Local elections real opportunity for change — O’Neill
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O'Neill MLA has said the upcoming local government elections provide a real opportunity to deliver fundamental change of society in the north.
Speaking at the Sinn Féin Six-County Cúige AGM, Michelle O'Neill said:
“Today marks two years from the Assembly election which occurred after Martin McGuinness’ resigned on the back of the DUP’s RHI scandal, the complete disregard for Irish national identity and their failure to deliver basic rights to citizens.
"Two years later, those issues still remain unresolved. The British government have done nothing apart from pandering to the DUP. As a result, we still have no Assembly or Executive.
“I spoke with Karen Bradley yesterday and made it clear to her that there is no way of escaping the two present realities and challenges which are undermining any genuine attempt to restore the Executive at this time. The first is an unwanted Brexit. The second is the DUP/Tory Confidence and Supply Arrangement at Westminster.
"The upcoming local government election presents a massive opportunity for Sinn Féin nationally to set out our stall and vision for the future in terms of reunification, equality and rights and to win grassroots support for strong, passionate, able republican candidates who will be the community voice in City Hall and councils across Ireland.
“Whether its new leisure and community facilities or inclusive growth and city deals in Belfast and Derry which will deliver economic opportunities and create jobs, business support and grant aid or new policies where ratepayers can access council services in the Irish language locally, our Councillors deliver opportunity. Sinn Féin Mayors and Chairs are also providing fair and active representation for everyone in this society.
“All of this demonstrates our ability to make an impact and respond to local need through delivery.
"As a party we have for over 30 years struggled hard to challenge discrimination, to defend those whom we proudly represent and take a stand for equality.
"We are about changing the political and constitutional conditions and bringing about the fundamental societal change of the North.
"We are about and transforming Ireland and uniting our country. We must show serious ambition and confidence. And we will deliver."