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Sinn Féin will not enter government merely to give cover to right wing parties - McDonald

4 February, 2017 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has said that Sinn Fein would not enter government merely to give cover to right-wing parties, as was done by the Labour Party.

She said that if given a sufficient mandate, Sinn Féin will only negotiate with others on the basis of a genuine republican programme for government that improve the conditions of life for average citizens.

McDonald was speaking in Boyle, Co. Roscommon at an event marking the 100th anniversary of the election of Count George Noble Plunkett as the republican MP for North Roscommon.

Mary Lou McDonald said:

"Irish society faces a choice between the failed politics of the right-wing parties who have ruled this state since the 1920s, or a genuine republican alternative that offers the prospect of radical political change.

"I believe all political progressives and all those who want real change, and who believe that a government without Fine Gael or Fianna Fail is possible, need to work together towards that end.

"If all those who have taken to the streets in recent years over a variety of issues, and all those who want to achieve a better, more equal Ireland, actually vote for it, work for it and co-operate with each other it is also achievable. 

"Sinn Féin is the only party that can lead a government to transform the economic, social and political conditions in Ireland.

"And we want to be in government. Not for the sake of it. Not for the perks of Ministerial office. But to improve the conditions of life for average citizens, here in Roscommon and right across our country.

"We want to deliver big changes to the health service, to tackle the housing crisis and to regenerate rural Ireland.

"We also want to build a united Ireland and a new republic based on social justice and equality.

What Sinn Fein will not do is what the Labour Party has always done — enter government merely to give cover to right-wing parties.

"If given the sufficient mandate by the electorate, Sinn Féin will only negotiate with others on the basis of a genuine republican programme for government.

"The ultimate decision on Sinn Féin’s participation in any Government will be taken by the party membership at a specially convened Ard Fheis.

Addressing the issue of the Northern election McDonald said:

Sinn Féin’s new leader in the North, Michelle O’Neill is leading Sinn Féin in a defining election campaign.

"And let me say clearly here today that, if there is to be any return to the political institutions following that election, it will only be on the basis of the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement."

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