A MESSAGE FROM GERRY ADAMS
Ireland has changed greatly over the past decade. The Peace
Process driven by Sinn Féin has delivered changes many never
thought possible. In this State, the hard work of all our people
has reversed economic decline, reduced unemployment
dramatically, ended emigration and encouraged immigration.
As a consequence, Ireland is now more peaceful and
economically prosperous than ever before.
But we still live in a divided Ireland. The gap has widened
between those with massive wealth and those who must work
long hours to house, clothe and feed themselves and their
families. People in poverty and on the margins of society don’t
share in the new prosperity. Minorities suffer discrimination.
And our country is still partitioned.
With so much wealth at our collective disposal, why are there
still so many social problems? It’s because successive
Governments have made the wrong choices. They have
rewarded the greed of the few at the expense of the welfare of
the people as a whole. They have abandoned housing policy to
speculators and profiteers, so decent homes are now
unaffordable for many thousands of people. They have further
privatised our health services, worsening the two-tier divide
and aggravating the crisis in our hard-pressed public hospital
system. They refused to invest in our education system and
make it more inclusive so that many are denied the full and
equal access that is their right.
This government has also failed miserably as planners. As a
result, economic development is concentrated in the east of the
country and some regions still suffer major disadvantage
despite the booming economy. Dublin is sprawling beyond
control. Commuting has become a nightmare for most people.
Agriculture and fisheries - and rural and coastal communities -
are in accelerated decline. Our natural resources have been sold
to the lowest bidder and our environment is under pressure as
never before. Irish economic competitiveness is not secure; it is
But it is not true that anything would be better than the current
Government. It is not enough to say that this coalition has been
in office for a decade and we need a change of personnel,
because democracy is not just about parties taking turns. Far
more is needed - a new vision, different policies and a genuine
determination to build a secure future and a better quality of life
for all, based on equality.
There is only one real alternative in this general election: Sinn
We are ready for Government, north and south. We have a vision
and a plan for a prosperous country in which wealth is shared
and where the promise of equal rights and equal opportunities
is fulfilled for each and every person who lives on our island.
We are the only party with a genuine commitment and a
strategy to achieve a new republic that honours the vision of the
1916 Proclamation by pursuing ‘the prosperity of the whole
nation and all of its parts, cherishing all the children of the
nation equally’. What does this mean in 2007? It means:
A United Ireland where all the people of our island look
forward to a shared and peaceful future.
An Ireland of Equals where everyone’s rights are
guaranteed, free of the divisions caused by partition,
sectarianism, racism and other forms of discrimination,
and free from poverty and economic inequality.
A healthcare service providing equal access for everyone
based on need alone.
Housing as a right for all.
An education system that allows Ireland to reach its full
potential - that ensures every child full access to learning
at all levels and ensures literacy and life-long learning for
Childcare for all who need it, to help raise family incomes,
promote women’s right to equal pay, and enhance early
A properly planned Ireland with improved quality of life for
individuals, families and communities through efficient
transport and other vital infrastructure, leisure facilities
and working conditions that allow people to contribute
time to their family, friends and neighbours.
A new commitment to protect the land, the waters, the air
and the whole environment of Ireland, to ensure
sustainable agriculture and fisheries, to reclaim our natural
resources and to develop renewable energy to guarantee a
future for our children.
An Ireland that opposes war and global exploitation and
through a policy of positive neutrality, works for
international peace and justice.
A strong economy that serves and protects our society -
that offers more prosperity and more equality.
This is the type of Ireland we are committed to build. To achieve
these positive changes we will work as hard as we always have
throughout the Peace Process, in our communities, in councils
across the country, in the Assembly and in the Dail. For the past
five years our five Sinn Féin TDs have provided leadership
beyond their numbers. They have promoted the republican
vision and worked with people throughout Ireland to create a
new type of politics. Ireland needs more Sinn Féin TDs in the Dail
to champion real change and to provide the most effective
representation for our communities.
This is your Ireland. It is your future. Only you can shape it for the
better. Join us in that task by voting Sinn Féin.
Lasting Peace and Irish Unity
Complete a Green Paper on Irish Unity within one year, identifying steps
and measures to promote and assist a successful transition to a United
Appoint a Minister of State to co-ordinate the Government’s all-Ireland
policies across Departments.
