[Sinn Fein]


Sinn Féin Delivering Real Change

A Chara,

The last decade has been one of delivering change and rapid growth for Sinn Féin across the island.

In the last ten years the Sinn Féin peace strategy has delivered the Irish Peace Process which led to the Good Friday Agreement. Since its signing we have worked to implement and expand the all-Ireland aspects of the Agreement. Our two Ministers, Baribre de Brún and Martin McGuinness, have brought an entirely new people-centred agenda to their ministries in Health and Education - they are delivering real change.

However, the potential to deliver the sort of fundamental changes still required is being threatened by the actions of the Ulster Unionist Party and the failure of the British Government to honour its commitments under the Good Friday Agreement.

Following these elections there will be important negotiations to ensure that commitments on policing, demilitarisation and equality are honoured. If these negotiations are to be successful then Sinn Féin has to go back to the negotiating table with an increased mandate. Every vote counts.

Tá seans agat do phairt a glachadh ag an am stairiúl seo.

By supporting Sinn Féin you can strengthen the search for peace and be part of the process of delivering real change. Is féidir leat cur leis an phróiseas síochána ar fud na hoileáin ma thugann tú tacaíocht do Shinn Féin. Thig leat bheith pairteach ag tabhairt fíor athrú ar an sochaí seo.

Sinn Féin is the only all-Ireland party in this election. Whether in Derry or Kerry, West Belfast or Dublin South-West, people have the opportunity to vote for republicans. We are the only party with a vision which looks beyond partition and inequality and towards a new, independent Ireland based on justice, equality and prosperity.

On June 7th, I am asking you to join with us in delivering real change. Tá a lán obair le déanamh againn bígí linn.

Is mise,

Gerry Adams MP

Delivering Peace

Sinn Féin is 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.

The Peace Process grew out of Sinn Féin's peace strategy.

It has 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.

This 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 Féin has been the engine for change. We have given real leadership.

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.

Sinn 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.

On the policing issue we have consistently demanded amendments 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.

We 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 Féin has 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 irreversible.


All-Ireland Politics

Sinn Féin is the only all-Ireland party. The only party with a strategy and policies for achieving Irish unity and independence.

The Good Friday Agreement is an all-Ireland agreement.

Over the last 12 months - through the new political institutions created under the Good Friday Agreement - the beginning of all-Ireland co-operation in the crucial fields of education, health, environment, agriculture, transport and tourism is occurring. In each of these areas, progress and programmes of work are being advanced through the implementation bodies.

Even at this embryonic stage, the potential is obvious and it is clear that all-Ireland developments would bring about considerable benefits to all of us living on the island.

Notwithstanding the current difficulties, it is essential that such co-operation continues.


All-Ireland co-operation



Representing Your Interests

Prior to the 1997 Westminster elections, Sinn Féin made it clear that successful candidates intended to make use of the facilities and resources available in the British Parliament.

At that time, all MPs were entitled to use facilities at Westminster whether or not they took the Oath of Allegiance to the British queen and their seats in the chamber. This was a British parliamentary tradition (known as `Erskine May') which has been in existence for more than 150 years.

Within days of the successful election of Gerry Adams in West Belfast and Martin McGuinness in Mid-Ulster, the then Speaker of the House of Commons, Betty Boothroyd, announced that she was setting aside parliamentary practice and tradition and banning the two Sinn Féin MPs from using resources and facilities.

Sinn Féin protested against the decision. It is a discriminatory act aimed solely against Sinn Féin and our electorate. Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness met Betty Boothroyd and eventually took the issue to court. But the case was lost because, under the British Constitution, the British parliament is sovereign and the courts are unable to intervene.

In all of the negotiations which we have had with the British Government since this time, we have repeatedly raised this important issue.

We recognise that effective representation requires sustained campaigning and lobbying outside Ireland. This is why Sinn Féin opened offices in Washington and London. This is why we have been engaged in a vigorous campaign in England, Scotland and Wales with political parties on the implementation of the Patten recommendations on policing and other issues.

As an Irish republican party committed to a united Ireland we do not believe that there is any value in Irish MPs sitting in a British parliament.

