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Sinn Féin Presidential Candidate - Liadh Ní Riada campaign launch full speech

16 September, 2018 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Ar an gcéad dul síos teastaíonn uaim a rá gur mór an onóir dom bheith roghnaithe ag Sinn Féin chun bheith mar iarrathóir d’oifig Uachtaráin na hÉireann. 

Is onóir speisialta dom leanúint ár gcara Martin McGuinness a thug agus a thugann an-ionspioráid domsa agus do go leor daoine eile. 

Firstly I wish to say how honoured I am to be chosen by Sinn Féin to be a candidate for the office of Úachtarán an hÉireann.

It is a special honour to follow in the footsteps of the late Martin McGuinness who remains a huge political inspiration to myself and so many others.

As Mary Lou has said, I too believe strongly that the highest elected position in the land should be subject to popular mandate.

I also believe a Presidential election provides us with an opportunity to have an important conversation about how Ireland has changed over the past seven years and where we want it to go over the next seven.

When it was decided that Sinn Féin would contest this election I gave the matter deep thought and consideration. I was heartened by the encouragement I received from party colleagues who felt I would make a suitable candidate.

My personal background has given me a deep appreciation of Ireland’s unique identity and culture, its place in the wider world and a strong commitment to a United Ireland.

D'fhás mé aníos in Iarthar Chorcaí, áit lena bhaineann stair phoblachtach bródúil. Tógadh mé i nGaeltacht Mhuscraí i dteaghlach le Gaeilge, agus mar iníon Seán O Riada, ba nadúrtha dom bheith tumtha ina oidhreacht cheolmhar. 

I grew up in west Cork, an area with a proud republican history. I was raised in the Gaeltacht in an Irish speaking family and as the daughter of Seán O Riada, naturally, I was surrounded by his musical legacy.

As someone who lost both parents at a young age, I have faced personal challenges and hardship. Myself and my siblings raised each other. This has given me a strong sense of independence and an empathy for those who are struggling.

Teastaíonn uaim a bheith mar Uachtarán Nua d’Éirinn nua. 

I want to be a new President for a New Ireland.

Ireland has radically changed since the last Presidential election. We've become a more caring and inclusive society. A global inspiration when it comes to progressive social change.

But we are only at the beginning of this new chapter.

It’s time for all of us – particularly our younger generation – to write our own story, to shape a new and United Ireland.

Ireland needs an energetic President to support and encourage this journey.

Ba chúis bród domsa bheith tofa mar feisire Eorpach ar son muintir Cúige Mumhan agus Deisceart Cúige Laighin. San Eorap léirigh mé guth láidir ar son leas mhuintir na hÉireann ar Brexit, na healaíona, pobail tuaithe agus uirbeacha, athrú aeráide, neodracht agus ceartas soisíalta.

I am proud to have served as MEP for Ireland South. I have fought hard for the interests of the Irish people in the European Parliament whether on Brexit, the arts, rural and urban communities, climate change, neutrality, or economic and social justice.

I am now asking the people to allow me to bring to the office of President, the enthusiasm, energy and commitment I have already shown.

Uachtarán na hÉireann must be a beacon of hope for all our people – North, South, East, and West.

As President, my approach will be a humanitarian one that values the dignity of the individual and doesn’t look away from injustice and suffering at home or abroad.

Maron le bheith caomhnóir ár mBunreacht, beidh mé cróga mar chosantór ár ndaonlathas, leas náisiúnta na hÉireann, ár n-ardcheannas agus ár neodracht. 

As well as being the custodian of our Constitution, I will be courageous in the defence of democracy, the national interest, aswell as Ireland's sovereignty and neutrality.

Uachtarán na hÉireann should have the integrity to represent all that is good in the instincts of the Irish people.

This may be in highlighting existential threats – such as climate change or the alarming rise of the Far Right across the world.

It may be drawing attention to the reality that refugees, from wherever they come, are our fellow human beings in need of protection. 

Mar Uachtarán beidh mé forásach agus gníomhach ag tacú leo siúd inár sochaí atá leochaileach nó imeallaithe. 

Beidh mo Uachtaránacht mar ghuth ar son Éire comhbhách, Éire cóir; Éire in a bhfuil dídean ag gach páiste ina mbaile féin.