Introduce 6 County elected representation in the Houses of the
Begin the process of co-ordinating economic development, service
provision and planning on an all-Ireland basis.
Commence a specific process of outreach to the unionist community to
involve them in this planning as equal partners.
Secure a referendum on Irish Unity to be held simultaneously, north
Equal Access to World Class Public Services
Healthcare is a Right
Begin the transition to a new universal public health system for Ireland
that provides care to all free at the point of delivery, on the basis of
need alone, and funded from general, fair and progressive taxation.
Invest all health funding in the public system.
Immediately end tax breaks for private hospitals and the land gift
Provide full medical cards for all under the poverty line and all under-
Make all new hospital consultant posts public-only.
Develop a network of modern and accessible Primary Care Treatment
Make advanced screening services available locally, promptly and
Deliver into the public hospital system the additional 3,000 hospital
Reverse cutbacks in services at local hospitals and configure all
hospitals to ensure that emergency services are available as locally as
Ring-fence at least 12% of the health budget for mental health
Produce a fully resourced, comprehensive All-Ireland Suicide Prevention
Housing is a Right
Establish a Department of Housing with a full Minister.
Construct 70,000 new units by 2012 to accommodate social housing
Amend the Planning and Development Act (2002) to require that all
new developments must allocate 30% to social and affordable
housing, with at least 10% social and at least 10% affordable housing.
Eliminate street homelessness by the year 2010.
Increase mortgage interest relief for first time mortgage-holders and
principle home owners who earn up to the average industrial wage.
Introduce a tenants’ rights charter.
Require all new social housing to be fitted with energy-efficient
alternative energy sources.
Reform the planning laws to support the right of rural dwellers to build
on their own land or to purchase and build locally.
Legislate to ensure services such as public transportation, healthcare
centres, childcare centres and schools are incorporated into all housing
Education and Childcare
Introduce a universal pre-school session of 3.5 hours per day, five days a
week for all children aged 3-5 years.
Centralise childcare provision under a single Department.
Immediately reduce all class sizes for children under 9 to a maximum of
End the use of prefab buildings within the lifetime of the next Dail.
Increase funding per pupil at pre-school and primary level so that
expenditure will be more equal to that at third level, ensuring that
schools in areas of high disadvantage receive proportionately more
funding and resources.
Prioritise action on autism to ensure the earliest intervention for all
who need it.
Keep the Irish language as a core subject at post-primary level.
Teach a second subject through Irish at primary school level eg PE or
Launch a vigorous all-Ireland adult literacy campaign.
Assist schools and teachers to promote discipline in schools and ensure
a positive learning environment.
A Strong and Sustainable economy
Strengthening the All-Ireland Economy
Adopt and implement an all-Ireland Economic Development Plan.
Ensure maximum all-Ireland co-ordination in the use of EU funds.
Begin an open debate on the benefits of one currency for the whole
Establish a public investment programme to ensure that Government
departments and agencies proactively invest in historically neglected
and underdeveloped areas to reverse the current imbalance.
An extensive expansion of an all-Ireland rail network on an accelerated
Increase funding and provision of buses in rural areas. Provide 500
extra buses for Bus Atha Cliath.
Legislate and budget to ensure that all public transport is accessible to
people with disabilities.
Build a North West Motorway/high speed dual carriageway serving the
route from Dublin to Donegal/Derry.
Abolish road tolls.
Provide universal access to broadband on an all-Ireland basis.
Establish an all-Ireland mobile phone network, with reasonable all-
Put an end to the artificial inflation of ESB prices.
Invest in the accelerated development of wind and wave energy
Supporting Enterprise and Job Creation
Support the development of indigenous micro and small and medium
enterprises (SME) and social economy enterprises.
Improve support for start-up businesses including provision of
increased business advice, guidance and training plus dedicated
Adopt an All-Ireland R&D Strategy including extra assistance to SMEs
and new businesses to develop business plans for R&D.
Provide specific recycling depots for small business to enable them to
reduce their waste management costs.
Initiate a specific Redundancy to Entrepreneurship scheme
Explore and pursue possibilities for establishing new profitable
companies in public ownership, particularly in strategic sectors.
Establish a Department of Labour with a full Minister.
Introduce a penalty points system against rogue employers who
consistently violate labour law, with a range of penalties including a
bar from eligibility for public contracts to removal from the companies
Increase regulation of the apprenticeship system and extend minimum
wage legislation to cover apprentices.
