[Sinn Fein]

1ú Feabhra 2002

``Four seats for Sinn Fein'' - Ó Caoláin

Bigger SF mandate will be ``boost to peace process''

Speaking at the launch of his re-election campaign in the Cavan/Monaghan constituency Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghín Ó Caolain said he believed four seats were achievable for the party in the general election. He also said that an increased mandate for Sinn Fein would provide a ``necessary boost to the peace process''.

The sole SF TD was joined at the re-launch rally in Monaghan town by MPs Pat Doherty and Michelle Gildernew and Party Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA.

Caoimhghín Ó Caolain said:

``I believe that we will have four TDs in Leinster House to join our four MPs. That goal is achievable. The retention of the Dáil seat here in Cavan/Monaghan and the election of a team of Sinn Fein TDs in Leinster House will provide a necessary boost to the peace process.

``As the only truly national party, our increased electoral mandate in the 26 Counties and growing political strength on both sides of the Border will help to ensure the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, in particular the All-Ireland aspects. That political strength will be the catalyst for further progressive change on the basis of the equality agenda and it will bring us closer to our ultimate goal of Irish unity and national sovereignty.''

Referring to government neglect of the Border region he said:

``I am seeking a renewal of my mandate to campaign for greatly improved infrastructure and employment in this region. We are still a neglected region in terms of road development, lack of telecommunications such as links to the broadband network, lack of public transport and a total absence of major inward investment. It is quite disgraceful that we have had no major industry located here during the term of this government.''

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