[Sinn Fein]

15th January 2003

Sinn Fein hold Dáil Review

Sinn Fein TDs, Dáil advisers and members of the Ard Comhairle held a day long meeting in Dublin today to plan the party's programme for the upcoming Dáil term and begin preparation for next years local government elections. Speaking following the meeting Dáil group leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said:

``Despite the huge crisis in health, housing and across rural Ireland the government are in a politically strong position and have as yet not been met by concerted opposition.

``The next six months must see more effective co-operation among the opposition parties to put the government on the rack.

``Over the last number of years Sinn Fein has experienced rapid growth right across the country, but particularly in the 26 counties.

``The election of 5 Sinn Fein TDs and the fundamental realignment of the opposition within Leinster House has already impacted on the body politic. This morning we examined the role of the opposition and its failure to effectively challenge the government. We need to use the strengths within the opposition to make the government accountable and challenge the political direction of this right wing coalition.

``Over the next six months Sinn Fein will be campaigning in the Dáil and in communities across the island. We will be challenging the government on the crisis in the health service, growing numbers on the housing list, the decline of rural Ireland and strengthening the Peace Process. We will also be continuing with our work of building Sinn Fein and preparing for Irish Unity.''

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