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Sunday, November 14, 2010

A leadership decision at a time of crisis

Few events shock me in politics. However I have to admit to being a bit taken aback when I heard the news that Gerry Adams was to resign his assembly seat and later his Westminster seat to contest the General Election in the South. Gerry will seek the nomination in the Louth constituency and will challenge for a Dáil seat. This is a brave and courageous move. He is resigning from one of the safest seats in Ireland and one he fought so hard to win. It is the type of decision only leaders make and it is not without its risks.

Some will question his motives while others will seek undermine his campaign. Sections of the establishment media will go into overdrive and let’s not rule out character assassination. The real issue is that Gerry Adams MP, leader of the largest nationalist party in the North and Irish republican is seeking election to the Dáil on republican politics. While some may seek to be dismissive, he and Sinn Féin will focus on the future.

We are already shaping the debate. Fianna Fáil, the Greens, Fine Gael and Labour are part of a cosy consensus for cuts and economic contraction. Sinn Féin is standing for economic growth and recovery. We have provided fully costed and practical proposals that will turn this economy around. We will not allow the Government and so called opposition parties to shape the debate. They did so in 2007 and lied. They did so on the Lisbon Treaty and lied. We are fighting back and taking a stand. Maurice Quinlivan took a stand in Limerick. Pearse Doherty took a stand in Donegal. Gerry Adams is taking a stand today. I am taking a stand in Waterford – the next election will not just be about more of the same. Sinn Féin will provide an alternative.

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