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Adams urges Labour to 'leave government and leave it now'

SINN Fein leader Gerry Adams has called on the Labour Party to collapse the government.

At his party's ard fheis last night, he ratcheted up an ongoing onslaught on the junior coalition partners.


Evoking Labour's founding fathers James Connolly and Jim Larkin, Mr Adams said a real Labour party with a principled leadership should not be administering power with Fine Gael.


"Stand by working people as Connolly and Larkin did," he said.


"Leave this government and leave it now."


The Louth TD used his keynote address at the gathering of the party faithful in Castlebar, Co Mayo - home to Taoiseach Enda Kenny - to attack austerity, target rural voters and urge more work on the Peace Process.


Turning his attention to the Republic, he said the current Fine Gael/Labour coalition had failed the Irish people by implementing core values of austerity.


Mr Adams singled out the handling of the banking crisis, selling off of natural resources and the controversy over public sector pay cutbacks.


While the government was willing to cut child benefit, carers allowances and home-help hours, it had no problem putting taxpayers money into the pockets of bankers and financiers, he told delegates.


Mr Adams said there are cuts to hospitals, schools and garda stations alongside taxes on pensions, savings and homes, but he insisted bankers, developers and politicians who created the mess have been untouched.


"Despite all the election rhetoric from Labour and Fine Gael this is still the best small country in the world for big bankers, crooked developers or corrupt politicians," he said.


Describing the property tax as the "family home tax", he said if returned to government Sinn Fein would scrap it.


The party would also fight water charges, tackle the deficit and at the same time "put manners on the elites and the fat cats."


"If this was a real republic working people would not be punished for the greed and corruption of others," he said.


"But change cannot wait until there is a real republic."


Mr Adams said Sinn Fein was offering a realistic alternative and would invest 13 billion euro in job creation and retention.


On the mortgage crisis, he promised an independent distress body to broker agreements between banks and borrowers.


Targeting rural voters, he said his party will shortly publish proposals to reverse Garda cuts, provide full grants for septic tanks and overhaul benefits and subsidies to farmers.


On the North, Mr Adams called on republicans to build alliances on social and economic issues with working class loyalists and unionists.


"The Protestant, Unionist and Loyalist people are not going away," he said.


"And Sinn Fein doesn't want them to go away.


"They are part of what we are and we have to get to know each other better, to listen and take heed of what is being said."


Tiny minorities who espouse violence have been rejected, he added.


Again calling for a truth commission into the recent Troubles, he said he was personally prepared to meet with victims' families in the Republic if it was helpful and intended doing so "in the near future".

Online Editors