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Ireland needs a left-republican Government that reflects Irish society – Doherty

21 July, 2015 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School this evening, Sinn Féin TD and Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has outlined the need in Ireland for a left-republican Government with core values which reflect Irish society. He said that the first step Sinn Féin would take would be the dismantling of Irish Water and a constitutional referendum to ensure that water services are kept in full public ownership now and for the future.

Deputy Doherty said:

“The introduction of household water charges was conceived by the previous Fianna Fáil/Green government in their Four Year Recovery Plan. They then formalised this disastrous policy with the EU/IMF/ECB Troika as part of the financial bailout in December 2010.   They said at the time that they got ‘the best deal’. I strongly disagree.

“The Labour party - at that time anyway - also disagreed that it was the best deal possible and they went onto fight the 2011 General election seeking a mandate to renegotiate the bailout programme. 

“We know now that the Labour party acquiesced and as a result, are relentlessly forcing ordinary working citizens and families across this State, who cannot afford to pay another stealth tax - to do just that.

“It is shameful and it is totally unnecessary.

“The Irish citizens who placed their faith and trust in both Eamon Gilmore and Joan Burton in 2011 to defend them, their families and communities the length and breadth of this state, have been trampled over and discarded. 

“We need a left-republican Government with core values which reflect Irish society.

“A government with the political will to provide reliable high quality water and sewerage services - which are economically sustainable. 

“Sinn Féin is deeply committed to the core values of peace, social equality, economic prosperity and Irish unity.  These are the key planks where we are concentrating our effort and attention.

“We need to rebuild the economy on the basis of a progressive, fair and a sustainable social and economic model.  It does not exist under this Labour/Fine Gael government. 

“Their approach has been to inflict a policy of failed austerity economics at a huge cost to society and the social fabric of Ireland.

“The starting point for Sinn Féin will be the dismantling of Irish Water and it’s replacement by a new model of governance, funding and delivery within full public ownership and democratic control and accountability.

“We will establish an independent Commission on Water Services to examine the best public ownership model.

“We will seek to legislate for any proposal and through a constitutional referendum seek the people’s endorsement of any proposals and keep water services in full public ownership now and for the future.” 

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