Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin sets out priorities for Foyle constituency

13 April, 2005

Speaking at the launch of his Manifesto for Foyle in the upcoming Westminster General Election Sinn Féin's Mitchel Mc Laughlin said:

"The date for the Westminster election May 5th is a very poignant date in the Republican Calendar being the 24th Anniversary of the death on Hunger strike of the Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh South Tyrone, Bobby Sands. Since that historic election victory Sinn Féin has increased its political strength and we are now the pre-dominant voice of republican and nationalist opinion in the North and the third largest political party in Ireland.

"We are now, following the Údáras na Gaeltachta election not just the only all-Ireland Party but the only Party with representatives on every elective forum on this island. Moreover, supporting me here at this launch today we have a representative from each of those fora on the platform.

"I would like to welcome, Cavan/Monaghan TD, Deputy Caoimghin Ó Caoláin, Údáras na Gaeltachta Representative, Gráinne Mhic Géidigh, Donegal County Councillor and Member of Buncrana Urban District Council, Councillor Padraig MacLochlainn and Sinn Féin Group Leader on Derry City Council, Councillor Maeve Mc Laughlin.

"This Manifesto is my vision and that of my party for the future growth and prosperity of the Foyle Constituency and the greater NorthWest Region. In addition, I specify the NorthWest Region because I do not believe that we can fully develop the potential of Foyle in isolation from our natural hinterland of Donegal and the other border counties.

"In this Manifesto we lay out what Sinn Féin believes is required if we are to move out of what has been marketed for too long as a highly educated, low wage economy. This approach did nothing to strengthen the local economy or boost confidence in job security. Many expected job announcements made in a flurry of publicity never even materialised and many that did were only short term. There was no future planning for example to offset the downward spiral in the textile industry. Most of our highly qualified young people had to emigrate to acquire jobs with income commensurate with their qualifications.

"It is a time of change. It is time to change the policies that failed to make any real difference to the economic life of the majority of citizens here. Sinn Féin is the Party of change. After this election, I believe that we will have the opportunity to mould the required change at both Westminster and Local Government level. Following the elections, Sinn Féin will work with all of the other parties and sectoral groups to bring real jobs with real wages to this area. Sinn Féin Economic Policy for the Foyle constituency is based on a clear recognition that only a cross-border economic development strategy can fully address the legacy that over eighty years of separation from Derry‚s natural hinterland of Donegal has imposed on us.

"Sinn Féin, as I have previously remarked, has elected representatives on every fora on this island as well as Members of the European Parliament. As MP for Foyle, I will utilise all of the influence that these colleagues can exert on both governments and the European Parliament in my quest for investment and job creation in this Region.

"This Manifesto spells out the Sinn Féin position on Health Care provision, Education, Equality, Housing, Rural Development, Irish Language, the Environment and many more areas affecting the day-to-day lives of the citizens of Foyle.

"We will be delivering a copy of this Manifesto to every house in the Constituency so that electors can study it more closely and it is also available on CD disc for the benefit of the visually impaired."ENDS

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