Labour ruling out right/left political divide, says Adams

SINN FÉIN leader Gerry Adams has accused the Labour Party of having “ruled out” the development of a credible right/left divide in Irish politics by attaching themselves to Fine Gael.

Mr Adams’ comments followed Labour party leader, Eamon Gilmore’s warning to voters that a Fine Gael/Labour coalition would be a more “balanced, fair and stable” government than a single party, Fine Gael government.

Speaking at a press conference in Cork city, flanked by the party’s Cork North Central and South Central election candidates, Jonathan O’Brien and Chris O’Leary, Mr Adams questioned why Mr Gilmore wanted to be in government with Fine Gael.

“There is the possibility of a real realignment of Irish politics. That will not happen, with the potential that is there is at this time, if the Labour party keep attaching themselves to a conservative party like Fine Gael.

“It isn’t going to happen because Labour ruled it out. There is the potential though if there is a relevant alternative that people can see could work… And that means that all of us who share the same vision starting to co operate on the big issues and small issues of the day. Now it might take a few elections to get that done.

“If Eamon is so concerned about the outcome, why would he want to be in government with them?

“They may suggest they have to be in government to put manners on them, as the PDs used to say or the Greens said. But the Labour party leadership have missed the boat with this one.

“The concerns that they are now expressing are almost out of panic and are ones that Sinn Féin put across at the very beginning of this campaign and I just don’t see any sense of the Labour leadership’s position whatsoever,” he said.

“If Sinn Féin wasn’t putting through the [left] policies that we’re putting through, there wouldn’t even be a decent debate between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. The size of the pensions they’re taking or not? It’s just ridiculous”.

Speaking at the event, Mr O’Leary highlighted the party’s plans to remove €7 billion from the National Pension Reserve Fund to fund a massive stimulus programme which would include the development of the Eastern Gateway Bridge linking the Lower Road in Cork city to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the development of an outer ring road on the north of the city, the retention and upgrading of St Mary’s Orthopaedic Hospital and the upgrading of the Cork-Carrigaline N28 road.

They also promised 100 primary healthcare centres nationwide, the creation of 1,600 construction jobs through school building and refurbishment. From an investment of €57.5 million in the agrifood sector, the party said they would reap up to another 1,000 jobs nationwide.

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