Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Election should not be fought on narrow ground agreed by Fine Gael and Labour - Ó Caoláin

4 July, 2006

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said that the forthcoming General Election should not be fought on the narrow ground agreed by Fine Gael and Labour. Sinn Féin is today tabling amendments to the Fine Gael/Labour Dáil motion calling for a General Election and Deputy Ó Caoláin said that the purpose was to "broaden the front of attack on this failed Government beyond the narrow ground on which Enda Kenny and Pat Rabbitte can publicly agree".

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "The Fine Gael/Labour motion deliberately omits fundamental failures of this Government because these two parties cannot publicly agree on them -- at least in advance of a General Election while each tries to retain its support base. In our amendments Sinn Féin highlights these key Government failures which we intend to make General Election issues. They include:

· The failure to end the inequitable and inefficient two-tier system within our health services and the drive to privatise our health services through massive subsidies for the private health business while the public system is in crisis;

· The privatisation of the national airline, Aer Lingus;

· The failure of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to promote community safety and human rights and his misuse of his position to target individuals and groups in pursuit of his personal political agenda;

· The ongoing erosion of Irish neutrality and independent foreign policy through the continued provision of Shannon Airport facilities to US combat forces;

· The giveaway of our natural resources of gas and oil to multi-nationals such as Shell against the national interest and regardless of the concerns of local communities like as those of Rossport, County Mayo;

· The failure to fulfil the Taoiseach's commitment to provide for representation in the Dáil for citizens in the Six Counties and the overall sluggish approach to the peace process by the Irish Government.

"What is needed is a real debate about alternatives to the failed approach of this Government. Sinn Féin will be setting out our alternatives and working to ensure an election based on real issues rather than tired personalities." ENDS

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