Sunday 8 December 2019

Election results a 'sea change' for Irish politics - Gerry Adams

Ralph Riegel

SINN Fein leader Gerry Adams hailed the Local and European Parliament election results as “a sea change” for Irish politics.

His comments came as he ruled out any party leadership change over recent controversies and insisted he will lead SF into the next general election.

He also said SF will negotiate with other parties on Irish councils with a view to forming local administrations and getting their policies implemented.

“I will lead the party into the next general election. I was just talking to my wife last night and she said to me the next journalist that asks you that question, tell them to catch themselves on.”

“We have just had the best SF election in the history of this State. We are doing well and I am a team player.”

Mr Adams insisted the recent controversies including his questioning by the PSNI in relation to the Jean McConville case had no impact whatsoever on the party’s electoral performance.

Mr Adams described his questioning as part of a “dirty tricks campaign.”

He also disputed suggestions his image had been tarnished.

“People here (in Ireland South) didn’t. I am a team player. We are a collective leadership and every single councillor elected is my leader.”

Mr Adams said SF is now ideally placed to expand its gains in the next general election.

He said: "We want to be in Government. We are in Government in the north. We need a mandate and I think Pearse Doherty put it well when he said SF is hungry for change but we are not hungry to be in Government.”

“We are not going to leave our principles outside the door. The only reason to be in government is to advance the project that you have set.”

“Myself and our party are wedded to the vision for a citizen-based, rights-centred society. If we can advance that in government, then we will. If we cannot, then we will continue with what we have been doing.”

Mr Adams said that on councils where SF have the numbers to form an administration, the party will talk with other political groups.

“You should only be in Government as a means to bring about change.”

“We will meet... our councillors here (in Cork) will meet and we obviously will be in touch with all other parties on the council with very clear proposals to put to them.”

“Clearly every council is different but our broad policy platform is the same. If we can get agreement on them then of course we will work alliances with other parties.”

“We are here to represent everybody - we are not just here to represent ourselves and the Republicans who voted for us.”

“There is going to be some negotiation done in every council across the State and SF will be party to it.”

“There is a good job of business to be done and we will not let the people down.”

Irish Independent

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