Thursday 22 August 2019

Micheal Martin slams Sinn Fein ahead of Gerry Adams Ard Fheis speech

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

FIANNA Fail leader Micheal Martin has insisted there are “no new faces” in Sinn Fein as Gerry Adams prepares to set out his plans to step down as president of his party.

Speaking at the Fianna Fail president’s dinner in Dublin, Mr Martin said Sinn Fein has always been about putting the Provisional IRA first and insisted a new leader will not change this policy.

“They will change their leader, but the core of the Provisional movement’s approach to politics remains and has been constantly reaffirmed by all of their prospective leaders,” he said.

Mr Martin said Mr Adams’ successors, who include Sinn Fein vice president Mary Lou McDonald, have remained loyal to republican movement in spite of revelations of criminality, sex abuse and a barrage of bullying allegations.

“So please, spare us the idea that we are getting a new departure or a new generation from Sinn Fein.  Instead of wasting time about their future political strategies, they need to be held to account for their actions today,” he said.

Mr Martin said there would be a “huge amount of overblown commentary” about how Mr Adams’ decision to step aside would be a “major turning point” for Sinn Fein.

However, the Fianna Fail leader said this is “simply not true”.

“Today’s Sinn Fein has always been about putting the Provisional movement first.  The party is much more than the person and the party remains as unreformed and as unsuitable for government as ever,” he added.

Mr Martin was speaking in the Clayton Burlington Road Hotel where he also attacked Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for “endless spin” and “relativising of statistics” in his attempt to address the housing crisis.

“There may well be countries where people vote for brands rather than policies, where selective images triumph over reality – but Ireland is not one of them,” he said.

He called on Mr Varadkar to “put aside the staged photos” and focus on delivering houses.

“If they put half as much effort into building houses as they put into launching documents we wouldn’t be caught in the middle of such an unprecedented crisis,” he said.

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