[Sinn Fein]

7 August 1998

Sinn Fein Fastest Growing Party

Delivering the Annual John Joe Mc Girl Memorial Lecture in Ballinamore County Leitrim, Sinn Fein TD Caoimghghín ó Caoláin said ``that Sinn Fein was the fastest growing force in Irish politics'' He predicted significant gains for the party in local government elections next year and in the next general election.

Deputy O Caoláin said:

`` Recent elelectoral advances North and South have made Sinn Fein the third largest party in Ireland in terms of popular vote. The time has come for us to make a major impact in the 26 counties. We are set to make significant gains in local elections next year and in the general election. We offer the only clear alternative to the faile politics which have blighted Irish society since partition.''

Calling for a peace dividend for the border region and the West of Ireland he continued:

``As a major political force in this region we in Sinn Fein are foremost in raising the demand that the benefits of both the present economic upturn and the peace process are shared on a equal basis. For too long the border region and the West of Ireland have discriminated against the economic management or rather mismanagement of this state. Together with deprived communities in the large urban areas this region has lagged farbehind. We in Sinn Fein are determined to work to reverse this policy of discrimination. ``

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