Sinn Féin leader vows to achieve objectives of First Dáil and end ‘corrupt system’
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Sinn Féin leader vows to achieve objectives of First Dáil and end ‘corrupt system’

SINN FÉIN leader Mary Lou McDonald has promised to achieve the objectives laid out during the First Dáil, calling the current political system ‘corrupt’.

McDonald was speaking at the Round Room of the Mansion House, where the Dáil met for the first time on January 21, 1919.

During the Sinn Féin event to commemorate the centenary, McDonald claimed the egalitarian Republic envisioned then had not come to pass, and that the principles of the Democratic Programme issued 100 years ago had never been implemented.

Instead, she claimed, the island of Ireland was divided into ‘two conservative States and economies, controlled and run in the interests of privileged elites, north and south’.

'Corrupt system'

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“Some combination of Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil have ruled this State since partition,” said McDonald.

“They have normalised inequality and they believe poverty is inevitable. They believe that there is an acceptable level of homelessness. And they continue to tell us, 100 years on that now is not the time to talk about unity.

“Sinn Féin has no interest in assisting these parties in perpetuating this corrupt system.”

Amid a housing crisis, rising homelessness, hospital overcrowding and looming nursing strikes, McDonald promised ‘revolutionary change’.

'Scandalous'

“Sinn Féin will enter government to deliver real and revolutionary change,” she said.

“That means implementing a massive public housing programme to end the scandalous housing and homeless crisis.

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“It means ending the situation where banks and vulture funds make huge profits in this country while evicting families from their homes.

“It means completely overhauling our archaic health system and putting the interests of patients, regardless of where they live or how wealthy they are, above the profiteering interests of private corporations.

“It means pursuing vigorously the democratic imperative of a United Ireland.”

The Democratic Programme, issued during the meeting of the First Dáil, declared the country be ruled on the principles of liberty, equality and justice for all, and that the country’s resources, wealth and means of production belonged to the people of Ireland.

According to the programme, it was the Republic’s duty to safeguard the physical, mental and moral wellbeing of its people, and ensure no child went without food, clothing, shelter and education.