Scare tactics will not stop Sinn Féin growth
Responding to comments on Sinn Féin from Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Justice Minister Michael McDowell, Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin has said these parties are "using scare tactics in the vain hope of stopping Sinn Fein's growth". He said the Taoiseach "had a brass neck to accuse Sinn Féin of being agents of poverty and disadvantage while he presides over a wealthy economy where one in seven children live in poverty".
He said Fine Gael and the PDs were engaged in a contest over who are the biggest anti-Sinn Féiners "designed as much to damage Fianna Fáil as Sinn Féin".
Deputy Ó Caoláin said: "It is a measure of the political bankruptcy of all these parties that their main focus has been on scare tactics designed to stem the growth of Sinn Féin. Fine Gael and the Progressive Democrats are engaging in a contest over who are the biggest anti-Sinn Féiners. Both parties are desperate to present Fianna Fáil as Government partners-in-waiting with Sinn Féin in order to, as they see it, boost Fine Gael and PD prospects in the General Election.
"The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was clearly rattled by the vacuous speech delivered by Enda Kenny in Cork on Saturday. The only memorable thing about that speech was the Fine Gael leader's effort to link Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil. In what can only be described as a panic response, the Taoiseach has reverted to the old tactic of the 'red scare'. And he rushed into the arms of the viciously anti-republican Sunday Independent to deliver his message.
"The Taoiseach has a brass neck to describe Sinn Féin as agents of poverty and disadvantage while he presides over a wealthy economy where one in seven children live in poverty. Sinn Féin represents disadvantaged communities across this country who have long been abandoned by Fianna Fáil and the other conservative parties. The Taoiseach's sudden interest in Sinn Féin's policies will fool very few people. He knows Sinn Féin is not a Marxist party but his attack has nothing to do with our ideology or our policies. It is all about decommissioning some of the political weaponry of Fine Gael and the PDs in advance of a General Election.
"For our part Sinn Féin will continue to challenge the conservative parties, including the Fianna Fáil-PD government and the Coalition of the Confused that poses as an alternative. The coalition we want to build is with the Irish people as we work together to create an Ireland of Equals. Scare tactics will not stop the growth of Sinn Féin." ENDS