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Gerry Adams: Enda just doesn't get 1916

“It is an inconvenient issue that they want to get out of the way,” the Sinn Féin leader has told supporters in Dublin this evening.

Gerry Adams and Enda Kenny (File photo)
Gerry Adams and Enda Kenny (File photo)
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

GERRY ADAMS HAS criticised the government’s plans to commemorate the 1916 Rising claiming they believe the rebellion is “an inconvenient issue that they want to get out of the way”.

The Sinn Féin president was speaking to supporters at the launch of his party’s own year-long commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising at the Mansion House in Dublin.

Adams claimed that following the defeat of the revolution nearly 100 years ago “narrow, mean-minded, conservative, elitist, sectarian regimes” were established north and south of the border.

He said this led to institutional abuse, poverty, emigration and inequality in the Irish State with the old British administration replaced by “new, native political and economic elites”.

“The reality is that when partition was imposed by London there were activists who rejected it. There were others who reluctantly accepted it as temporary and hoped that the new southern state would act as a stepping stone to full national freedom,” he said.

“But there were also those who saw it as an end in itself and there are many in the establishment today who share that view.

They, like the Taoiseach, believe that our sovereign nation stops at the border. They just don’t get 1916. It is an inconvenient issue that they want to get out of the way.

He said the government’s commemoration plans lack any ambition or substance.

Adams accused Fine Gael and Labour of paying “lip service to core republican values” and claimed both parties support partition.

He said that he is “sick to the back teeth” of hearing Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton taking about stability “while they perpetuate chaos in the lives of working people”.

The Louth TD cited the hospital trolley crisis, homelessness, housing, falling incomes, cuts to services for the vulnerable and emigration as evidence of this “chaos” for working families.

Fine Gael and Labour are trying desperately to set the agenda for the general election by presenting the result as a foregone conclusion and Enda Kenny as the inevitable Taoiseach.

Urging supporters to campaign for a Sinn Féin-led government after the next election, Adams outlined how his party would seek to build a society based on equality and fairness.

He said this would involve increases in the minimum wage, abolishing water and property charges, building 100,000 social and affordable homes, increasing health spending, cutting politicians’ pay and securing a referendum on a united Ireland.

Read: The New York Times wants people to come to Dublin to mark 1916

Read: John Bruton reckons Ireland would have become independent without 1916

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Hugh O'Connell

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