Adams unveils new Sinn Féin front bench

SINN Féin leader Gerry Adams yesterday launched his new front bench pledging his party would strive to be the main opposition in the new Dáil.

Mr Adams unveiled his shadow ministerial team, announcing that his party would roll out their own “first 100 days” of proposals to counter the Government’s list of promises.

Surrounded by his new team of spokespersons at Leinster House, he said the positions had been matched with deputies’ chosen areas of interests and expertise.

He said: “We see ourselves as the main opposition party here because we have credibility in terms of the issues which are bearing down upon people.”

Protecting low and middle income families, Ireland’s national interests and promoting Irish unity were priority issues for his party.

The 14 new front bench spokespersons include Mary Lou McDonald (Public Expenditure and Reform), Aengus Ó Snodaigh (Social Protection and Party Whip), Pearse Doherty (Finance), Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Health and Children), Pádraig MacLochlainn (Foreign Affairs and Trade), Peadar Tóibín (Enterprise, Jobs, Innovation and An Gaeltacht), Jonathan O’Brien (Justice, Equality and Defence), Martin Ferris (Communications, Energy and Natural Resources), Seán Crowe (Education and Skills), Brian Stanley (Environment, Community and Local Government), Michael Colreavy (Agriculture, Food and Marine), Dessie Ellis (Transport and Housing) and Sandra McLellan (Arts, Heritage, Tourism and Sport).

Mr Adams said Sinn Féin differed from other parties, including Fianna Fáil, in its opposition to borrowing huge sums with the EU-IMF bailout.

Mr Adams said his party would co-operate with others in opposition but there were “red-line” issues like the Universal Social Charge which the party would strive to end.

The party expects to put forth a number of legislative proposals in the coming months on reversing tax increases and opposing the European bailout, which it hopes to get support for from other opposition TDs.

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