At last, Assembly elections have finally been called.
Since last October, democracy in the Six Counties has been in limbo. The suspension of Stormont by the British government, yet another capitulation to Unionist demands, left a political vacuum, one that should have been filled by elections in May of this year. But the British government, propping up the unionists as always, struck again - cancelling the elections and the democratic rights of people throughout the Six Counties.
Sinn Féin's focus in the last five years has been to see the Good Friday Agreement fully and faithfully implemented. The substance of the Agreement is about the rights and entitlements of citizens. It is about democracy. There is a deep well of anger and frustration throughout the North. Elections are the only way to create a new context, to inject a new dynamic into the process in which progress can be made.
Now those elections have been secured, activists across the 32 counties must be ready to act to ensure electoral success.
All republicans should now be on election footing, mobilising to ensure that the hand of our negotiators is strengthened after these elections. It is a time for hard work.
After a year of frustration, we have an opportunity to make our arguments and explain our republican vision to the people. It is in our power to make significant gains. This is a huge opportunity to advance our struggle. Let's make it count.