24 January 2020 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Party Leader Responds to Taoiseach’s Attack on Party

Michael Fisher Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald launched the party’s candidates in Cavan Monaghan, Matt Carthy and Pauline Tully, with a confident prediction they would take two of the five seats being contested. Speaking to The Northern Standard last Thursday following a selection convention in Cootehill, she also dismissed remarks made in Monaghan by the Taoiseach that her party was not “a normal political party”. She said they were committed to the democratic process and would await the decision of the people.

Asked by reporters in Monaghan last week whether he would be prepared to work with Sinn Féin in government, Leo Varadkar rejected the suggestion that they might be future coalition partners. He stated: “I think there are good people in every party but this isn’t about personalities. It’s my view that Sinn Féin is not a normal political party. They haven’t fully embraced democracy.” The Sinn Féin leader later called for a referendum on Irish unity by 2025. Speaking at the party’s candidate launch, she said there should be an all-Ireland forum on unity to plan for all aspects of reunification ahead of a referendum.

Ms Mc- Donald also appealed to voters who have not been convinced of voting Sinn Féin to give the party a chance and to judge them on how they perform and deliver. She told The Northern Standard she believed the election would be where people say enough to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil’s overbearing dominance of this State, accusing them of having wasted time, money and trust. Ms McDonald said the establishment was trying to squeeze Sinn Féin out of the election and to portray the contest as a two-horse race – ‘the Leo and Micheál show.

Sinn Féin, she said, would not be frozen out of the democratic process. She said Sinn Féin candidates want to ‘rock the system, to shake things up and to be the living embodiment of radical change’. Sinn Féin in government would start the process of moving childcare to a public service. She also said it would create a national health service, return the eligibility age for the State pension to 65 and give Gardaí the resources they needed to do their jobs. General election candidate Matt Carthy told the selection convention anything less than the delivery of two Sinn Féin seats in Cavan Monaghan on February 8th would be a failure on their part.

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