[Sinn Fein]

14th May 2002

TV Debate - Platform For failed and tired Policies

Sinn Fein Dublin South Central Candidate Aengus Ó Snodaigh has said that tonight's TV debate between Michael Noonan and Bertie Ahern will again show clearly that `the two parties they represent are simply different shades of the same conservatism'. Mr Ó Snodaigh said:

``There has been much commentary throughout this election campaign about its dull nature. The main reason for this is the fact that the main parties and their policies are simply different shades of the same conservatism. The leadership debate will show this again tonight.

``None of the establishment parties are willing to engage in a debate on the fundamental issues, which affect people lives. Instead they have all hidden behind economists and attempted to dull the election campaign with an endless battle about economics.

``They have decided to ignore fundamental issues. Neither Fianna Fail nor Fine Gael has any policy to remove the two-tier health system. They do not have any proposals on Irish Unity. They have no proposals to tackle the housing crisis. In short they both want to continue tinkering with a social system which clearly needs radical action.

``Sinn Fein is the only party in this election who can offer this radical vision. We are not interested in tinkering with systems that have failed. We want to use the wealth generated by the Celtic Tiger to actually benefit people's lives. We offer a genuine alternative to the failed and tired politics which will be on display tonight.''

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