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People can reject Golden Circle politics of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil - McDonald

22 February, 2016 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald, in a strongly worded attack on Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, has said;

“Fine Gael promised a democratic revolution, but in government the cronyism of Fianna Fáil’s Galway Tent continued as Irish assets were sold at discount prices to vulture capitalists and appointments to State boards continued behind closed doors.

“There are two Irelands out there - one for the privileged and one for the rest of us.

“This is obvious in a culture where individuals at the top of society act with a sense of entitlement and believe that they should amass great wealth regardless of the consequences for everyone else. We still have a culture where who you went to school with, who you did business with, who funded your party in the 1980s and 1990s matters more than doing what is right.

“Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil talk the talk of political reform but the reality is they continue to represent the old, stale, boom and bust politics that has caused so such devastation to Irish families and communities.

“The nightmare scenario of a Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil coalition would continue with Golden Circle politics.  But people have a chance to reject that by voting for Sinn Féin and the Right2Change candidates this Friday.”

Deputy McDonald continued:

“Fine Gael says the emergency is over, but the chaos continues in the every day lives of too many families and communities. While ordinary people have paid the price of government policies, who did Fine Gael and the Labour Party protect? 

“They certainly protected the property developers. NAMA has been allowed to pay developers salaries of €200,000 a year, while medical cards were stripped from children with severe disabilities. 

"They protected the bondholders. They protected the global vulture capitalists. Billions of euro worth of Irish assets were subjected to a fire sale at a huge discount, while the Irish taxpayer picks up the losses.

“They protected the wealthy elite in this State. They protected the banks. A total of €64 billion of public money was pumped into the banks and bank CEOs were allowed to pay themselves excessive salaries while threatening families with eviction.

“That is the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil legacy – it is a legacy of chaos.

“Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are about protecting the golden circle. We are about dismantling the golden circle and bringing about real political reform with openness and accountability at the heart of politics.

“Sinn Féin are about supporting families and communities and standing up for Ireland. We are about delivering a fundamental change in how our society delivers for everyone.” 


Sinn Féin political reform proposals:

- We will bring about a new culture of transparency and accountability in politics.

- We will tackle board cronyism by making all appointments transparent and salaries are fair.

- We will establish a Commission of Inquiry into the management and operation of NAMA.

- Where tribunals make findings against individuals and produce comprehensive reports, we will ensure the State acts on those findings within the Statute of Limitations available for criminal prosecutions.

- We will ensure that the Seanad becomes a fully inclusive, representative and accountable institution with direct elections by way of universal franchise of all Irish citizens on the same day as the Dáíl vote, Northern and Diaspora representation, 50% women members and representation of marginalized minority groups within Irish society.

- We will amend the Public Standards legislation to ensure all public sector officials are required to make public comprehensive declarations on interests on assets and debts to the value of €25,000 and above, excluding the family home.

- We will provide for the making of anonymous and oral complaints to the Public Sector Standards Commissioner, as recommended by the Mahon Tribunal.

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