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Sinn Féin will prioritise Health in General Election and beyond - Ó Caoláin

23 March, 2006


At a party selection convention in Cootehill, CountyCavan this (Thursday) evening, delegates selected Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD as the Sinn Féin candidate for the Cavan-Monaghan constituency in the forthcoming General Election. Accepting the nomination, Deputy Ó Caoláin said he looked forward to "one of the most significant elections in the history of our party and in the history of the country".

The Sinn Féin Dáil leader said he was confident the party would double its number of TDs and "make a very significant impact in transforming the political landscape throughout Ireland". Addressing Sinn Féin’s priorities in advance of the next General Election and beyond, Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"We will prioritise the issue of Healthcare which is a basic right for all of our people. It is a right denied to far too many today. We will be exposing the abject failure of the Fianna Fáil/PD government over the past nine years and campaigning for a truly equitable and efficient health service with universal access for all and an end to the two-tier, public-private system we now suffer.

"The peace process will be a continuing priority for us, demanding the fullimplementation of the Good Friday Agreement and the All-Ireland agenda. We will be urging all parties to ensure that Irish reunification is not just an aspiration but that it becomes a reality through a Government-led strategy for national unity and reconciliation.

"We will be opposing the privatisation of national assets such as Aer Lingus and the sell-off of our natural resources such as Corrib Gas. We will advocate a strong workers’ rights agenda, opposing efforts by many employers to drive down wages and conditions of workers, both native and immigrants alike.

"On the key social issues of housing and childcare we will advocate policies driven by the needs of people and not by the dictates of the market. This should include full implementation of a comprehensive childcare infrastructure as recommended by the National Economic and Social Forum. Local authorities should be empowered and financed to provide the social and affordable housing that is so lacking at present."

Concluding, Deputy Ó Caoláin thanked delegates for nominating him and said:

"The forthcoming General Election will be one of the most significant elections in the history of our party and in the history of the country. I have no doubt that Sinn Féin will be centre stage and I have every confidence that we will double our representation in the Dáil. We will make a very significant impact in transforming the political landscape throughout Ireland ." ENDS

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