This is proven by the attendance record of those who make a virtue of being in Westminster but actually seldom show up there.

Sinn Féin is not prepared to pledge allegiance to British royalty and we have shown that you do not have to take an oath of allegiance to the British queen to be an effective advocate of Irish voters' rights and entitlements.

Our MPs will continue to lobby for facilities at Westminster and when the British Government restores these rights it is our intention to use these facilities in the interests of our constituents.


Policing - A New Beginning

The Good Friday Agreement promised a new police service that would be: ``impartial; representative; free from partisan political control; efficient and effective; infused with a human rights culture; decentralised; democratically accountable at all levels''.

Although Sinn Féin believes that the Patten recommendations did not go far enough, we made clear that, if implemented, they might provide a threshold from which a new police service could develop.

Sinn Féin has worked hard on this issue because we want to see a new beginning to policing. We put detailed, reasonable and practical proposals to the British Government on numerous occasions. And while we made some progress, the British Government's position falls short of the promises of the Good Friday Agreement and the recommendations of Patten.

More can be achieved

Sinn Féin believes that much more can be achieved. We are calling for the British Government to amend the legislation and do what they promised in the Good Friday Agreement when the Patten Commission was established and at Hillsborough on May 6th 2000.

Democratic accountability

Democratic accountability is a right. The British Secretary of State and the RUC Chief Constable have too much power.

Power needs to be given to the:-

Common ownership

A police service must be in the ownership of all the people. This means:-

Human rights

Nationalists and republicans have suffered 80 years of RUC oppression. A new police service is the prize we must win for the future. It is one that Sinn Féin is committed to achieving.



Nationalists have endured decades of social and economic discrimination. Inequalities in employment, education, household incomes, housing conditions and access to healthcare all provide evidence of the enduring link between poverty and inequality.

Sinn Féin's goal is to replace poverty through inequality with prosperity through equality for all. We are working to ensure that government policies target poverty and inequality and that TSN be placed on a statutory basis to ensure real accountability.

Equality department

Sinn Féin is campaigning for a fully-resourced Department of Equality in line with the rest of Ireland. During negotiations, other parties resisted this, relegating equality to a unit within the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers. The equality agenda has been retarded and undermined.

Parity of esteem


Despite 30 years of fair employment legislation, recent statistics show Catholic males two times more likely than Protestant males to be unemployed. Catholics also constitute more than 70 per cent of the long-term unemployed;

Anti-nationalist discrimination


The British Government has failed in its commitment under the Good Friday Agreement to ``facilitate the reintegration of prisoners into the community by providing support''. It continues to enforce legislation and policy that discriminates against political ex-prisoners participating as equals in all aspects of social and economic life. Sinn Féin is campaigning for:


The Economy

A new social and economic order in Ireland will cherish all our people equally and prize equality and social justice.

Sinn Féin's economic policy objectives are to:-

Everyone, irrespective of their background, should be able to gain secure, well-paid, long-term employment in a fair working environment.

Sinn Féin's strategic approach to the economy includes:-

If economic and social regeneration in Ireland is to be successful, there will need to be:-

Delivering change

Through Sinn Féin's involvement in the Assembly and the North-South bodies, we have successfully pushed for economic development in an all-Ireland context:-

Through Sinn Féin's chairing of the Finance and Personnel Committee, we have initiated a public inquiry into the use of private finance to fund investment in the public sector (PFI/PPP).

We have also been been the catalyst for the development of alternatives to ensure that our public services can overcome the legacy of under-funding.

Through Sinn Féin's chairing of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee, we have completed a public inquiry into the fundamentally-flawed Strategy 2010 economic policy initiative. We have highlighted the need for an all-Ireland economic policy, a strategy to tackle peripheralism, and the promotion of social justice and inclusion.



Education is a fundamental human right. It enables young people to become aware of themselves as human and social beings who are enabled and encouraged to take up positions of leadership and responsibility in society. Sinn Féin advocates an education system based on the key principles of:

Education is about partnership. Schools should reflect a creative and a mutually-affirming partnership of parents, students, teachers, ancillary staff, governors, trustees, other partners in education and the local community. The student must be at the centre of education.

