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Sinn Féin confident of two seats in Dublin South West- Cllr Sarah Holland

27 January, 2016 - by Sarah Holland

Pearse Doherty TD has launched the General Election campaign for Seán Crowe TD and Cllr Sarah Holland tonight in Tallaght. 

Speaking at the launch Cllr Holland said:

"Thanks to my comrades; I am very proud and humbled to have received your nomination to stand in the general election, and proud indeed to be part of a council team, led by Cllr Cathal King that makes real changes for the citizens of Dublin South West.

 Growing up in Belfast during the war, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t political.  As kids, we were so aware of what was happening around us – armed soldiers patrolling the streets, roads closed at night so we couldn’t get in or out of our West Belfast ghetto and the constant fear that your da would be the one who didn’t come home from work, soldiers and police storming in and destroying your home – those who should have been the guardians of peace making it clear to us that we were second class citizens.

The only ones who could provide a voice for us was Sinn Féin.  All of the women in my family were active – some were jailed whilst only in their teens.  What we had in common was the urge to challenge the status quo, to fight against injustice and inequality.   This was a struggle which was not confined to the Six counties – Seán Crowe was politically active at this time and hasn’t stopped since

Thank god those days are gone.  I live in the leafy suburb of Rathfarnham now, my daughter has a happy carefree existence and the better chances in life that come from having an educated mother –

But injustice still exists and is clearly visible here in Dublin.  It can be seen in the working poor, in the squeezed middle, in the 137,000 children living in consistent poverty, a figure that has doubled since 2008 under the FG/Lab austerity agenda

We are not all born equal – the promise contained in the proclamation to cherish all the children of our nation equally still has to be fought for.

In this constituency, we only voted a resounding yes to marriage equality last year and educational inequality is rife, with kids from some areas of Dublin 24 less than 29% likely to go on to third level education, compared to 76% in Dublin 14 and those relying on public health care can face days on a trolley or years waiting on surgery.

We rely heavily on volunteers to staff our community organisations, men & women whose contribution to keeping society afloat is too rarely commended, and whose efforts are taken for granted by a laissez faire government.

But there is another way forward, and that way is Sinn Féin.  This campaign is about fighting for a fair recovery, one which benefits all our citizens equally.

For too long, we have been led by cute hoors and sleeveens, mé féiners who don’t know what it’s like to put the needs of the many before the needs of the few.

Even now, Fine Gael and Labour are trying to bribe working families like mine by promising tax cuts we can ill afford.  Cutting USC which will benefit Enda Kenny by €16,000 and the average worker by €1000 whilst our health service implodes is a right wing fail.

It suits those parties to have a low voter turnout in our areas.  The people who suffer most are the ones who make themselves mute by wasting their votes.  Don’t think for a second that lone parents, carers, the disabled, women’s refuges, family resource centres, the most marginalised groups in society, will be top of Fine Gaels list unless they were of some value to them in terms of votes

We need investment in our public services, we need to roll up our sleeves and dig into the health service, we need to start building houses and we need to enable working parents to get back to work by cutting childcare costs.

When my Gracie was born, my full wage went on childcare – I was working for nothing but my own mental health.  A woman like me doesn’t want to stay at home because that’s the role our society has made for her.  We need to change the way we treat our women, and make sure we can all be equal participants in society by removing the barriers we face.

Republicanism is not new.  We are standing on the shoulders of giants – women like Winifred Carney & Mairead Farrell and men like Padraig Pearse & Jack Crowe.  Seán Crowe, my running mate, has been part of this struggle since the 70's and his dedication to achieving a United Ireland inspires us to keep our eyes on the prize – a 32 county socialist republic

If we work together, if we put the hours in, we can start a wave that will drown cronyism and elitism, will drown the rotten politics of the past.  We are the generation that must deliver on the promises of the proclamation – we know those are goals worth fighting for and that is what we intend to do

We look forward to a future where equality is at the heart of everything we do, where the ordinary citizens like you and I can trust that their interests will be looked after – not some faceless bureaucrat in Europe

As a team we are stronger – everything Sinn Féin succeeds at is because of our teamwork and support for each other.  If it weren’t for the mentoring and encouragement from Cathal King, I would never have considered putting myself forward.  He has told each of us that we are leaders in our communities, that we all have it in our power to make positive changes

Let’s start as we mean to go on and make this a campaign to remember.  Let’s get two Sinn Féin TDs elected in Dublin South West. “

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