Sinn Féin will challenge Government on all fronts
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP and Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD met in Leinster House today to finalise the party's strategy for the summer months. Speaking afterwards Deputy Ó Caoláin said: "The real scandal of our time is that we have a government awash with public finances and failing to tackle the real social and economic problems that affect every man, woman and child in this country. We will make sure the Government are held to account for their mismanagement of public services. We'll make it a central theme of the election campaign."
Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "It is clear to anyone that cares to look, that this Fianna Fáil/Progressive Democrat government is on its last legs. It is also clear that Fine Gael and the Labour Party are so incompatible that they cannot agree a common platform on most of the big issues facing Irish society.
"Yesterday, amid reports of almost €1 billion additional government revenue and massive under spending across some government departments, 202 people were languishing on trollies in A&E units across the state. This was happening at the same time as hospitals in the midlands were being threatened with massive cutbacks. This is the real scandal of our time -- a government awash with public finances unwilling that has failed to tackle the real social and economic issues that effect every man, woman and child in this country. This is not just a question of inefficiency - it is also about fundamental policy issues including the Government's drive to privatise our health services.
"When it comes to the General Election what people will remember is their own personal and family experience with our health service. No amount of Houdini with statistics, by the government or anybody else, will fool the people on this fact.
"The last election brought about a re-alignment in politics in this state with more and more people looking to parties such as Sinn Féin. I believe that this will continue in the next election. People are fed up of excuses - fed up of the phoney war between the Fianna Fail/PDs tweedle dum and the Fine Gael/Labour tweedle dee. They are fed up with a tired establishment and want change.
"Over the summer months Sinn Féin will bring our campaign calling for an end to the abuse of public money in private healthcare to every city, town and village in Ireland. We will continue building support for a mass public campaign and setting out our alternative. We will also continue to engage with the Irish and British governments and the other parties to get the peace process back on tracks.
"There is a need for a real debate about the type of country people want to live in -- how public finances should be used, how we provide badly needed public services. We will make sure the Government are held to account for their mismanagement of public services. We'll make it a central theme of the election campaign." ENDS