Delivering on commitments

In 2000-2001, as Minister for Education, Martin McGuinness has delivered:-


Equality Investment Eleven Plus & League Tables Irish language and integrated schools Information Technology

Sinn Féin will campaign for:



Years of under-funding have left the health service on a life-support system. Lack of resources has led to ever-growing waiting lists, fewer beds and a lack of basic services to maintain people in their homes.

Sinn Féin is committed to:

Delivering on commitments

As part of Sinn Féin's drive to provide a more effective and patient-centred health service throughout the island of Ireland, Minister for Health Bairbre de Brún has initiated a range of actions, reviews and public consultations designed to:

Improving hospital care

All-Ireland health care

Primary and community care

Children and young people's services


Health and well-being programmes


Farming in Crisis

Our agricultural industry is in crisis - and not just over foot and mouth, although that is the most pressing issue today. We need to tackle this crisis but we also need to look at the underlying reasons which created it in the first place. One of the issues which this crisis highlights is the need for an island-wide approach to agriculture.

In the Six Counties, the average net farm income declined by 65 per cent between 1996/97 and 1997/98. Sinn Féin wants to keep farming families on the land, supports agricultural diversification and mixed and organic farming. Sinn Féin will work for:

Rural development

On rural development Sinn Féin will work for:


The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is legally obliged to redress inequalities in practices and policies. Sinn Féin will work for:



Sinn Féin is committed to creating environmental standards on a co-ordinated island-wide basis.

We are committed to the principle of sustainable development. We believe that all economic activity and policy decisions should be environmentally proofed to ensure no needless damage is inflicted to an island environment already under severe pressure from unnecessary pollution and inefficient waste management strategies. Sinn Féin will work for:-


In relation to planning, Sinn Féin is working for:

Waste management

On waste management, Sinn Féin is working for:-


On Sellafield, Sinn Féin will work for:-

Water and air

On water and air quality, Sinn Féin will work for:-

Climate change

On climate change, Sinn Féin is working for:-


Children's Issues

Sinn Féin has a vision where all the children of Ireland can live free from poverty and abuse, have the best possible start in life, and grow into healthy, confident adults who can play a full role in their communities.

Young people under 18 make up one third of our population. One in three children live in poverty. We have one of the highest rates of child abuse in Europe. Many children have no safe space in which to play, and others suffer from discrimination and injustice. Sinn Féin has worked to draw attention to and address the needs of children.

We are concerned about the lack of co-operation on the registration and vetting of those who have committed offences against children.

Sinn Féin will work for:-


What value is economic development if the children of the nation are not properly cared for?

We must ensure that children receive the best care at all times. That includes care by parents in the home, care by other family members, paid care by childcare workers in the home, early childhood education, créches and other facilities provided by the community or voluntary sector or by private concerns.

Therefore Sinn Féin proposes:-


Higher and Further Education

As economic activity is increasingly skills-based, individual and community success depends on access to adult educational opportunities. Opportunities have to be widened to include sections of society traditionally excluded and under-represented.

Sinn Féin is working for:-


All-Ireland initiatives


Planning for the future


Human Rights

The Six-County state is synonymous with the abuse of human rights, injustice and oppression. Every major human rights agency in the world - from Amnesty International to Helsinki Watch - has indicted Britain for torture, summary execution and extensive violations of human rights.

The establishment of a fair and equitable system of justice is central to the building of a just society and the development and maintenance of a human rights culture in Ireland.

Civil and political freedom can only be achieved if people have economic, social and cultural rights. These must be firmly entrenched in legislation.

Bill of Rights

In our wide-ranging submission to the Human Rights Commission, Sinn Féin called for a comprehensive Bill of Rights for the North as a first step towards the fullest harmonisation of rights standards throughout the island.

Citizens, especially those most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society, require a Bill of Rights that holds out real possibilities to secure their rights in a user-friendly way.

A Bill of Rights must therefore be people-centred and rooted in impartial implementation and enforcement mechanisms.

To this end, Sinn Féin has called for the establishment of an all-Ireland Constitutional Court and a Bill of Rights.

