Liadh Ni Riada campaign launch

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Liadh Ni Riada is the youngest daughter of the iconic composer and musician, Sean O’Riada. On Sunday she was confirmed as Sinn Fein’s candidate for the Presidency of Ireland in next month’s election. The following is the text of her campaign launch speech.

 

Ar an gcead dul sios teastaionn uaim a ra gur mor an onoir dom bheith roghnaithe ag Sinn Fein chun bheith mar iarrathoir d’oifig Uachtarain na hEireann.

Is onoir speisialta dom leanuint ar gcara Martin McGuinness a thug agus a thugann an-ionspioraid domsa agus do go leor daoine eile.

Firstly I wish to say how honoured I am to be chosen by Sinn Fein to be a candidate for the office of Uachtaran an hEireann.

It is a special honour to follow in the footsteps of the late Martin McGuinness who remains a huge political inspiration to myself and so many others.

As Mary Lou has said, I too believe strongly that the highest elected position in the land should be subject to popular mandate.

I also believe a Presidential election provides us with an opportunity to have an important conversation about how Ireland has changed over the past seven years and where we want it to go over the next seven.

When it was decided that Sinn Fein would contest this election I gave the matter deep thought and consideration. I was heartened by the encouragement I received from party colleagues who felt I would make a suitable candidate.

My personal background has given me a deep appreciation of Ireland’s unique identity and culture, its place in the wider world and a strong commitment to a United Ireland.

D’fhas me anios in Iarthar Chorcai, ait lena bhaineann stair phoblachtach broduil. Togadh me i nGaeltacht Mhuscrai i dteaghlach le Gaeilge, agus mar inion Sean O Riada, ba nadurtha dom bheith tumtha ina oidhreacht cheolmhar.

I grew up in west Cork, an area with a proud republican history. I was raised in the Gaeltacht in an Irish speaking family and as the daughter of Sean O Riada, naturally, I was surrounded by his musical legacy.

As someone who lost both parents at a young age, I have faced personal challenges and hardship. Myself and my siblings raised each other. This has given me a strong sense of independence and an empathy for those who are struggling.

Teastaionn uaim a bheith mar Uachtaran Nua d’Eirinn nua.

I want to be a new President for a New Ireland.

Ireland has radically changed since the last Presidential election. We’ve become a more caring and inclusive society. A global inspiration when it comes to progressive social change.

But we are only at the beginning of this new chapter.

It’s time for all of us - particularly our younger generation - to write our own story, to shape a new and United Ireland.

Ireland needs an energetic President to support and encourage this journey.

Ba chuis brod domsa bheith tofa mar feisire Eorpach ar son muintir Cuige Mumhan agus Deisceart Cuige Laighin. San Eorap leirigh me guth laidir ar son leas mhuintir na hEireann ar Brexit, na healaiona, pobail tuaithe agus uirbeacha, athru aeraide, neodracht agus ceartas soisialta.

I am proud to have served as MEP for Ireland South. I have fought hard for the interests of the Irish people in the European Parliament whether on Brexit, the arts, rural and urban communities, climate change, neutrality, or economic and social justice.

I am now asking the people to allow me to bring to the office of President, the enthusiasm, energy and commitment I have already shown.

Uachtaran na hEireann must be a beacon of hope for all our people - North, South, East, and West.

As President, my approach will be a humanitarian one that values the dignity of the individual and doesn’t look away from injustice and suffering at home or abroad.

Maron le bheith caomhnoir ar mBunreacht, beidh me croga mar chosantor ar ndaonlathas, leas naisiunta na hEireann, ar n-ardcheannas agus ar neodracht.

As well as being the custodian of our Constitution, I will be courageous in the defence of democracy, the national interest, aswell as Ireland’s sovereignty and neutrality.

Uachtaran na hEireann should have the integrity to represent all that is good in the instincts of the Irish people.

This may be in highlighting existential threats - such as climate change or the alarming rise of the Far Right across the world.

It may be drawing attention to the reality that refugees, from wherever they come, are our fellow human beings in need of protection.

Mar Uachtaran beidh me forasach agus gniomhach ag tacu leo siud inar sochai ata leochaileach no imeallaithe.

