Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.34 15 Jun 2020


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Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has critised the new draft Programme for Government by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and The Green Party.

Ms McDonald said any government led by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil "does not represent the change that people voted for in February."

"In fact, it is an attempt to deny change to protect the status-quo, to continue with the same broken politics that has so badly failed workers and families," she said.

"This agreement for more of the same wasn’t the only deal possible: the chance to form a government of change is real.

"Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin set about excluding Sinn Féin from government talks and, in doing so, they excluded the demand for change coming from the people."

"Grassroots members of The Green Party know this - grassroots members of Fianna Fáil also know this.

"Of course, the most important thing is what all of this means for the future.

"No matter what happens, workers and families must not be the ones to shoulder the pain of the economic crisis.

"We need investment, not cuts; ambition, not fear; vision, not more of the same."

She added: "Ireland needs a fresh start, not a return to the past.

"So to those who believe in a changed Ireland, to those who have been let down time and again by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael-led governments, to you who voted for a government that would transform our society I say this: I hear you, I see you. I stand with you."

"We know that the change you voted for is not some fanciful notion - it's change rooted in solutions that will improve your lives".

"Many people are disappointed, indeed angry, watching Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil pushing back change.

"Many might feel like giving up on change.

"I know you are fed up of seeing the same old parties grabbing power to suit themselves...but I urge you not to give up.

"Don't be disheartened by those who want to have everything their own way."

"The future, and who gets to shape it, depends on our refusal to let go of our beliefs in fairness, in community, in social justice and in unity.

"That future is still there to be won."

She added that she believes a better Ireland is "within touching distance".

"Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil can delay change, but they can't stop it and they won't stop it.

"Our job now is to keep the ship pointed in the right direction and to keep everyone who shares that vision on board.

"We knew changing Ireland won't be easy, but nothing worth having has ever come easily.

"Those who benefit from the status-quo will say that the story of change is over: don't not listen to them because the story of change is only beginning."

Main image: Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald speaks to the media at Leinster House, after Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens finalised the text of a draft programme for government. Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

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