Not a serious negotiation – Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD speaking in the Dáil today on the nomination of a Taoiseach dismissed the discussions between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil as not “serious negotiations at all. Instead, what we are witnessing is the political leaders of the two largest parties trying to outmanoeuvre one another, putting personalities before country and egos before citizens’ rights”.
Gerry Adams said:
“We have heard, once again, the many virtues of the leaders of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and no doubt everyone will consider these fine qualities when we come to vote, or not to vote.”
The Sinn Féin leader also said:
“Sinn Féin is prepared to talk to all parties and none and is currently engaging in talks with those parties and Independents who will talk to us. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, however, have ruled us out.”
Teachta Adams criticised the absence of real debate in the Dáil on issues impacting citizens including the “1,972 citizens who have been on hospitals trolleys since the House last met, over 192 of whom were to be found at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in my constituency.
This is the centenary of 1916 and we learned this morning that the homelessness figures doubled in February. There are 5,881 citizens, including 1,881 children, in emergency accommodation.
Thousands more families are paying unsustainable mortgages and demanding action on water charges. However, this Dáil, led by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, decided that we will not discuss these issues. We will not discuss the plight of the children in the care of the State who are denied the protections they deserve.”
Teachta Adams dismissed the “the talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. I do not believe that these are serious negotiations at all. Instead, what we are witnessing is the political leaders of the two largest parties trying to outmanoeuvre one another, putting personalities before country and egos before citizens’ rights.
“Seven weeks after the election, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have not even discussed policy matters. They have dumped all their election rhetoric. There is no talk now about keeping the recovery going, about the emergency being over, about stability versus chaos, about an Ireland for all, about €2 billion in additional money to spend on public services or about recruiting 10,000 new doctors, nurses, gardaí, teachers, social workers and other front-line workers”.
Gerry Adams rejected the accusation by some that Sinn Féin is not interested in talking to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. He said:
“Sinn Féin is prepared to talk to all parties and none and is currently engaging in talks with those parties and Independents who will talk to us. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, however, have ruled us out. Those of us on these benches are not worthy to be talked to.
“In the meantime, Ministers who were sacked by the electorate, none of whom is accountable to the Dáil, are going ahead with policies for which they have no mandate whatsoever. Instead, we are wasting our time when we should be dealing with all of the issues that are pressing down on citizens outside this institution.
“The Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael leaders need to grow up and recognise that politics has changed. They can no longer have power on their own terms or carve it out in the way they used to. They may pretend that the 23 Sinn Féin Deputies do not exist or that those whom we represent and their concerns should not be factored into how we collectively shape the future. That is the flaw in their thinking. It is the same old story.
“Deputies Micheál Martin and Enda Kenny leave the people - citizens - out of their machinations and selfish little manoeuvrings. The people's struggles and challenges are not taken into account.
“Fianna Fáil paid the price for this in 2011 and Fine Gael and the Labour Party did likewise in 2016.
“For our part, we will continue to bring forward positive, constructive proposals and try to provide progressive opposition to the conservative majority here, whatever arrangements they arrive at. It is my strong view, as Deputy David Cullinane put it, that all of us who share that ambition must work together in the time ahead.”