[Sinn Fein]

12th December 1998

Merger leaves way open for Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein representative for Dublin South West, Seán Crowe, has described the subsuming of Democratic Left into the Labour Party as a `sweetheart deal' which will leave the ground open for Sinn Fein to grow.

Mr. Crowe said:

``The sweetheart deal between Democratic Left and Labour will be seen by many as a natural progression for these two parties. The Democratic Left had well gone past their `sell by date' having ceased to exist at local level a number of years ago. What we witnessed today was the subsuming into the Labour Party of a number of Democratic Left TD's and not the coming together of equals. This alliance is not, as they would have us believe, a new departure, but rather a re-aligning of the same worried old faces, promising the same old policies.

``Sinn Fein has long recognised the potential of a republican labour alternative on this island. We are the only party capable of fulfilling the needs of this natural and growing constituency. Sinn Fein have two MP's, one TD and over a hundred elected Councillors. Our party has begun to provide the electorate with a realistic alternative - credible candidates, a network of committed activists and a long track record of organising on the ground, on issues that matter including sharing current economic prosperity and tackling the drugs crisis.

``Today's arrangement between Democratic Left and Labour leaves an electoral gap that Sinn Fein are committed to filling.''

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