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Mary Lou McDonald asks voters to put stop to ‘political hokey pokey’ of FF and FG

6th November 2022

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has said change can no longer be stopped by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael as she asked voters to let her lead the next government.

Speaking at the Sinn Féin ard fheis, Ms Mcdonald said “change is on our doorstep” and described the changeover in the Taoiseach’s Office as “political hokey pokey”.

“Change can’t be stopped by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael,” she said adding the parties are “now so joined at the hip that it doesn’t matter to them which leader is Taoiseach”.

“That’s the cosy club that has run this state for a century. Fianna Fáíl and Fine Gael had their time, hand their chance. It’s time a for new government,” she said to a applause form Sinn Féin delegates.

Ms McDonald also said the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) can also not stop change by refusing to accept the outcome of the recent elections in the North.

She said the “spirit for change” was “powerfully expressed” in May’s Assembly election at which Sinn Féin emerged as the largest party for the first time in the history of the North.

“For the first time, a republican, a nationalist, a woman from Tyrone, was elected as a First Minister in a state designed to ensure that this could never happen,” she said in reference to Michelle O’Neill

She called on the British government to end their “dithering” and bring clarity to when negotiations on the Protocol will conclude and the Executive can be restored. She insisted there can be no return of direct rule from Britain in Northern Ireland.

Ms McDonlad said the Conservative Party “can’t run their own country without bringing it to the brink of financial ruin” and added: “they certainly have no right to tell they people of Ireland how to run ours.”

“They attack the Good Friday Agreement. An agreement that has delivered 25 years of peace, a peace won and defended by our partners Europe, in the United States of America and beyond,” he added.

She said the Conservatives “disgracefully” seek amnesty for British soldiers and deny victims of conflict justice.

“They care so very little about Ireland. The Tories should leave governing of this island to the people who live here and we’ll shape a better future together,” she added.

Ms McDonald said the island is in the “end days of partition”. She said some people are apprehensive about Irish unity and said she would like to ensure them that “in a new Ireland you will be cherished, included, respected as equal citizens”.

“The time to plan for peaceful, democratic constitutional change is now. The days of treading water are over,” she said.

She called on the Government to establish a Citizens Assembly on unity and said if they didn’t Sinn Féin will ensure there is one if voted into Government.

She said Sinn Féin is “ready to lead government” in the North and the South.

She said the party has the team, policies and energy to build a better future for the country.

“Give us that chance, that chance to lead and we will get the work done,” she added.

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