Changing the face of local government
Introduction from Gerry Adams MP
Féin is the only all-Ireland party in this election. We are the only party
providing effective leadership and representation on local councils
throughout the island of Ireland.
Sinn Féin councillors have been
at the forefront of confronting injustice, inequality and discrimination in
local government. We have an unparalleled record in representing our
constituents and delivering on our commitments.
In the 18 years
since Sinn Féin first took seats on local councils in the North, politics on
this island have been transformed. The engine for this transformation has
been the Sinn Féin peace strategy. It has delivered the Irish peace process
and the Good Friday Agreement.
We have learned a lot in this
time. So too have nationalists throughout the island.
view negotiations as part of struggle. After this election there will be
crucial negotiations on the key issues of policing, demilitarisation and
equality and human rights. If these negotiations are to advance the process
then Sinn Féin has to go back to the negotiating table with an increased
Every vote will count.
On June 7th, I am
asking you to Vote Sinn Féin No.1
Make your vote count.
Gerry Adams MP
a republican party. We are the only all-Ireland party. Our goal is to see a
united Ireland which delivers real social and economic change. We have been
the driving force behind the Irish Peace Process.
Process grew out of Sinn Féin's peace strategy.
delivered the Good Friday Agreement and offered us a route map out of
conflict and into a new Ireland based on equality and justice. The Good
Friday Agreement is an all-Ireland agreement. It transcends partition and it
offers a new opportunity for people across the island.
potential, this opportunity, has still to be delivered. Yet despite all of
the obstacles, Sinn Féin is committed and is determined to see the potential
of the Good Friday Agreement realised.
Throughout this entire
process, Sinn Féinhas been the engine for change. We have given real
We have been both flexible and imaginative but all
the time wedded to our belief that the changes which are clearly necessary
and indeed promised under the Agreement must be delivered.
Féin has been consistent in demanding that the Agreement is implemented in
full. Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement we have been involved
in a number of public and private negotiations with the two governments,
with the other political parties and with the White House.
policing issue we have consistently demanded amend-ments to Peter
Mandelson's Police Act. We have been in the frontline not just in demanding
a decent police service, but on issues of demilitarisation, an acceptable
system of criminal justice, equality and human rights for all.
have honoured every commitment made under the Good Friday Agreement and we
now demand that others do likewise.
Republicans have taken many
risks for peace over the past ten years. The IRA has maintained cessations
for almost six years. It has taken a number of unilateral initiatives which
have advanced the Peace Process.
Sinn Féinhas demonstrated
leadership and determination. We have been dynamic and have met all of the
challenges placed in front of us. We will continue to do this. We will not
be diverted from demanding equality and justice. We will continue to be a
source of confidence and strength, replacing conflict and division with
peace and opportunity.
Our peace strategy and the Peace Process
which it delivered can create change.
With increased political
strength this process and the changes it will deliver will become
Sinn Féin in local government - delivering
Sinn Féin burst onto the local government
scene in 1983 when Alex Maskey was elected to Belfast City Council, a
council notorious as a hotbed of unionist bigotry and discrimination.
Eighteen years on, Sinn Féin is changing the face of local government. It is
now the biggest party in Belfast and will soon hold the position of Mayor of
Ireland's second city.
Sinn Fein is standing 153 local government
candidates across the North.
In the last four years, Sinn Fein
councillors led the way on many local authorities across Ireland: Cathal
Crumley - Mayor of Derry; Marie Moore and Lynn Fleming - Deputy Mayor of
Belfast and Derry; Geraldine Cassidy - Chairperson of Fermanagh District
Council; Charlie McHugh - Chairperson of Strabane District Council; Brendan
Curran - Chairperson of Newry and Mourne District Council; Sean Begley and
Pearse McAleer - both Chaired Cookstown District Council; and Robin Martin
who was Deputy Chairperson of Fermanagh District Council.
Sligo, Sean MacManus is Mayor; Brian McKenna is Chairperson of Monaghan
County Council; Michael McColreavy is Chair of Leitrim County Council; and
Charlie Boylan Deputy Chair of Cavan County Council.
Sinn Féin is
the only political party in this election with an all-Ireland vision. Sinn
Féin is the only party committed to building strategic partnerships across
Ireland so as to end the economic, social and cultural peripheralism of
It has been an arduous journey. More than 20
Sinn Féin councillors and party workers have been killed over the years, but
after the local government elections on June 7th, Sinn Féin will have an
even stronger mandate for change.
