[Sinn Fein]

25th April 2002

``Sinn Fein is confident and strong'' - Ó Caoláin

Sinn Fein is going into the general election confident and strong, according to its sole TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin. He said that the party would be campaigning to build on the peace process, to advance towards Irish unity and to create an Ireland of equals. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

``Sinn Fein goes into this General Election confident and strong. We are in a better position than ever to make significant gains. Sinn Fein has been on an election footing for the past 12 months. Canvassing has been ongoing since the start of the year in all our key constituencies. The response has been excellent in every area.

``This has been the most long-awaited General Election in the history of the State. It is now time, at last, for the people to give their verdict on a Fianna Fáil/Progressive Democrats Coalition government which has failed to harness unprecedented prosperity to create social and economic equality. The wealthy have benefited most from the boom. Others have had to wait and it is lower earners who suffer most from the chaos in the health services and the housing crisis.

``The FF/PD government failed to learn the simple equation that better public services mean a better quality of life for all.

``Sinn Fein's vision is of an Ireland of Equals. We want to build on the progress in the peace process, advance towards the unity of our island and our people and to create real equality so that all can share in the benefits of the economy.

``It has been my privilege to represent Sinn Fein and my constituents in Cavan/Monaghan for the past five years. I look forward with confidence to continuing that representation in the new Dáil as part of a team of Sinn Fein TDs.''

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