Irish Republican News · May 29, 2009
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Election campaigning intensifies
Election campaigning intensifies
eucampaign.jpg

Sinn Féin launched the final stage of the party’s EU and local election campaigns on Wednesday with the unveiling of billboards, advertisements and new posters across Dublin.

Sinn Féin launched the final stage of the party’s EU and local election campaigns on Wednesday with the unveiling of billboards, advertisements and new posters across Dublin.

Gerry Adams called on voters to turn their anger into action and to choose change by voting Sinn Féin.

“There is an alternative to the politics of greed, inefficiency, waste and corruption -- the hallmarks of governments in this country for too long,” he said.

“The arrogance of the current government should be a call to action for ordinary people. The dominance in this State of two large conservative parties can be brought to an end if a new alignment in Irish politics is created. The momentum for this can start on the 5th June.

“Throughout our campaign Sinn Féin has highlighted the alternative solutions that we offer. Our policies on jobs, public finances, the banks, public services and many other issues have been well received. I have never seen people so determined to get rid of a government.

“Our message to the people in this final week is simple. You cannot afford to sit this one out. Staying at home will change nothing and voting for the same establishment parties, expecting new polices, will achieve nothing either. People need to turn their anger into action and they can do that by choosing change and voting Sinn Féin.”

EU MANIFESTO LAUNCH

The party is calling for the replacement of sterling by the euro in the Six Counties as part of its European election manifesto, launched in Dublin yesterday.

The manifesto expresses opposition to a rerun of the Lisbon Treaty in favour of “a new treaty for a new time”, and opposes integration of foreign and defence policy among EU states.

Gerry Adams told the news conference: “The government have not brought forward the type of treaty changes which are required and which the people voted for.”

He added: “We need a treaty which protects neutrality, which sets its face against militarisation and the type of foreign and defence policies decided by Nato, but particularly we need to be about returning power to member-states and to citizens.”

Criticising the main 26-County government party’s role in the election campaign, he said: “Fianna Fail are fighting a dirty campaign here in this city.”

He described Fianna Fail criticisms of Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald’s attendance record at the European Parliament as “just despicable”. time for Ireland,” Mr Ryan said in a statement.

Ms McDonald said she had been attacked initially for non-attendance when in fact she was on maternity leave.

“I have no apology to make for myself as a mother, as a woman in politics, or a working parent.”

Her attendance level last year also reflected her deep involvement in opposing the Lisbon Treaty in the referendum here at home.

“I took the decision that my big responsibility to the people of this city and this State was to be here in Ireland, vocal and active, to ensure that there was a debate on that treaty.”

Ms McDonald stressed the party’s policies as the reason to vote for her party.

“Sinn Féin wants to see Ireland play a central role in shaping the future direction of the European Union in the interests and all other member states,” she said.

“Since myself and Bairbre de Brun were elected to the European Parliament in 2004 we have had five key political priorities: protecting Ireland’s interests in the EU; advancing the peace process, Irish language and the case for Irish unity; promoting workers’ rights’, regional development and the needs of Ireland’s rural economy; climate change; and neutrality and global social justice.

“We need a new approach. We need a new political culture in Ireland and Europe. Those in charge need to be directly answerable to the people. We need to ensure that Irish taxpayers and taxpayers across the EU get value for money. In the lifetime of the next Parliament (2013) Ireland will become net contributors to the EU.

“We need to move away from the drive towards a European superstate to what the EU is meant to be about - the coming together of member states in equal partnership.

“Today Sinn Féin is setting out our priorities for the EU. We are seeking a mandate to stand up for Ireland’s interests, to continue our work on workers’s rights, the economy, Irish unity, climate change, neutrality and global social justice.”

NEW FUTURE

Outgoing MEP Bairbre de Brun, who is seeking re-election, said the poll was a chance for the electorate to endorse a move out of the past.

Ms de Brun said the poll in the North was about more than the European Union but also about the “future of our peace and political process”.

“This EU election is very important for many reasons, but most of all because it provides the electorate with the chance to say clearly that we want to move forward and not to stay in the past,” she said,

“Sinn Féin has a strategy for taking us forward; a strategy for Irish unity.

“It is a strategy that has already delivered enormous progress - an end to conflict; and an inclusive political agreement.

“We have taken risks to move us forward; risks for peace.

“There are serious challenges facing us - economic challenges, climate change and threats to the environment.

“My commitment is that we will continue to deliver progress.”

* Republican Sinn Féin candidates in the local elections in the 26 Counties on June 5 reported a positive response on the doorsteps to their canvass. The party is fighting the election mainly on local issues.

“People are fed up with the antics of the present administration which has reduced the country to the point of bankruptcy, not to mention all the scandals over the years,” reported one of their candidates.

The party is hoping to secure representation at county council level. Veteran candidate Tomas O Curraoin is again said to be in a close battle against sitting independent Seosamh O Cuaig, as well as two Sinn Féin candidates, for a long-awaited breakthrough seat on Galway County Council for Conamara.

© 2009 Irish Republican News