Irish Republican News · June 2, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]

There is growing confidence in Sinn Féin that the party will pick up at least two seats in the European parliament elections on June 10 and 11.

Sinn Féin is “poised to make considerable advances”, Gerry Adams has predicted, while warning against complacency.

The latest poll shows the party is on the verge of securing its target of securing seats on both sides of the border. While Mary Lou McDonald showed a small increase in support to 12% in Dublin, republicans believe that pollsters are not reading the full support for the party, which is traditionally underestimated.

With the 26-County Minister for Justice Michael McDowell continuing to run a virulently hostile campaign against Sinn Féin, some supporters are thought reticent about revealing their loyalty to the party.

Gerry Adams joined the party’s Six County candidate Bairbre de Brun today as they revealed how they plan to use their new influence in Brussels.

“This is a crucial election which will impact on the future direction of the EU and the future of Ireland for many years to come,” said Mr Adams.

“Our manifesto sets out in detail our vision of a Europe of Equals - a real partnership of equal sovereign states, co-operating in social and economic development in Europe and beyond.”

Mr Adams also pointed out that the election would be followed by resumed negotiations on the troubled implementation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

“This election also comes at a time of ongoing difficulties within the peace process,” he said. The institutions remain suspended, key sections of the Good Friday Agreement remain outstanding and the Agreement itself continues to come under attack from the rejectionists.

“As the largest pro-Agreement party we are best placed to challenge the DUP agenda and challenge those within the British system who continue to try and frustrate the promise of the Good Friday Agreement.”

The party is poised to become the third largest in Dublin, with 14% of those polled revealing that they will vote for the party in the local election. Similar results are expected across the country and the party’s number of elected candidates is set to increase several times from its 1999 showing.

Mr Adams said a strong Sinn Féin vote would send the British government “a clear message that people across the island are determined to see their basic rights and entitlements delivered.”

Sinn Féin is calling for an open, nuclear-free and fair-trade ‘Europe of Equals’. It will work for the harmonisation across the border in several areas -- notably the adoption of the Euro currency across the island and in the area of taxation.

It also seeks to have the Irish language given the status an official working language of the European Union, and an end to “fundamental flaws” in the EU constitution.

Bairbre de Brun is expected to take a seat in the Six Counties at the expense of either the rival nationalist SDLP or the Ulster Unionist party next week.

Ms de Brun added that if elected, she would represent the entire community in the North.

“Sinn Féin MEPs will campaign for continued support for peace building; a greater focus on social inclusion; greater transparency and accountability; a sustainable future for farming and fishing communities; a clean environment; and an EU which respects and promotes equality and human rights domestically and globally,” she said.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News