MAGHERAFELT Sinn Féin councillor, Peter Bateson has said that it is “time for all of those who believe that an Irish government without Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael can deliver a better Ireland – to work together.”
The leading republican from Ballymaguigan was speaking after Saturday evening’s packed event in Dublin’s Rotunda to mark the centenary of the founding of the Irish Volunteers.
Cllr Bateson said: “The next stage of the Irish Peace Process must see a genuine process of reconciliation among the people of Ireland and between Ireland and Britain. We need to address, comprehensively, issues such as respect for identity, symbols and culture and the need to deal properly with the legacy of the past and tackle the scourge of sectarianism.
“Politics across the island is in flux. A new Ireland can be what we make it. Ireland today needs a realignment of politics which reflects the radical spirit of 1913 and of the years that followed. Last month the Fine Gael/Labour government again targeted the most vulnerable in our society by attacking the elderly, the young and the sick.
“The British government has cut the block grant. Austerity is working for the wealthy and the elites – the financiers, the bankers and developers. Austerity is not working for working families.
“Our task must be to oppose it at every opportunity - North and south. That means building alliances on social and economic matters with others in Ireland and abroad, who share our opposition to austerity. It means working to secure real change - including a realignment of Irish politics.
“The vast majority of Irish people want a society that is based on values of social justice, fairness, equality and decency.
“I firmly believe that this can be achieved if we work together. It means developing viable alternative policies to meet the economic and political challenges of today and tomorrow.It is time for all those who believe that a government without Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael can deliver a better Ireland – to work together.”