“A cordial union among all the people of Ireland” – Adams
Speaking at Easter commemorations in Cork today the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD called for a No Vote in the May referendum and laid out seven strategic goals needed to achieve Irish reunification. Teachta Adams said:“The Proclamation of 1916 continues to enthuse and motivate Irish republicans. Its message of freedom and equality, and of cherishing all the children, is as relevant today as it was then.
But a counter revolution and partition created two reactionary states on this island which the conservative political, church and business elites shaped to protect their self-interests.
Successive governments in Dublin actively worked to pacify national feelings and to subvert republicanism while paying lip service to its principles.
Corruption replaced idealism. Family dynasties, party connections and donations to political campaigns all entrenched this corruption. Fianna Fáil – and its TACA generation is blamed, and rightly so, for much of what occurred but it does not stand alone.
The other establishment parties colluded by deed or silence in all of this.
As they now collude in promoting austerity policies. Their policies are a total contradiction of the 1916 Proclamation.
Citizens are paying for the greed of bankers and the bad policies of the former Fianna Fail/Green government. This is wrong. This government boasts of not raising income tax while introducing one new stealth tax after another.
The universal social charge, introduced by Fianna Fáil and pursued by this government; the household charge, water charges; septic tank charges; VAT increases; the reduction in wages while consumer prices rise; fuel increases – and billions cut from public services – all of these and more are tearing the heart out of communities.
The domestic economy is on the floor. People are worried about paying their bills, putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their heads.
And all this while Labour is in government! What value Labour if it cannot protect citizen’s rights?
Employees at Vita Cortex in Cork, in Game shops around the state and at Lagan Brick in Cavan have been forced to hold sit-ins in an effort to get the money owed to them.
The resolve of all of these workers, particularly at Vita Cortex, is to be commended and applauded.
Say No to Austerity
After one year of Fine Gael and Labour in government it is obvious that the austerity policies of this and the last Fianna Fáil-led government are not working.
That is one good reason for opposing the Austerity Treaty in the May referendum. This Treaty would entrench austerity policies in the constitution.
That’s not the vision of 1916. It is the complete opposite of the Proclamation.
It would mean another significant reduction of our sovereignty and a handover of the democratic rights of Irish people to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels, Strasbourg and Frankfurt.
Fine Gael and Labour, backed by Fianna Fáil, want to hand our future over to them! That’s not in the interests of the Irish people.
The Austerity Treaty must be opposed.
I would appeal to the 50% of citizens who refused to pay the Household Charge and the many others who were coerced and bullied into paying it to make a stand against the government’s austerity policies by voting No in the referendum.
A New Start
Today people are looking for an alternative they can trust. Sinn Féin is that alternative.
Sinn Féin has developed effective, costed policies which provide a different and fairer way to tackle the economic challenges.
Key to this is job creation and growing the economy. Our approach is based on fair taxes, investing in jobs, debt restructuring and growing the all-Ireland economy. It is about protecting public services and those on low and middle incomes. Our policies are based on core republican values.
Towards a New Republic
Irish republicans come from that long and honorable republican and internationalist tradition which seeks to unite Irish citizens and break the connection with England.
Tone captured its spirit when he wrote of “a cordial union among all the people of Ireland, to maintain that balance which is essential to the preservation of our liberties and the extension of our commerce.”
This is Sinn Féin’s starting point – a belief in a new union – a cordial union of all the people of this island.
Built through reconciliation.
To achieve re-unification will require the consent of a majority of people voting in referenda North and South.
To secure this Republicans need:
· To popularise re-unification as viable, achievable and in the best interests of all and to build consensus for this.
· To encourage all non-unionist political parties and sections of civic society to become persuaders and actors for re-unification.
· To convince a section of unionist opinion that their identity, self-interest and quality of life will be best served, secured and guaranteed in a united Ireland.
· To challenge those who would seek to maintain the status quo.
· To ensure the Irish Government act on the constitutional imperative of re-unification.
· To encourage the British Government to become persuaders for re-unification.
· To build on international political and practical support for re-unification drawing in particular on the support and influence of the diaspora.
Ireland north and south is changing. We are an island people in transition. The north is particular has been transformed in recent years.
In this state more and more people realise that we do not have a real republic.
Uniting Ireland makes economic sense. It will bring jobs, create prosperity and deliver a better standard of living for this and future generations.
So, the people of Ireland need to plan responsibly for the future direction of politics on the island. To do that we need a fully inclusive and rational debate.”