Sinn Féin Launches manifesto

The Sinn Féin Website carries a speech by Mitchel McLoughlin, Real and lasting peace is the most important issue facing the Irish people today, given at the launch of Westminster election manifesto, available to download in pdf form here.Ananova quotes Gerry Adams on the manifesto, Sinn Fein launches manifesto,

“We’re interested in persuading people on the basis of this.

“It argues for initiatives, for example, like Westminster MPs should have the right to go to the Dail (the Irish Republic’s Parliament) and take part in debates there and the Oireachtas committee on constitutional reform has already agreed to that.

“Why hasn’t the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern) brought that in? Wouldn’t it be good to see Ian Paisley in Leinster House arguing issues which effect the Common Agricultural Policy, arguing issues which effect small farmers in his constituency?

“So this isn’t about dominating as far as we are concerned. This is about going out and engaging with people on the doorsteps and asking for their support.

“We’re an all-Ireland party and what does that mean? It means we’re against Balknanisation. I heard an expert on radio actually rubbishing that more outlandish claim from Seamus Mallon.

“What’s our party about? It’s about harmony and neighbourliness on the basis of equality. We have a particular vision. We want to see a national republic on the island of Ireland.

“If others have a better idea, if Ian Paisley or David Trimble think the Union is better, then let them argue. We’ll debate them with nothing more than those arguments and whatever mandate we get in this election.”

Noel McAdam writes in the Belfast Telegraph, Sinn Fein manifesto calls for truth over collusion,

the manifesto sought to touch all the right buttons of its support base. Sinn Fein said it would challenge unionism to reject sectarianism, accept equality and inclusivity.

It would also continue to pressurise both the British and Irish governments “to deliver on their responsibilities on demilitarisation … Irish language, and justice and policing.”

In advancing the Irish unity agenda, the province’s 18 MPs should be automatically accorded membership of the Dail, with both consultative and speaking rights, Sinn Fein argued.