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Saturday, May 7, 2011

29 Assembly Seats, 14 Dáil Seats, 3 Seanad Seats and 400,000 first preference votes – the success of an All Ireland Party

In the course of the last few months Sinn Féin has achieved significant electoral success. The General Election in February saw the party triple its Dáil representation and win 14 seats. This was followed by a successful Seanad election last month with the party winning 3 seats. The Northern Assembly elections have brought more success with 29 seats in total. All of this is a vindication of hard work and political leadership.

Winning seats though is not enough. We need to continue the process of change. There is still considerable unfinished business in relation to the peace process and implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. Issues in relation to education reform, the Irish language, a Bill of Rights and greater North-South co-operation need to be addressed. The transfer of policing and justice powers needs to be followed by full fiscal powers to the Northern Assembly.

Across the Island far too many people live in poverty. Hundreds of thousands of citizens across the island are out of work. The social and economic challenges are great but not insurmountable. I genuinely believe that there has never been a greater need for real republican politics of fairness, justice and equality. I also know that a better Ireland is not just possible but deliverable. I look forward to being part of the Sinn Féin all-Ireland team as we continue in our good work in the weeks, months and years ahead.

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