17 June 1998
Sinn Fein - Ready for Government
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP speaking at the launch of the party's manifesto for the forthcoming election on June 25th said that ``Sinn Fein are Ready for Government and ready to build a new Ireland which will benefit everyone living on the island''.
Mr. Adams said:
``While all elections are important, this one has added significance given the strong endorsement of the Good Friday Agreement and the sense of hope which is evident throughout Ireland. The challenge now is to translate that vote for change into support for those parties who can deliver real change.
``Irish republicans are proud to be at the forefront of the changing political landscape of Irish politics. It was Sinn Fein's peace strategy which created the present opportunity for peace and it will be our presence in the assembly, in the executive and on the all-Ireland Ministerial Council which will make the difference in delivering real change.
``Sinn Fein are contesting this election under the theme `Building a New Ireland - For Real Change'. We are seeking real democracy - political, social and economic.
``Sinn Fein are ready for government. We are ready to plan, with others, the future for the people of Ireland through the Assembly, the Executive and the all-Ireland Ministerial Council. We want to turn new institutions into power houses that will shape a new political future for all the people of this island.
``Sinn Fein intend to push the Good Friday Agreement to its limits and beyond. We intend to maximise the all-Ireland dimension, to pursue the establishment of a new policing service, the release of all political prisoners, equity and funding for the Irish language; a new judiciary; a civil service which respects all citizens. Equality in all aspects of life and for all sectiosn of our people in their daily lives.
``Economic democracy is central to Sinn Fein's political programme. We believe that local communities have to be at the centre of economic development.
``Sinn Fein want to see a radical transformation of economic activity on the island. This must begin with the establishment of an all-Ireland economy, something which will be of benefit to everybody living on the island. Sinn Fein's economic priorities include an end to discrimination, a massive injection of resources to create jobs in those areas, urban and rural, most directly affected by years of conflict and specific grant aid to help develop the border region's economic infrastructure.
``We want to see agricultural policy aimed at keeping the maximum number of farmers on the land and to achieve a more equitable distribution of support payments. We will prioritise the development of an integrated strategy for rural development and the promotion of rural tourism. We are especially committed to reversing the discrimination of areas West of the Bann.
Other priority issues include:
- A comprehensive programme to tackle the rising drugs problem
- Environmental strategy which encourages recycling and re-use
- A major investment in the health service to modernise our hospitals and upgrade their services
- Greater resourcing of youth services
- The provision of proper services and funding for carers
The implementation of policies on all these issues is possible if the peace process can be developed through to a democratic peace settlement that presents challenges for all political parties. Sinn Fein is up to real challenges. We are about building a new Ireland. We are for real change. We are ready for government.
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