Speaking today during a meeting of the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle, Party Leader Gerry Adams TD commented on next week’s Cabinet reshuffle and Joan Burton’s election as Labour Party leader.
“For those struggling families bearing the brunt of austerity, a change of leader in the Labour Party is of little consequence as long as Labour continues to prop up this Fine Gael-led Government.
“Only a radical change of political direction by the Government will make any positive difference in the lives of ordinary citizens.
“But that is clearly not on the cards as this Government practices the same, discredited politics of their Fianna Fáil predecessors.
“This Government continues to ignore the hardship endured by low and middle income families as a result of its brutal austerity policies.
“It continues to implement petty cuts to welfare and social supports which are hurting vulnerable citizens.
“A cabinet reshuffle will change none of this. What we need is a change of Government.
“During the Labour leadership contest it was clear that Joan Burton was more focused on Sinn Féin than on her own party’s subservience to Fine Gael.
“As a senior Minister she has supported and been part of the Government’s austerity agenda. The people want change. Joan Burton needs to be willing to lead her party in a new direction.
“That is a mistake and a missed political opportunity.”
On political developments in the North in recent days Gerry Adams said:
“The unionist walkout and threat to pull down political institutions is part of an escalating crisis within the political process.
“Sinn Féin has repeatedly called on the Irish and British government to focus on this crisis.
“I have also raised these concerns in Washington with the Obama Administration.
“As co-equal guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, the British Government needs to face down unionist threats and ensure political progress by fully implementing the Good Friday and subsequent agreements.
“Unionist leaders must bear responsibility for the consequences of calling people onto the streets over a decision by the Parades Commission. Their words and actions in recent days have been deeply irresponsible.
“Sinn Féin is appealing for calm, for peace and no confrontation on our streets in the coming days.