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Irish sovereignty is still the issue - Ó Caoláin

28 November, 2005

In a statement marking the 100th anniversary of the day on which Sinn Féin was founded in Dublin on 28 November 1905, Sinn Fein Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said that Irish sovereignty and independence is still the core issue in Irish politics. He said:

"One hundred years ago the founders of Sinn Féin began an epic journey towards Irish independence and the sovereignty of the Irish people. Many sacrificed their lives, their liberty and their livelihoods to achieve Irish freedom. We continue to be inspired by their example of selflessness.

"Sovereignty and independence are still core issues in Irish politics today. The continuation of Partition denies Irish independence. It thwarts the potential for political, social and economic progress on this island. The Good Friday Agreement is a compromise which caused great difficulty for Irish republicans but which we see as the way forward and which has the endorsement of the Irish people. Yet the Agreement remains unimplemented. The Irish Government has a key responsibility to ensure the implementation of the Agreement and the Sinn Féin TDs will continue to hold the Government fully to account in Leinster House and in the constituencies on this matter.

"Irish sovereignty must also mean the sovereignty of the people. Such sovereignty does not exist where multinational corporations like Shell have been given control of our natural resources and can ride roughshod over local communities. Equality does not exist where we have a two-tier health system where wealth buys the best care in the private system while our public health service struggles from crisis to crisis. And there is no real independence where an Irish government has subordinated foreign policy to the needs of NATO and an increasingly militarised EU.

"Sinn Féin's Dáil team will continue to highlight these realities and to present our radical and relevant alternatives. In the months and years ahead we are determined to build and develop our party as a campaigning organisation in every city, town and townland throughout the 32 Counties. On this the 100th anniversary of Sinn Féin we re-commit ourselves to building a United Ireland of Equals."

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