Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD speaking in Cahir at the party’s EU selection convention: “There is a clear and gathering momentum behind Sinn Fein as we embark on a new Dáil term.”
The Sinn Féin leader called on the government not to make a €3.1 billion cut in October’s budget, criticised Fianna Fáil’s stance on the Seanad referendum and called for a YES vote in the referendum.
Commenting on the budget deficit Teachta Adams said: “While some Labour ministers have again tried to present Labour as the defenders of the disadvantaged and of working families, the reality is that their record in government contradicts this. No amount of posturing by Labour ministers can disguise it.
“Sinn Féin is saying enough is enough. The government should NOT take €3.1 billion out of our economy. The amount should be between €2 billion and €2.5 billion. And the budget measures should be equality proofed to ensure that no measure is introduced that will impose a heavier burden on those least able to afford it.”
The Sinn Féin leader called for a YES vote in the Seanad referendum.
He said: “The Seanad is fundamentally undemocratic and represents blatant inequality at the heart of our political system.
“The referendum has also witnessed the old shallow and opportunistic politics of Fianna Fáil. In the last election Fianna Fáil was for abolition. Now it wants to retain the Seanad and talks about reform – something it failed to do for 14 years in government and for decades before that. Typical Fianna Fáil double speak.
“Micheál Martin also claims that the only way to secure northern representation in the Oireachtas is through the Seanad. During the Good Friday Agreement negotiations the Fianna Fáil government – of which Teachta Martin was a senior member – committed to facilitate northern MPs participating in the Dáil.
“In early 2006 Fianna Fáil reneged on this commitment. Fianna Fáil cannot be trusted on the Seanad or on its commitments to reform.
If they really want Northern representation in the Oireachtas, then Teachta Martin should support the Sinn Féin proposal.” ends