Sinn Féin is a radical voice
for change. We are an advocate for ordinary people who have had services
denied. The party has made sure that republicans are at the heart of local
The sectarian hatred that greeted Alex Maskey and the
first wave of Sinn Féin councillors is still evident in many areas. In
Ballymena, through South Antrim and in Larne and Castlereagh, Sinn Féin will
challenge unionist bigotry and discrimination head on. In Dungannon, as in
other council areas, the party is denied key positions through the SDLP
forming pacts with unionists to disenfranchise Sinn Féin voters.
But things are changing.
Sinn Fein has forced unionists to accept
that we are a vital part of local government. In Belfast, Dungannon,
Cookstown, Strabane, Enniskillen, Newry and Mourne, Downpatrick, Lisburn,
Derry and Omagh, Sinn Féinwill take extra seats. In these district councils
we will be the key players in formulating policies that meet people's needs,
regenerate local communities, and continue to build a vibrant society.
In the space of 18 years Sinn Fein has brought a new energy to the councils.
Local government will never be the same. Alex Maskey took the first stride
in making history. In these local government elections he is continuing to
make history, along with 152 other Sinn Fein local government candidates.
Sinn Féin is a rising, vibrant force in Irish politics. Sinn Féin is the
fastest-growing, most dynamic party fighting these elections.
Help us to change the face of local government in Ireland.
Changing the Face of Local Government
Sinn Féin members have since 1983 sat on a
variety of Councils across the Six Counties. Sinn Féin has consistently
called for the reorganisation of local government. Such a review must
include an examination of the role of unelected "quangos". Sinn Fein want to
bring democracy to these bodies. We want council meetings to be open to the
Sinn Féin is working for democracy and equality in local
government. It must serve the needs of the entire community. Discrimination
in local government must be ended.
THE D'HONDT principles must become the mechanism
for allocating the Chairs and Deputy Chairs of both the Council itself and
This is the only way to ensure that positions within
Councils are allocated on an equitable and fair basis.
As well as
more empowered local government structures throughout the Six Counties Sinn
Féinwill campaign to achieve real progress in harmonising the work of local
authorities on a cross-border basis. This would involve regional
co-operation in such areas as South Ulster - Fermanagh, South Tyrone, Cavan
and Monaghan and the North West - Derry, Donegal, West Tyrone.
will promote at central government, regional and local authority level the
need to develop cross-border co-operation between local authorities and
statutory agencies, reflecting the All-Ireland dimension of the Good Friday
For many years local government in the Six
Counties was a by-word for discrimination. Belfast City Council was to the
fore in this. Sinn Féin Councillors have in recent years transformed this
situation. Increased Sinn Féin representation will push the equality agenda
further, especially in Council areas still practicing discrimination.
Sinn Féinwill campaign for:
* a fully resourced Department of
Equality which can monitor local councils
* council chambers to
have similtaneous translation facilities
* councils to provide
* equality in terms of symbols in council
* an end to anti-nationalist discrimination in local
Local Councils are there to serve local
communities. Local people pay for local government through their rates.
Local government has a duty to work in partnership with the community.
* Sinn Féin has been instrumental in ensuring effective partnership between
the Councils, Community Groups and Area Partnership Boards
Féin will continue to demand that essential community facilities and
services are supported by funding from local councils
Planning is crucial for the future
sustainability of rural communities. There has been a legacy of planning
discrimination particularly in councils West of the Bann.
Féin is calling for:
* planning to remain under the control
of a planning authority until the Equality Agenda has been adopted by all
* proper consultation between local councils,
rural communities, farmers and environmental campaigners on any new
legisation pertaining to rural development
* members of exsisting
farm families to get priority planning permission
Councils must begin to take a leading role in
developing partnerships with community and statutory agencies in order make
envionmental protection a priority.
Pollution does not recognise
borders and it is therefore important that councils develop All-Ireland
strategies to deal with waste management.
Sinn Féinwill campaign
* councils to adopt green purchasing and supply strategies
* schemes to improve the quality of peoples lives such as traffic calming,
cycle paths and increased play areas
* councils to co-operate in
an integrated waste management policy
Anti-social behaviour and petty
crime are social problems which exist in every society. Decades of state
neglect and discrimination have created a subculture in which a tiny
percentage of young people are involved in such behaviour.
Féin is tackling these problems by:-
community-led multi-agency strategies to develop long term solutions
* promoting youth forums to ensure young voices are heard
campaigning for more funding for jobs, education and leisure services
* actively promoting the development of Community Restorative Justice projects
* campaigning against joyriding; access to alcohol by minors and the sale of
* organising community clean up campaigns
actively promoting community empowerment
Sinn Féin will work for:
comprehensive leisure policies in all 26 local councils
promotion of familty participation through affordable pricing policies
* funding for educational programmes for schools, youth clubs and senior
* the establishment of modern, sustainable leisure
facilities in areas where none exist