Beidh mo Uachtaranacht mar ghuth ar son Eire comhbhach, Eire coir; Eire in a bhfuil didean ag gach paiste ina mbaile fein.

My Presidency will major on the need to provide support for our most vulnerable and marginalised citizens.

I will be a voice for a caring Ireland. A fair Ireland. An Ireland where every child has a home. An Ireland that leaves no one behind.

As President, I will honour the contribution of our carers and those working in our public services. I will launch a Presidential initiative to recognise employers paying fair wages.

Thar lear, cuirfidh me leasanna muintir na hEireann chun cinn, mar a ndeanaim i gconai. Tiomanfaidh me togra chun iad siud a chuireadh ar imirce de dheasca an gearcheim eacnamaioct a thabhairt abhaile.

When abroad, I will put the interests of the Irish people first, as I always have. I will lead a drive to bring home a generation forced to leave since the economic crash.

I will give leadership on the values that should underpin a New Ireland - such as the economy serving the needs of our people and not the other way around.

Ta imni agus eadaingne ag cur leis an gearcheim slainte intinne ata ag fas inar dtir. Direoidh me ar chuiseanna na gearcheime seo - ar na slite ar feidir linn ar sochai a eagru ionas go mbeimid ag tacu lena cheile in ionad ligint dar gcaighdean saoil bheith laghdaithe de dheasca eagothroime agus aonarachas.

Anxiety and insecurity are contributing to a growing mental health crisis in our country. I will focus on the causes of this crisis - on how we can organise society so that we support each other rather than allow our quality of life be undermined by inequality and extreme individualism.

There are exciting opportunities within the parameters of Oifig an Uachtaran to really empower people - through educational scholarships, by reaching out to our Diaspora, by helping to promote women on their journey towards full equality of citizenship, or by nurturing the incredible, untapped potential of our rich culture.

Bainfidh me usaid as deiseanna na hoifige, san aireamh an deis labhairt os comhar an Oireachtais, chun reachtairi a chur i gcuimhne ar na luachanna is tabhachtai - rathunas a roinnt, aire a thabhairt dar saoranach go leir, agus dluthphairtiocht a thaispeaint lena cheile.

I will use the opportunities of the office, including the ability to address the Oireachtas, to remind legislators of the values that matter - sharing prosperity, caring for all citizens and showing solidarity with others.

Ta fis agam d’Eirinn nua ata iolraioch agus ionchuimsitheach. Fis d’Eirinn aontaithe ina bhfuil meas leirithe dar bhfeiniulachtai agus traidisiuin ar fad.

My vision for a New Ireland is a pluralist and inclusive one. It is of a United Ireland that respects the identities and traditions of all.

I will be a positive voice for Irish Unity, leading by example and demonstrating the outreach and inclusivity that is needed to bring the people of this island together. If I am president, Aras an Uachtarain will be a welcoming house for all.

The island of Ireland today is in transition. Brexit will have a major impact on the political and constitutional future of this island.

Increasingly the prospect, shape and nature of a United Ireland will be a feature of public discussion and political decision making.

Mar Uachtaran, cuirfidh me tus le comhra cuimsitheach saoranach mar gheall ar Eire aontaithe amach anseo.

As President, I will initiate an inclusive citizens conversation on a future united Ireland.

The past seven years have witnessed the disappearance of a lot of Ireland’s of old certainties. Partition too will be overcome. The tide of history is with those seeking to build a new, progressive and inclusive future.

A process of national reconciliation is central to any genuine effort to unite the people of Ireland. And, if elected, reconciliation will be a theme of my Presidency.

The future of this great country will be built on our glorious diversity - an equal society for women and men, citizens of all abilities and disabilities, settled and traveller, LGBT and straight, young and old, black and white, Orange and Green.

Taim iarraidh oraibh bheith liom ar an turas seo amach romhainn, agus me ag seasamh os bhur gcomhar mar duine daoibh, bean broduil poblachtach, ag iarraidh oraibhse tacu liom chun bheith mar Uachtaran do gach einne.

I am asking you to take that journey with me as I stand here before you today, as one of us, a proud Republican woman, asking you to help me to become a president for all of us.

A chairde, make no mistake, today’s announcement is a game changer in this Presidential election. Together we can win. Together we can make history. Together we can ensure that we have a new President for a New Ireland.

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