Sinn Féin want to be in government North and South - Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has stated that Sinn Féin wants to be in government, North and South.
Teachta Adams made the remarks as part of his keynote address to the annual Sinn Féin ‘think in’ ahead of the new political term.
The Sinn Féin leader said;
“There have been governments for the financial speculators, the bankers and the property developers. These governments are for the wealthy and for the elites.
“What is needed now is a government for citizens. Such a government would invest in world-class public services and develop a vibrant, sustainable economy that works for people instead of against them.
“It would also be an accountable government. A government grounded in basic, common decency.
“That’s the sort of government that is needed. A government for equality. And, make no mistake; Sinn Féin wants to be in that government.
“We want to transform politics on this island. We have no ambition to be part of the system.
“Our ambition is to change it. That means we must be in government – North and South.
"But Leo Varadkar’s vision for society - his 'Republic of Opportunity' - is one where those who fall behind, for whatever reason, are left behind.
"The real message behind Taoiseach Varadkar’s Republic of Opportunity is aimed at and is grand for those who have opportunities
"However if you are struggling, if you are homeless, sick or poor, f you have a disability, if you are unemployed or badly paid then don’t look to the government for answers or solutions - you are on your own. Leo’s vision is for a mé féin system."
Teachta Adams emphasised that Sinn Féin's priority would be to deliver a Republican programme for Government that centres on measures to end the crises in housing and health, and which contains a real strategy to deal with Brexit based on Irish national interests.
He stated that Brexit has re-energised the debate around Irish Unity and that Sinn Féin would work and campaign for a unity referendum to be held in the next five years.
Speaking in relation to the ongoing political situation in the North, Teachta Adams said;
“The political institutions can only work if they are based on equality, respect and integrity.
“Last week’s proposal by the DUP Leader Arlene Foster for a parallel process is a non-runner, and she knew this.
“But it did contain a welcome acknowledgement that the Irish language threatens no one.
“Michelle O’Neill has called for a short time-framed period of exploratory talks to determine whether progress is possible or not.
“If the DUP is serious let them engage in that process.
“But so there is no ambiguity let me repeat what I said last week.
"There will be no return to the Assembly or Executive without a stand-alone Irish Language Act and agreement on the resolution of other outstanding issues."
Addressing the party's Ten Year Plan and the future of the party leadership, the Sinn Féin President said:
“I will be allowing my name to go forward for the position of Uachtarán Shinn Féin.
“And if elected I will be setting out our priorities and in particular our planned process of generational change, including my own future intentions.”
Concluding his speech, Mr Adams said that Sinn Féin will campaign strongly for a YES vote in a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment:
“It’s about putting women first.
“The Eighth Amendment is a relic of the past.
“It has to go. It must be replaced with compassion.
“Sinn Féin will campaign enthusiastically and energetically for the eighth amendment to be repealed.”