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Gerry Adams addresses delegates at his party's Ard Fheis in Kerry this evening. Photocall Ireland
Sinn Féin

Adams calls for No vote and proposes €13bn stimulus in Ard Fheis speech

The Sinn Féin president also told delegates in Killarney that a united Ireland makes economic sense.

SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT Gerry Adams reiterated his party’s call for a No vote in the Fiscal Compact referendum on Thursday as he addressed his party’s Ard Fheis in Killarney this evening.

Adams spoke about the treaty for around three minutes and 55 seconds meaning that Taoiseach Enda Kenny will get the same amount of time to address the nation in a televised address tomorrow evening.

In a wide-ranging speech, Adams harshly criticised government policy, put forward his party’s stimulus proposal, paid tribute to the party’s presidential candidate Martin McGuinness and reiterated the call for a united Ireland.

Speaking about the Fiscal Compact treaty, Adams told delegates:  ”When considering what way to vote people need to ask themselves if the austerity of recent budgets led to jobs and growth? The answer is obvious. The answer is no. If you accept that, you should vote No.”

“Whether it was British rule or a domineering church hierarchy, Irish citizens have had enough of being ruled by fear,” he continued. “We are done with that. The Irish government is also out of step with the rest of Europe.”

He pointed out that other EU states had delayed the ratification of the treaty and criticised the Taoiseach for failing to debate the treaty on television. That was just one of a number of criticisms of the current government.

On last year’s election, he said: “Many citizens thought in the election that they were voting for change, but what happened? Tweedledum has been replaced by Tweedledee and Tweedledee has been joined by Tweedledumber.”

Job creation

He said the current administration’s policies had done nothing to change the policies of the previous Fianna Fáil-led government and said that “forced emigration” was one of the “huge damning failures of this state”.

He put forward his own party’s proposal for a fiscal stimulus which he said could create jobs in Ireland, outlining that funding could be sought from the National Pension Reserve Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Private Pension sector and in NAMA.

Adams told delegates: “Sinn Féin proposes a €13 billion stimulus. This stimulus would run over three years creating approximately 130,000 jobs directly.

“The projects are there. Vitally needed schools, crèches, roads, regeneration projects; broadband and a water system that needs to be modernised.”

Adams also called for the creation of a public health service that would be free at the point of delivery “from the cradle to the grave” and said it made sense for the two countries on the island to be united.

“A single Island economy makes sense,” he said, saying that it was the party’s job to convince unionists in the North that this was the case.

“It does not make sense on an island this size and with a population of six million, to have two states, two bureaucracies, two sets of government departments, and two sets of agencies competing for inward investment.

“Harmonising our systems will save money, improve efficiency and create jobs,” he added.

In full: Speech by Gerry Adams at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis

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