September 8, 2022
We need change to drive progress and opportunity – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD delivered a keynote address to an audience at the University of San Francisco yesterday evening. During the course of her address, Teachta McDonald welcomed the reiteration by President Biden of the need for good faith negotiations and implementation of the protocol in his call with the new British Prime Minister.

She went on to say: “As Prime Minister Liz Truss enters Downing Street she must break with the bad faith agenda of her predecessors and change direction, end the unilateral actions and respect international law.  We need to see a recommitment to the Good Friday Agreement, support the restoration of the political institutions and an end to game playing around the Irish protocol.

“The Northern Assembly election in May saw the vote of a generation. Sinn Féin emerged as the largest party and Michelle O’Neill was elected as First Minister designate in a state that was designed to ensure this would never happen.  The people voted for progress, for a government for all, an executive that rolls up its sleeves and gets the job done and that is exactly what we intend to deliver.  The DUP must end the boycott of democracy and of the political institutions and work to form a government that works for the people.

“We now approach the twenty fifth anniversary of our peace accord, the Good Friday Agreement.  It is an agreement that the United States played a central role in bringing about.

She said: “Since 1998 we have built that peace.  Now, we look to write the next chapter – the reunification of Ireland.  The Good Friday Agreement provides for referendums on Irish Unity and I believe that they will happen in this decade.  We must prepare for that day.

“We know that we have everything we need to build a new, united and prosperous Ireland.  The economic and social opportunities are immense and we want to see them realised.”

She went on to say: “Ireland has changed, and Ireland is changing.  In this new decade a modern vision for Ireland stands before us.  A vision shaped by all the talent, potential and opportunity that pulses throughout our island. This unprecedented opportunity for Ireland must be seized and maximised with real purpose and determination.

“We currently have a generation that works very hard to get ahead, to build a good life and yet their goals and aspirations are pushed further away from them.  They are locked out of opportunity and they are locked out of home ownership.  This cannot go on. Each generation must advance. Each generation must thrive.  Each generation must have the chance to make it, and that principle will be the driving force behind Sinn Féin in government.”

The text of the full speech is available here. A video of the speech is available to view here

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