Thursday 19 September 2019

Adams hints at SF bid for presidency

Alan Murray in Belfast

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams gave the strongest strong hint last night that Sinn Fein would nominate a candidate to contest the presidential election.

Speaking at the party's annual conference, he claimed that more people were looking to Sinn Fein for leadership and said that it was his view that the party should endorse a candidate.

"Sinn Fein should support the nomination of a candidate who is capable of winning the support of progressive and nationalist opinion.

"And who will reflect the broad republican spirit of the Irish people at this time. The incoming Ard Chomhairle will consider this matter," he added.

The new Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle will be elected this weekend.

Sinn Fein has 14 TDs in the current Dail although the front-runner for a nomination from the party is Stormont Minister Michelle Gildernew.

Influential TD Pearse Doherty, the Donegal South West TD, has been vocal in his support for Ms Gildernew who served as minister for agriculture in the last Stormont Assembly.

In his presidential address, the party leader and Louth TD said that the economic crisis dominated "all our lives -- from the very young to the very old".

"This week, 575 workers lost their jobs in Waterford and the announcement of the immediate closure of Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta with the loss of 130 jobs will be yet another devastating blow to Gaeltacht regions.

"Thousands are leaving our shores taking their youth, enthusiasm and skills to other countries," he said.

And he claimed that Irish people didn't have the right to make decisions about how to handle this crisis because Irish economic sovereignty had been handed over to the EU and the IMF.

"The job losses are mounting and still Fine Gael and Labour plough ahead with their sleibhin policies of re-capitalising the banks and slashing public spending.

"Where is their jobs plan? What kind of a society will be left at the end of this crisis if there is no public airline, no public bus company, no public energy body, no post services, no forestry body.

"What kind of society will be left when they have sold off our performing, essential state assets and natural resources for next to nothing to private interests? The Irish people deserve better. And they know it," he said.

Mr Adams said that people in the Republic voted against Fianna Fail's disastrous policies and against the EU/IMF deal.

"They did so in huge numbers, and they elected Fine Gael and Labour in good faith that they would honour their election promises. But the Coalition Government has betrayed the trust of the people who elected them."

Sunday Independent

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