Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin announce details of next steps in 'Can you afford it?' campaign

12 October, 2006


Sinn Féin Assembly group leader John O'Dowd has announced details of the next phase of the campaign demanding the return of the Assembly, Executive and all-Ireland institutions before the November 24th deadline.

Speaking today Mr O‚Dowd said:

"This campaign is about reaching out and engaging with all sections of our society and encouraging them to get involved in the campaign. Our message is simple. Direct Rule - Can you afford it?

"November 24th is the deadline for the return of the institutions. We are encouraging people to speak up because the November 24th deadline is a pivotal moment in the peace process that will affect all our futures. While some people may not think that it matters, I think that they should think again. The loss of the Assembly and Executive will mean no direct voice for local people. As a society we will lose out. People need to ask themselves if they can afford:

Rates Increases

Lost Investment

Water Charges

Education Cuts

Job Losses

Health Cuts

Economic Collapse

Racism and Sectarianism

Unfair Planning Laws

More Rural Decline

"But there is an alternative and that is to restore the institutions and implement the Good Friday Agreement.

"The campaign will be going out onto the streets over the next couple of weeks and we are asking people to mobilise their friends and neighbours, to contact the media and to lobby their local politicians and civic leaders.

"No one is saying that power-sharing will be a panacea for all our problems but I strongly believe that a locally elected and accountable Assembly and Executive will do a much better job than part-time Ministers." ENDS

Campaign details

The campaign started with a Rally in the Europa Hotel on Tuesday 10th in Belfast.

Sinn Féin councillors have already brought motions to Councils calling for an immediate return of the Assembly, Executive and all-Ireland institutions. These have successfully been adopted in a number of Councils including Fermanagh, Omagh, Limavady and Newry and Mourne.

Sinn Féin elected representatives and party activists have been engaged in an extensive outreach and engagement programme with business leaders and organisations, with Trade Unions, and with the community sectors to encourage debate about the need for the institutions to be restored before the November 24th deadline.

A Sinn Féin road show involving Assembly members, MPs and councillors will visit towns and villages across the north over the next week to distribute over 160,000 leaflets started on Wednesday 11th October. More dates and venues will be added later.

Wednesday 11th October
Ballymena, Ballycastle, Ballymoney

Thursday 12th October
Lisnaskea, Enniskillen
Coleraine, Limavady

Saturday 14th
Omagh, Strabane
Lurgan, Portadown, Banbridge
Ballynahinch, Newcastle, Warrenpoint, Downpatrick
Cookstown, Magherafelt

Wednesday 18th
Armagh City

Thursday 19th
Derry City
Newry

Friday 20th
Belfast

Thousands of people will also be contacted directly by e-mail over the coming days and weeks to encourage them to get involved in the campaign.

Sinn Féin will be launching a new website next week.

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