Legislate to establish rights and entitlements for migrant workers
equivalent to those of host society workers.
Immediately enact corporate manslaughter legislation.
An Equal Economy, Where Wealth is Shared
Raising Household Incomes
Double the Living Alone Allowance.
Increase the Family Income Supplement by O68 per week and make it
an automatic payment
Extend eligibility for the Back to Work Allowance to include those who
are unemployed for more than 12 months.
Extend the new Early Childcare Supplement to include children aged 6
Ensure lone parents can keep their rent supplement for at least 3 years
of full-time work and continually if they are in part-time employment.
Abolish the means test for carers and substantially increase the Carer’s
Introduce a Cost of Disability Payment.
Keep those on or below the minimum wage out of the tax net, and set
the minimum wage at, at least of 60% of average industrial earnings.
Keep those on or below the average industrial earnings within the
standard rate tax band.
Aggressively pursue tax evasion and invest adequate resources for tax
collection and enforcement.
Close all remaining legal loopholes that have allowed millionaires to
pay no tax whatsoever.
Introduce legislation to end tax exile status
Remove tax exemptions except where the economic and social value
outweighs the cost eg R&D.
Negotiate for tax harmonisation across the island.
A New Emphasis on Non-Tax Revenue
Reform the current exploration licensing and taxation regime and
renegotiate oil and gas contracts.
Establish a State oil, gas and mineral exploration company which would
actively participate and invest in exploration.
Set a target for becoming a net exporter of electricity from renewable
Keep the ESB and all other public companies in public ownership.
Negotiate at EU level for an exception to the EU State Aid Rules similar
to that conceded to Germany, to assist post-partition reconstruction
Responsible Spending of Public Wealth in the Public Interest
Subject public spending not just to ‘value for money’ efficiency audits
but also to regular effectiveness audits against social and economic
Empower the Comptroller and Auditor General to examine all existing
PPP projects for cost overruns, revenue foregone and wastage against
long-term cost and profit projections.
Establish an All-Ireland Procurement and Purchasing Agency
accountable to the Dail, Assembly and All-Ireland Ministerial Council
to introduce greater efficiencies.
Equality for Rural Communities
Make rural regeneration and balanced regional development a priority.
Immediately commission an All-Ireland Rural White Paper.
Actively promote and support entrepreneurship within rural
communities, especially co-operative and other ‘social economy’
Provide greater access to start-up incentives for rural businesses.
Reform the planning laws to support the right of rural dwellers to build
on their own land or to purchase and build locally.
Enhance investment in rural public transport, and ensure planned
delivery of an all-Ireland road and rail network, with a focus on
accelerated development in the western and border regions.
Revitalising Irish Agriculture
Ensure that the maximum number of people continue farming, while
stemming the shift towards large scale factory style farming.
Oppose importation of cheap meat that fails to meet the strict food
safety regulations imposed here.
Work to amend the Single Farm Payment regulations to raise the lower
income limit and impose a higher income limit, in order to redirect EU
funds and ensure a decent livelihood for smaller farmers.
Assist farm diversification into new areas eg organic farming and
Keep Ireland as a whole GM crop-free
Facilitate the conversion of the Carlow and Mallow sugar plants to
Give farmers adequate notice prior to farm inspections.
A Sustainable Future for the Irish Fisheries
Establish a separate Ministry for the Marine and Natural Resources with
a full Minister.
Negotiate radical reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, with the aim
of returning the greater part of management of Irish fisheries back
into Irish hands.
Introduce a transparent system of issuing of licences, quota and
Conserve Irish fish stocks by reducing the quota available to foreign
fleets and introduce proper independent scientific monitoring of
Ensure adequate compensation for Driftnet Salmon Fishermen.
Establish a fully independent Garda Ombudsman, a Garda Board for
civilian management oversight and Community Policing Partnerships.
Civilianise appropriate tasks to allow the redeployment of all fully
trained Gardai to fight crime and serve their communities.
Establish a system of consistent victim liaison to ensure that victims,
especially of violent crimes, are kept fully informed throughout the
investigation and prosecution process.
Ensure more consistent prosecution of sexual assault, rape and domestic
Adopt a comprehensive strategy to effectively combat anti-social
behaviour including social investment in marginalised areas, early
intervention for those at risk of offending, community policing and
Introduce community restorative justice alternatives for most nonviolent
Ensure robust enforcement of the law and prosecution of offenders
involved in criminal behaviour.
