facebook, Google, Bob Geldof, Bono, David Cameron and the English Queen!
This effort and the fig leaf production of a flimsy commemorative brochure are deeply disrespectful to the men and women of 1916 and betray a cynical indifference to their ideals, hopes and vision.
It seems that John Bruton won the argument about how the Government should proceed on this important issue.
Idir an dá linn, tháinig sé chun solais gur úsáid an rialtas ‘Google translate’ le Gaeilge a chur ar a shuíomh idirlín 1916, rud a d’fhág gur seafóid gan chiall a bhí i bhfocail an Fhorógra.
Ach ná bíodh iontas orainn faoi seo.
Comhartha sóirt is ea an faillí seo de dhearcadh an Rialtais seo i leith na Gaeilge agus chomóradh 1916.
Ní dóigh liom go dtarlóidh a leithéid in aon stat eile, áit ar bith ar domhan.
But it is no accident. The reason this Government won’t mark the Rising appropriately is because it is opposed to the political, social and economic intent of the 1916 Proclamation.
Despite this shameful official neglect, ordinary Irish citizens, North and South, and the Irish Diaspora will celebrate and educate and pay tribute to the brave men and women of 1916.
They will be joined by Sinn Féin.
And Sinn Féin will continue to work to make the Proclamation a reality in an independent, united Ireland with peace and genuine reconciliation between all who live here.
While political talks in the North are finally underway, there is no evidence of a start to the type of credible negotiations that are required to unlock the impasse in the political process.
Sinn Féin's priority is to defend and to progress the hugely significant political advances that have been made over the past 20 years.
It is of crucial importance however that the Irish Government adopts the same unambiguous pro-Agreement position and very clearly hold the British Government to account in relation to its obligations.
It is clear that they will not do this and neither the British or Irish Governments have any intention of honouring their obligations unless we and other supporters of the Good Friday Agreement create the public mood which demands that they do so.
Tuigeann an Rialtas seo an méid seo anois agus tá eagla mhór orthu roimh na daoine.
In this atmosphere and in an effort to stem rising public support for Sinn Féin, it is clear that Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil will employ any dirty trick, lie, or disgusting allegation.
That now includes the vile slur that Sinn Féin is involved in a cover-up of sexual abuse cases.
But despite the tsunami of anti-Sinn Féin propaganda, our activists and members should hold your heads high. Our commitment is to support and to help victims and survivors and to honestly face up to any failures in the past.
Be sure of this. Sinn Féin has not been involved in any cover-up.
Any abuser within republicanism, has done grievous wrongs to their victims. they did not do this in our name. They have sullied our cause.
But they are not in any way representative of the tens of thousands of republican activists who served the republican cause in the ranks of the IRA, and Sinn Féin.
They are not representative of the tens of thousands of republican prisoners who served hard time for the republican cause.
Or of our Patriot dead.
They are not representative of the hundreds of thousands of citizens, North and South, who vote for Sinn Féin.
This mud slinging by our political opponents is a sign of political desperation. It is about trying to blunt the growth of Sinn Féin and our potential for gains at the next general election. It will not succeed. The people are not stupid.
Sinn Fein believes in a real republic, a citizen-centred, rights-based society. That is the fundamental ideological difference between Sinn Féin and this deeply unpopular government.
That message is finding a deep resonance among citizens the length and breadth of this country. More citizens voted for Sinn Féin in 2014 than in the famous election of 1918.
Today's conference marks the next step in building a strong Irish republican party focussed on uniting Ireland , and committed to achieving real political, social and economic change.
Ar aghaidh linn.