Standing up for public services and planning for a border poll key to Sinn Féin's manifesto


Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald has said she is confident that her party will "perform very strongly" in the upcoming UK General Election, despite not polling as well as expected in the recent elections in the south. Speaking as she launched her party's manifesto in Ionad Eileen Howell in the former St Comgall's School in West Belfast, Ms McDonald said that she has "huge optimism" ahead of 4th July.

Setting out her party's position in the nine-page document, Mary Lou McDonald said that her party is aiming to consolidate its position and build on their vote in 2019 where they returned Seven MPs.

Despite Sinn Féin not taking their seats in the House of Commons chamber, the party president indicated that those returned in the upcoming election will be “working hard as part of a strong all-Ireland Sinn Fein team, made up of MLAs, TDs, MEPs and hundreds of local councillors the length and breadth of the country intent to deliver for all of our people."

Read more: Sinn Fein's history and policies explained

Read more: Full list of candidates running in the General Election in Northern Ireland

"We are launching our manifesto and just to say that every day Sinn Féin representatives provide strong leadership and deliver positive change in communities all across Ireland. I can tell you that nobody works harder for the communities and the people we represent.

"Sinn Féin is on the side of workers, working families, working nationally and delivering locally and we are leading the way to build a stronger, better and fairer country.

"This election on July 4 is a real opportunity to step forward towards that brighter future, a better future for the next generation. For a society that defends you when you are at your weakest, that encourages you when you are at your strongest."

Mary Lou McDonald speaking at the Sinn Féin manifesto launch
Mary Lou McDonald speaking at the Sinn Féin manifesto launch -Credit:James McCarthy/Belfast Live

Ms McDonald said that her party is committed to delivering on the things that matter most to workers and families including healthcare, the cost of living, housing, education and childcare.

"We are focused on what is possible to achieve if we work together, making politics work and demonstrating that positive change is possible," she added.

"This election when you boil it down is about hope and it is about optimism. It is about strong leadership and about positive change.. It is about an inclusive and modern forward-looking society because that is our vision, that is our mission in Sinn Féin.

"That is the vision of our amazing and hard-working candidates so I am asking you to send a clear message in this election about what you want for the future."

Titled Strong Leadership Positive Change, the manifesto contains key pledges including fighting for a fair funding model for Northern Ireland and preparing for constitutional change.

What are the key pledges in the Sinn Féin manifesto?

The Sinn Féin manifesto is split into five sections titled: Strong Leadership; Delivering Positive Change; Standing up for Public Services; Planning for Constitutional Change and Building a Society for All.

Key to the delivery of this manifesto is the party's pledge to continue to fight for a fair funding model for Northern Ireland which meets the needs of public services.

The party have reiterated their commitment to solidarity with the people of Palestine and have called for an immediate ceasefire, release of all hostages, humanitarian aid, an end to genocide and a free and independent Palestine state.

Closer to home, the party have pledged to continue to call for the transfer of fiscal powers to the Executive including powers for progressive taxation and the power to raise the minimum wage.

The party called on the British and Irish governments to set a date for a referendum on a united Ireland and called for the Irish government to establish a Citizens Assembly which would discuss issues such as how a united Ireland would deliver an all-Ireland national health service, a sustainable housing system and a just transition to a carbon neutral economy.

On legacy, the party say that the mechanisms agreed at Stormont House must be implemented in a "human rights compliant manner." and that the party will continue to advocate for victims and survivors of institutional abuse to protect their right to truth, justice and redress.

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