Irish Republican News · September 20, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Sinn Fein ‘think in’ underway

The Dublin government is being brought “screaming before the courts” by Sinn Fein on the issue of the three outstanding by-elections, according to the party’s Dail leader Caoimhghin O Caolain.

As Sinn Fein’s think-in got underway in Dublin today, Mr O Caolain said the High Court would hear a case by Sinn Fein Senator Pearse Doherty on October 18th which is designed to force the Government into holding a by-election in Donegal South-West.

The 26-County Prime Minister Brian Cowen has said the by-elections will be held in 2011, but has given no specific date. Government officials have insisted there are no requirements to hold the by-elections within a specific time frame.

“Sinn Fein are the only party that are bring this Government screaming before the courts in order to force them to not only have the Donegal South-West byelection but Dublin South and Waterford,” said Mr O Caolain.

He described the recent controversy over Cowen’s radio performance at the Fianna Fail think-in in Galway as “a modern-day example of Nero fiddling while Rome burned”.

He said Sinn Fein would contest up to 40 constituencies, “maybe all 43 constituencies”, in the next election but did not have a target number of seats it aimed to achieve.

However, he said Fianna Fail had “about a snowball’s chance in hell” of entering coalition with Sinn Fein after the election. He also described the leader of the Labour Party Eamon Gilmore as a “political fiance” to Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny.

Mr O Caolain said a commission should examine what could be done to bring the National Assets Management Agency (Nama), the agency responsible for managing the banking bailout, to an end as soon as possible. “It is time to bring this madness to an end,” he said.

A commission could examine the most responsible and economically safe way of doing this, he told delegates at the pre-Dail gathering.

Mr O Caolain also said people were becoming more politicised over the economic crisis and would no longer accept multi-billion euro cutbacks on public services.

“The current Government has bred disgust and disillusionment with politics,” he said.

“They are hoping people have their heads down and will accept the forthcoming savage budget with little protest.

“But people have become politicised. They will not accept this lying down.”

Accusing the Government of an appalling mishandling of the banking crisis, Mr O Caolain warned another much-feared slash-and-burn Budget would not help the economy.

Mr O Caolain said a focus on creating jobs and not cutting public spending was the key to the country’s recovery.

“In education Government cuts mean dilapidated schools, larger classes and neglect of special needs,” he said.

“In health the cuts mean longer waiting lists, cancelled operations, more people on trolleys and chairs in A&E, hospital services closed down.

“If the recruitment ban in the public health services is maintained over the next three years then a further 6,000 posts will remain unfilled.”

Mr O Caolain said the planned cuts were part of a totally flawed fiscal policy that would take the life blood out of the economy.

“Many economic commentators would have us believe that savage cuts to vital public services are inevitable. That is not the case,” he said.

Sinn Fein is preparing for a pre-Budget rally against cuts in Dublin on Saturday December 4.

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