Sinn Féin are weak on climate action, the new leader of the Social Democrats Holly Cairns has claimed.
The Cork South West TD was installed as leader of the party today and has already taken a firm line on cooperation with other left-wing parties.
When asked about the prospect of the party entering an electoral pact, Deputy Cairns said, “I’m not interested.”
The party is often asked what it offers that other parties do not already and Deputy Cairns cited climate change as an example.
“What I’ve always found very frustrating about politics is that what we hear from politicians, it’s like they say what they think the electorate want to hear, rather than what needs to be said,” she told The Hard Shoulder.
“I think politicians really underestimate the general public when they do that and this kind of talk around climate action and being non-committal about what ways they would take action, does a disservice to the electorate.”
Deputy Cairns also argued that Sinn Féin were not taking the issue seriously enough.
“We’re not sure what action they would take on several different things,” she said.
“I actually don’t know what they would do; I’m just saying we can’t get clarity now on that.
“It’s a difference that is there; we’re not the same party because we’re both on the left.”
She also claimed her party was different to Ivana Bacik’s Labour Party.
“I do recognise that they are similarly on the left,” she said.
“[But] this is about trust and earning people’s trust and respecting it and keeping rigidly to our commitments to the electorate.
“That has been broken; many people used to vote for the Labour Party and they feel that that trust is broken.
“So, we’re very different parties, we do things very differently and I don’t accept that assertion of, ‘What’s the difference between you?’
“There are very big differences.”
Sinn Féin and Labour have been contacted for comment.
Main image: Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns speaking outside Leinster House. Picture by: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie