Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has accused Fianna Fáil of reneging on their election promises and of working to put acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny back into power, writes Juno McEnroe of the Irish Examiner.
During a sweeping attack on the potential minority government being put together, Mr Adams also had criticism of Independents and in particular Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin.
His comments were delivered during his party’s Ard Fheis tonight at the convention centre in Dublin.
Highlighting the 100-year anniversary of the Rising, Mr Adams claimed that a real Republic would not tolerate the housing and homeless crisis or the scandals in hospital emergency departments.
The Louth TD claimed that his party, “in the interests of delivering change”, had been willing to talk to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil after the election but that the two had refused this offer.
Targetting Fianna Fáil's election promises, Mr Adams highlighted two areas he argued the rival party was now going back on after the elections.
“He [Micheal Martin] also said he would not put Enda Kenny back into government. But putting Fine Gael back into power is exactly what he is negotiating. That’s not in the national interest. Fianna Fáil voters did not vote to give Fine Gael another term.”
Fianna Fáil's pledge to “end” water charges had also been forgotten, noted Mr Adams.
He said: “You promised in your manifesto to abolish Irish Water and to scrap water charges.”
However, Fianna Fáil maintain that their manifesto only pledged to end or freeze charges for five years.
Mr Adams also targetted Independent TDs, whose support Mr Kenny is seeking in order to try and form a minority government.
Mr Adams said: “Many citizens thought they were voting for an alternative when they voted independent. Some of those TDs now stand with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. How independent is that?”
The party leader outlined Sinn Féin’s own pledges, including a social housing building programme, rent security for tenants, rural regeneration as well as a pledge to campaign to liberalise Ireland’s abortion laws.
The 67-year-old leader also stressed that his party had stood against the "British Tory austerity policies" in the North.
It would also campaign to introduce marriage equality there too, he said.
Reiterating the theme of the conference, a United Ireland, Mr Adams said that “a peaceful and democratic route” to unity exists.
Earlier in the conference, deputy party leader Mary Lou McDonald also launched an attack on Fianna Fáil, calling the party “Sinn Féin lite” as she accused Mr Martin and his TDs of “borrowing our policies.”
The claim comes after weekend revelations that Fianna Fáil, like Sinn Féin, are also seeking to have the future of water charges examined by an independent commission.