Human rights abuses

Human rights abuses must be well publicised and the state should be held accountable for upholding the law, implementing legislation and investigating abuses in an open and an accountable fashion.

Delivering justice

The Good Friday Agreement explicitly accepted that policing, repressive legislation and a comprehensive review of the justice system had to be addressed in tandem if justice is to be the outcome.

The delivery of justice and protection of human rights must include equality before the law. It must be evident in all the institutions of a justice system which conforms to the highest standards of international human rights and the removal of repressive legislation.

The victims of state violence and their relatives have specific needs in terms of access to justice and truth. The failure of the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute crown forces personnel for the use of lethal force in disputed circumstances is well-documented. The willingness to issue Public Interest Immunity Certificates to thwart prosecutions and investigations and to tolerate crown forces perjury within the criminal justice system has meant the denial of justice in the Six-County state since its inception.

After 30 years of conflict and human rights violations, clearly any Bill of Rights, if it is to be effective, must be linked into radical changes in the criminal justice and policing systems.

Repressive legislation must be rescinded and the limiting remit and powers of the Human Rights Commission must be expanded to instill public confidence in its ability to champion and protect the human rights of all citizens.

As a party we will strive to harmonise rights throughout the island as outlined in the Good Friday Agreement.


Regional Development

Ensuring an efficient and equitable regional development strategy is an imperative for not only the Six Counties but for the entire island economy. It is crucial that when planning infrastructural developments (particularly in the areas of roads, rail, power, gas, and telecommunications) that the negative effects of partition and the current east-west bias in Six-County and 26-County regional planning be tackled.

A just regional development policy will help ensure that the economic benefits of state investment is accessible by all and that decades of institutionally-created disadvantage and under-development are eradicated. This means that, in coming years, the need to redress past imbalances in regional development will involve concentration of resources in those areas negatively affected by partition, the conflict and deliberate policies of neglect.

Sinn Féin will work for:-

Bridging the digital divide

There is widespread recognition throughout Irish society of the need to invest in the new communications and computer technologies that have become the cornerstone of modern economies. What is required is public sector involvement to ensure equity in how these communication resources are developed and that it is done through the principle of social inclusion:


Social Development

Disadvantage in our society can no longer be tolerated. While we all want prosperity it cannot be at the expense of those who are in need in our changing society. The elimination of poverty and social exclusion must be a major goal and an objective of our political representatives.

Sinn Féin calls for:-




As Ireland becomes a more multicultural country, the challenge is to embrace our growing diversity as a source of strength and opportunity. To do this we must begin by opposing racism, discrimination and intolerance of any kind, wherever it occurs.

All of this requires a multi-faceted response: politically, educationally and working with communities and on an all-Ireland basis. Sinn Féin welcomes the Directive by the European Council in June 2000 requiring enhancement of the anti-racist provisions of EU member states by 2003.

Sinn Féin calls on all political parties in Ireland to sign an anti-racist pledge and make a commitment that they will not play party politics with the race issue and that they will not tolerate racism in any form in their party.

Asylum seekers and refugees



Arts and Culture

Historically, arts, leisure and sports organisations that promote Irish culture have been under-funded, politically vetted and their work has been censored. Mainstream funding has, in the past, been allocated on a clear sectarian and class bias away from games and activities that reflect Irish culture.

The potential for the development of the arts, cultural and leisure sectors in Ireland is immense. Recent political developments, particularly of an all-island nature, could be underpinned by the inclusive and unique scope of Irish arts and culture. Furthermore, a more integrated, imaginative and innovative arts and culture policy could open up markets which generate indigenous business and craft sectors and also serve as a dynamic to reinvigorate Irish culture in general.

Economic development

Expanding all-Ireland co-operation

Driving the equality agenda

Arts policy

Irish language and the arts


Women's Rights

The role of women in Irish society continues to be undervalued and underpaid. Throughout public life the voice of women is often absent, and in the negotiations which are taking place to shape the future of the island, the presence of women such as Minister Bairbre de Brún is the exception rather than the rule.

Sinn Féin is committed to bringing forward measures to ensure that women are represented equitably throughout society.

Access and participation

Violence against women

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