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Mac Lochlainn outlines Sinn Féin vision for Government and Irish unity at MacGill Summer School

20 July, 2015 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Justice and Equality, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD, has outlined Sinn Féin’s vision for Government in a debate with Tánaiste Joan Burton and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co. Donegal.

Speaking during his presentation on the theme “A Visionary National Development Plan – The Most Fitting Monument To 1916?”; Mac Lochlainn said that a Sinn Féin led Government is needed to deliver new economic thinking, new ideas and an honest and coherent political approach.

Teachta Mac Lochlainn said:

“Citizens deserve a Government with courage to act in the interests of citizens first and not EU elites, who will refuse to limit their policies to a shortlist of window dressing false promises which negatively impact and assault working people and communities through relentless austerity policies of stealth taxes and cuts to public services which are destroying the social fabric of Irish society – both rural and urban.

“Ultimately, the Fianna Fáil/Green Party Governments recklessness led to a fundamental breakdown of trust in Irish politics and the political system.  The National Development Plan thought-up, in the Government of which Micheál Martin was a part, was ultimately short-sighted in its vision. It lacked real vision in terms of rural development, cross-border cooperation and development, and in helping to deliver for the needs of citizens across the island. This short-sightedness has only been compounded by Fine Gael/Labour. In 2011, the Irish people believed they were voting for something different, but got ‘more of the same’.

“We need a Government who actually stand for something - and who will stand up for Ireland putting the interests of the citizens first rather than bankers and golden-elites. What the Irish people deserve is a Government who are anchored by core values which chime with the reality of people in the real world. We need a Government that stands for peace, social equality, economic prosperity and Irish unity. These are Sinn Féin’s core values to which we are deeply committed.”

Mac Lochlainn also addressed the need for the Irish Government to work towards a united Ireland.

“As an Irish republican and a Sinn Féin TD, I consider it to be my task and responsibility to actively work with others to unite communities and build a modern nation and persuade our unionist neighbours and every other citizen of the merits of a United Ireland and achieve the right of self-determination on the basis of consent. This is not merely for the sake of it, but because it is how we will strengthen our democratic future as a society.

“We want a country which embraces those of a unionist persuasion and to be defined by new friendships, human dignity and a common purpose and for this to be both the starting point, and the cornerstone of any New Ireland and – of a real Republic where citizens’ democratic and constitutional rights and safeguards are in fact realised – as envisaged in the Proclamation of 1916. I believe it is the duty of the Irish Government to promote all-Ireland policies and strategies, benefiting all parts of the island – not only this State.

“An Irish Government who will prepare politically, economically, socially and culturally for Irish unification, identifying the necessary steps and measures, including a Green Paper, which can assist a successful transition to re-unification. These are the exact things that Sinn Féin would do in Government to achieve real change and a new political and economic dispensation.” 

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