TWO FOR SINN FEIN JOY
There is growing confidence in Sinn Fein that the party will
pick up at least two seats in the European parliament elections
on June 10 and 11.
Sinn Fein is "poised to make considerable advances", Gerry Adams
has predicted, while warning against complacency.
The latest poll shows the party is on the verge of securing its
target of securing seats on both sides of the border. While
Mary Lou McDonald showed a small increase in support to 12% in
Dublin, republicans believe that pollsters are not reading the
full support for the party, which is traditionally
With the 26-County Minister for Justice Michael McDowell
continuing to run a virulently hostile campaign against Sinn
Fein, some supporters are thought reticent about revealing their
loyalty to the party.
Gerry Adams joined the party's Six County candidate Bairbre de
Brun today as they revealed how they plan to use their new
influence in Brussels.
"This is a crucial election which will impact on the future
direction of the EU and the future of Ireland for many years to
come," said Mr Adams.
"Our manifesto sets out in detail our vision of a Europe of
Equals - a real partnership of equal sovereign states,
co-operating in social and economic development in Europe and
Mr Adams also pointed out that the election would be followed by
resumed negotiations on the troubled implementation of the 1998
Good Friday Agreement.
"This election also comes at a time of ongoing difficulties
within the peace process," he said. The institutions remain
suspended, key sections of the Good Friday Agreement remain
outstanding and the Agreement itself continues to come under
attack from the rejectionists.
"As the largest pro-Agreement party we are best placed to
challenge the DUP agenda and challenge those within the British
system who continue to try and frustrate the promise of the Good
The party is poised to become the third largest in Dublin, with
14% of those polled revealing that they will vote for the party
in the local election. Similar results are expected across the
country and the party's number of elected candidates is set to
increase several times from its 1999 showing.
Mr Adams said a strong Sinn Fein vote would send the British
government "a clear message that people across the island are
determined to see their basic rights and entitlements
Sinn Fein is calling for an open, nuclear-free and fair-trade
'Europe of Equals'. It will work for the harmonisation across
the border in several areas -- notably the adoption of the Euro
currency across the island and in the area of taxation.
It also seeks to have the Irish language given the status an
official working language of the European Union, and an end to
"fundamental flaws" in the EU constitution.
Bairbre de Brun is expected to take a seat in the Six Counties
at the expense of either the rival nationalist SDLP or the
Ulster Unionist party next week.
Ms de Brun added that if elected, she would represent the entire
community in the North.
"Sinn Fein MEPs will campaign for continued support for peace
building; a greater focus on social inclusion; greater
transparency and accountability; a sustainable future for
farming and fishing communities; a clean environment; and an EU
which respects and promotes equality and human rights
domestically and globally," she said.