“The writing is on the wall for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, they’ve been in Government for far too long,” Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has told her party’s Ard Fheis.
Slamming what she called, “The broken system of a partitioned Ireland, politics for the few, at the expense of the many”, McDonald added: “It’s now time for a Government for you and your family. That puts workers and families first.
“And Sinn Féin will deliver that Government for the people. We want to lead that Government.
“And I want to lead as Taoiseach if you give us that chance.”
Ms McDonald pledged that a Sinn Féin Government would “tackle the scourge of homelessness” and “build public and affordable housing on a massive scale.” She also said the party would ban rent increases for three years and “put manners on the vultures, the investors and the cuckoo funds.”
Furthermore, she called for the Government to scrap the increase in the carbon tax, claiming it would increase both poverty and bills.
Other policies included a cut in childcare fees and a return to a pension age of 65.
On Northern Ireland she was clear, if Sinn Féin emerged as the largest nationalist party in next year’s Assembly election, then Michelle O’Neill would be nominated as the province’s First Minister. “The days of ‘Fenians need not apply’ are over,” she said.
She also attacked the British Government’s proposals to bring in an amnesty for criminal prosecutions related to the Troubles:
“The Tory government now seeks amnesty for perpetrators of British state violence in Ireland. Shame on them.
“Boris Johnson, there is no support in Ireland or internationally for your amnesty. We stand with families who fight for truth and justice.”
Last week’s Red C poll found that Sinn Féin was the most popular party in the Republic - attracting the support of 33% of voters. Michael Brennan, Political Editor of the Business Post, told Newstalk that if the party maintained such high levels of support, a Government led by Sinn Féin could be the result of the next general election:
“If you add together the support for Sinn Féin, Labour and the Social Democrats, they actually have more support in this poll than the three coalition parties of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens.
“You’re potentially seeing an interesting alternative coalition emerging if that support stays solid towards the next general election.”
Main image: Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald. Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Archive/PA Images