Speaking at a selection convention in Roscommon this evening, where Sinn Fein chose Leitrim Councillor Martin Kenny as its candidate for the Roscommon/South Leitrim by-election, Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams TD said:
“The people of Roscommon/South Leitrim have a clear choice to make in this election. It is a choice between the failed austerity agenda of the establishment parties and the genuine republican politics of Sinn Fein.
“A vote for Fine Gael, Fianna Fail or Labour is a vote for the continuation of policies which have led to unemployment, economic stagnation and huge emigration levels in Roscommon and Leitrim. It is a vote for the property tax, water charges, the closure of local Garda stations, post offices and schools and the decimation of services in rural Ireland.
“Some commentators have portrayed this election as Fianna Fail’s to lose. But I agree with those who say that the people are not ready for Fianna Fail in Government again.
“Fianna Fail cannot provide a credible alternative to the government because Fine Gael and Labour are implementing Fianna Fail policy. Fianna Fail is an integral part of the ‘Consensus for Cuts’. The Water Tax, for instance, was Fianna Fail’s idea.
“I do not believe the people of Roscommon/South Leitrim want to see the seat, formerly held by Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, going to a Government TD or to Fianna Fáil when they are suffering as a result of the policies of these parties.
“Sinn Fein stands for a fair recovery that is not based on taxing the roof we live under and the water we drink. Every vote for Martin Kenny is a vote against austerity, for investment in jobs, a continuation of the peace process and for a united Ireland.
“There are moments in the history of a nation when an opportunity for real change presents itself. When that is seized, and citizens are persuaded of the possibilities, the course of a nation’s history is altered forever.
“The groundbreaking 1917 by-election in Roscommon was one such moment. In our own time, the election of Bobby Sands as MP for Fermanagh/South Tyrone was also a history changing event.
“We are now, once again, at a defining period in Irish history. Some combination of Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil has been in government since the foundation of this state. But as one-party Orange rule in the North is gone; the failed, two-and-a-half party system in this state is going also.
“Sinn Féin is a significant player in both states with policies and a growing organization, which transcends partition. The political landscape is changing. Never before has Ireland so urgently needed genuine republican politics. That is what Sinn Féin stands for.
“In this by-election, Roscommon/South Leitrim can speak for everyone by rejecting the failed politics of the past and voting for a change in political direction. Electing a Sinn Fein TD to join our Dáil team is the most effective way to drive that message home.”
Source: Sinn Féin Newsroom