Repeal the Offences Against the State Acts and dissolve the Special
Continue to negotiate the establishment of an effective all-Ireland sex
Strengthening Human Rights Protections
Introduce the All-Ireland Charter of Rights provided for under the Good
Adequately fund the Equality Authority and Equality Tribunal.
Adopt binding gender targets of at least 40% for each gender on the
boards of all state and semi-state bodies, the judiciary, and the
Amend the 1937 Constitution to expressly recognise children’s rights.
Establish an Ombudsman for Older People.
Establish a Disability Strategy Implementation and Monitoring Unit
within the Department of the Taoiseach, to set annual targets towards
full delivery by 2016.
Reinstate previous funding levels for anti-racism initiatives and provide
annual increases as necessary.
Repeal the sections of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2002
that criminalise the Traveller way of life.
End the policy of dispersal and the Direct Provision System and extend
the right to work and pay taxes to all asylum seekers while their
applications are being processed.
Introduce legislation to permit and recognise same-sex marriage, to
provide full and equal recognition of all civil partnerships in law and
recognise the right of same-sex couples to adopt children in the same
manner as heterosexual couples.
A Better Quality of Life
A Clean Environment is a Right
Campaign to secure the complete closure of Sellafield.
Ban the development of municipal incinerators in Ireland and set
progressive time-framed targets to minimise waste going to landfill.
Introduce legislation to compel industrial and commercial producers of
waste to reduce waste production in a planned, targeted and
Mandate and support all councils to produce waste reduction strategies
including a minimum target of 50% recycling and introduce a total
ban on disposal of compostable waste in landfills by 2010.
Support the introduction of 100% capital and maintenance grants for
civic recycling initiatives.
Legislate to regulate for best practice environmental standards for all
new buildings, and work towards the target of zero carbon homes by
Bring all water supplies up to the highest EU standard.
A Serious Approach to the Drugs Crisis
Make adequate resources to Local Drugs Task Forces and Rural Drugs
Combat cocaine use and roll out cocaine treatment projects.
Introduce widespread and well-resourced drugs education programmes
and awareness campaigns for children and parents.
Continue to work directly with families and communities worst-affected
by drug and alcohol use and by the illegal drugs trade.
Commit adequate funding to significantly expand the availability of
drug treatment and to eliminate waiting lists for treatment.
Provide additional supports for the families of drug users, such as
grandparents caring for grandchildren.
Continue to pursue major drug traffickers and allocate funds seized
from them for community development.
Increase the resources available to An Garda Siochana drugs units.
Ag Cur an Ghaeilge ar ais i mBeal an Phobail
Implement the Official Languages Act 2003 in full.
Agree a 10 year All-Ireland Irish Language Development Plan focusing
on the preservation and advancement of the language.
Enhance Irish medium education and Irish language learning.
Ensure that every member of the ‘New Irish’ community has the
opportunity to learn Irish.
Allocate more funding to Foras na Gaeilge.
Increase funding for TG4 in keeping with its position as the primary Irish
Put in place a 10 year monitoring programme for the Gaeltacht and a
mechanism to officially recognise ‘Breac-Ghaeltachtai’ throughout the
Supporting Arts and Culture
Restore funding to the levels recommended by the Arts Plan, reach a
minimum investment target of 1% total budgetary spend
Increase support to community festivals.
Make arts and culture a new area of formal all-Ireland co-operation
under the Good Friday Agreement, and actively promote the State as a
cultural visitor destination within an all-Ireland framework.
Demilitarisation and Solidarity for a Better World
Enshrine neutrality in the Constitution.
Ensure Irish troops train and serve abroad only under the auspices and
leadership of the United Nations, and only with prior Dail approval.
Prohibit use of Irish airports, airspace, seaports, or territorial waters for
preparation for war or other armed conflict by foreign powers or to
facilitate any aspect of illegal acts such as the US Government’s
programme of ‘extraordinary rendition’.
Withdraw from the EU Rapid Reaction Force, Battle Groups and NATO’s
Partnership for Peace.
Incrementally increase Overseas Development Assistance to 1% of GNP
by 2010, ring-fence the ODA budget and keep all such aid un-tied.
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