My Presidency will major on the need to provide support for our most vulnerable and marginalised citizens.

I will be a voice for a caring Ireland. A fair Ireland. An Ireland where every child has a home. An Ireland that leaves no one behind.

As President, I will honour the contribution of our carers and those working in our public services. I will launch a Presidential initiative to recognise employers paying fair wages.

Thar lear, cuirfidh mé leasanna muintir na hÉireann chun cinn, mar a ndéanaim i gconaí. Tiománfaidh mé togra chun iad siúd a chuireadh ar imirce de dheasca an géarchéim eacnamaíoct a thabhairt abhaile.

When abroad, I will put the interests of the Irish people first, as I always have. I will lead a drive to bring home a generation forced to leave since the economic crash.

I will give leadership on the values that should underpin a New Ireland - such as the economy serving the needs of our people and not the other way around.

Tá imní agus éadaingne ag cur leis an géarchéim sláinte intinne atá ag fás inár dtír. Díreoidh mé ar chúiseanna na géarchéime seo - ar na slite ar féidir linn ár sochaí a eagrú ionas go mbeimíd ag tacú lena chéile in ionad ligint dár gcaighdeán saoil bheith laghdaithe de dheasca éagothroime agus aonarachas.

Anxiety and insecurity are contributing to a growing mental health crisis in our country. I will focus on the causes of this crisis –  on how we can organise society so that we support each other rather than allow our quality of life be undermined by inequality and extreme individualism.

There are exciting opportunities within the parameters of Oifig an Úachtarán to really empower people – through educational scholarships, by reaching out to our Diaspora, by helping to promote women on their journey towards full equality of citizenship, or by nurturing the incredible, untapped potential of our rich culture. 

Bainfidh mé úsáid as deiseanna na hoifige, san áireamh an deis labhairt ós comhar an Oireachtais, chun reachtairí a chur i gcuimhne ar na luachanna is tábhachtaí - rathúnas a roinnt, aire a thabhairt dár saoránach go léir, agus dlúthpháirtíocht a thaispeáint lena chéile.

I will use the opportunities of the office, including the ability to address the Oireachtas, to remind legislators of the values that matter - sharing prosperity, caring for all citizens and showing solidarity with others.

Tá fís agam d’Éirinn nua atá iolraíoch agus ionchuimsitheach. Fís d’Éirinn aontaithe ina bhfuil meas léirithe dár bhféiniúlachtaí agus traidisiúin ar fad. 

My vision for a New Ireland is a pluralist and inclusive one. It is of a United Ireland that respects the identities and traditions of all.

I will be a positive voice for Irish Unity, leading by example and demonstrating the outreach and inclusivity that is needed to bring the people of this island together. If I am president, Áras an Uachtaráin will be a welcoming house for all.

The island of Ireland today is in transition. Brexit will have a major impact on the political and constitutional future of this island.

Increasingly the prospect, shape and nature of a United Ireland will be a feature of public discussion and political decision making.

Mar Uachtarán, cuirfidh mé tús le comhrá cuimsitheach saoránach mar gheall ar Éire aontaithe amach anseo. 

As President, I will initiate an inclusive citizens conversation on a future united Ireland.

The past seven years have witnessed the disappearance of a lot of Ireland’s of old certainties. Partition too will be overcome. The tide of history is with those seeking to build a new, progressive and inclusive future.

A process of national reconciliation is central to any genuine effort to unite the people of Ireland. And, if elected, reconciliation will be a theme of my Presidency.

The future of this great country will be built on our glorious diversity – an equal society for women and men, citizens of all abilities and disabilities, settled and traveller, LGBT and straight, young and old, black and white, Orange and Green.

Táim iarraidh oraibh bheith liom ar an turas seo amach romhainn, agus mé ag seasamh ós bhur gcomhar mar duine daoibh, bean bródúil poblachtach, ag iarraidh oraibhse tacú liom chun bheith mar Uachtarán do gach éinne. 

I am asking you to take that journey with me as I stand here before you today, as one of us, a proud Republican woman, asking you to help me to become a president for all of us.

A chairde, make no mistake, today’s announcement is a game changer in this Presidential election. Together we can win. Together we can make history. Together we can ensure that we have a new President for a New Ireland.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh.

Ar aghaidh linn le chéile.

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