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We must build an Ireland for our young people to return to – Cllr. Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

13 February, 2016 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Cork Sinn Féin Councillor Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has asked the people of Ireland to help Sinn Féin build an Ireland fit for our young people to return home from emigration.

The general election candidate for Cork South Central said that while thousands participated in the ‘Home to Vote’ movement last May, it is up to those left behind to elect a Sinn Féin-led government that will invest in the necessary housing, health, job creation, and social welfare that will allow our young people to come home.

Speaking in Temple Bar this morning, Cllr. Ó Laoghaire said:

“Twelve months ago, thanks in no small part to the mass engagement and mobilisation of the young voters of Ireland, a momentous step forward for Irish society was achieved. I was proud to see thousands of my peers participate in the ‘Home to Vote’ movement. They were our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, they wanted to come home and help us make that radical and fundamental change in how we live and love in Ireland.

“They could not all come home however, nor will they be able to come home in two weeks to vote in what is the most important election that has ever faced our country. This is our first opportunity to elect a government that is not dominated by Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, those who crashed the economy and those who decided that young people were a burden that Ireland did not need.

“We must all use our vote to build a new society, a better society that our emigrants will be able to come home. We must build an Ireland where the spectre of forced emigration is consigned to history, where no one will be forced to emigrate because of the broken politics of the past. There will be too many polling cards lying idle in houses across Ireland. We must use our vote for those sons and daughters, those brothers and sisters.

“Through investment in housing, health, job creation, and social welfare, Sinn Féin will build an Ireland fit for our emigrants to return to. We cannot do this alone however. I am calling on those who stayed behind; help us bring our young people home.” ENDS

Sinn Féin’s Charter for Young People

  1. Give young people an enhanced voice by lowering the voting age and extending voting rights to the Diaspora.
  2. Create 250,000 new jobs - providing new opportunities to our young people and graduates, and affording those who have had to emigrate the chance to come home.
  3. Increase the minimum wage, enhance workers’ rights and tackle the prevalence of low-paid and precarious employment.
  4. Prioritise and resource mental health services - providing a €35 million budget increase, with a particular emphasis on suicide prevention.
  5. Provide 100,000 new social and affordable houses - reducing house prices and providing young people with the opportunity of a home. We will also introduce rent certainty and enhance tenants’ rights.
  6. Abolish third-level student fees.
  7. Provide proper internship schemes by shutting down JobBridge and Gateway, and enhancing JobsPlus and Community Employment Schemes.
  8. Overhaul equality legislation to enhance the rights of LGBT+ citizens, end the blood ban for gay and bisexual men, regionalise transgender services and initiate a National Action Plan Against Racism.
  9. Initiate a major overhaul of disability services - enhancing equality and fair treatment for young people with disabilities.
  10. Provide a range of supports to young entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses, including an extension of Startup relief and a national e-Commerce strategy.

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