Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North-West Matt Carthy delivered the keynote address at the party’s Wolfe Tone commemoration in Kildare last weekend. He said that Sinn Féin remain determined to deliver the vision of Wolfe Tone “of a new Republic that can achieve so much more”. The following is an edited version of his speech.
We are proud of the tradition of Irish Republicanism from which we hail.
We are proud of those who came before us, who fought for us, who died for our freedom, who refused to bow down in the face of impossible odds.
We will never be ashamed or shy about celebrating those patriots that kept the flame of the Irish Republic alive.
I want to pay tribute today to all of Sinn Féin’s candidates who represented the party in the recent local and European elections North and South. Many hard-working, valuable elected representatives failed to retain their positions, while many new candidates failed to make the breakthrough they deserved.
We will face this latest challenge in the same way that Republicans have faced much greater challenges in the past. We will analyse all of the factors which led to the result and we will take appropriate action, we will regroup and move forward once again.
Sinn Féin has a political vision and regardless of the ups and downs of elections, we will continue to work to deliver a United Ireland and a real republic with social justice and equality at its core.
Political, social and economic events here in Ireland and abroad are leading inexorably to an upcoming referendum on the re-unification of Ireland.
Sinn Féin, like Tone, seeks a United Ireland that is truly inclusive of all our people, whatever their background, tradition, creed or colour.
A genuinely united and agreed Ireland requires an essential discussion of the possible shape and nature of new constitutional arrangements.
We want to work constructively with unionists to build agreement and to make common cause on the issues that affect all our people.
Sinn Féin negotiators are currently seeking to move quickly to meaningful and intensive engagement to secure an Executive and Assembly that delivers for everyone in the North.
What this party will not do however, is allow any welching on previous political agreements. We will not tolerate the diminution of the rights of any citizen.
Everything we do is driven by the belief that Ireland can do much better. We look around today and see a partitioned country where our public services are sold off to multinational corporations, many face eviction, where our elderly are denied home help care, where they languish on hospital beds.
We’re determined to tackle these crises head on. We are determined to put the interests of the Irish people ahead of the profits of ruthless corporations.
We will deliver the republic envisaged by Tone. Proud of our country, proud of our people, proud of our cause. We will finish the job.