Unity is Strength – Finding Common Cause- Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD was the guest speaker at the Irish Echo’s annual Labour 10 awards ceremony in New York last night, which honours Labour leaders from across the USA.
After congratulating all of the nominees the Sinn Féin leader spoke about the current crisis in the North and appealed for Irish America to redouble its efforts in support of the peace process at this difficult time.
Teachta Adams said:
“Significant progress has been made since the Good Friday Agreement was achieved but those of you watching events back home will know that we face another difficult crisis.
“The political institutions created by the Good Friday Agreement hang by a thread. However all-party talks commenced last week and Sinn Féin is determined to find a successful conclusion to the negotiations.
“But if we do, that must mean the British agreeing to a workable budget for the Assembly. Sinn Féin is absolutely opposed to the austerity policies of the British Conservative government. We are equally opposed to the austerity policies of the Irish government.
“Sinn Féin has stood in opposition to efforts to cut front line services, especially those which would affect the most disadvantaged in our society, including the young and the disabled.
“Like all of you in this room we believe in investment in our public services and protection of workers. Unity is strength.
“Working and standing together in solidarity – finding common cause - is the only way forward to advance worker’s rights and protect working families.
“There are other aspects of the Good Friday and other agreements that the British and Irish governments have not implemented. These include an Irish Language Act, a Bill of Rights, and the Stormont House Agreement from last year.
“That agreement set out a process and mechanisms to deal with legacy issues, the contentious issues of flags and parades and much more.
“So there is a lot of work to do in the next few weeks. The United States has played an important role since the time of President Clinton in encouraging dialogue and agreement, thanks largely to the lobbying work of Irish America.
“Last year’s Stormont House Agreement was facilitated in part by the presence of Senator Gary Hart representing the White House. At this difficult time we again need our friends in Irish America, in the wider Irish diaspora and in the trade union movement here in the USA to stay focused and to increase your lobbying of the US government in support of peace in Ireland.
We are asking Irish America to redouble its efforts. The vast majority of people in Ireland and in the Irish diaspora scattered across the globe want a society in Ireland that is based on values of social justice, fairness, equality and decency.
I firmly believe that this can be achieved if we work together.”