Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance and TD for Donegal, Pearse Doherty, addressed the 2023 Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Athlone this weekend.
His address can be read below in full:
The first thing I want to say tonight is thank you.
To you – our party members.
You are the engine room of our organisation.
Your work, your energy, your ideas, make Sinn Féin what it is –
The only viable vehicle for the ordinary people of Ireland to achieve change in our country, and the only viable vehicle to achieve the unity of our country.
Sa lá atá inniu ann tá Sinn Féin réidh le seachadadh ar son ár muintire – chun athrú a chuir I bhfeidhim chun caighdeáin mhaireachtála a fheabhsú, chun ár dtír a aontú.
So – thank you; for everything that you do.
There is nothing quite like an Ard Fheis to reflect, to take stock, but to also look forward.
Tá ár bpáirtí tar éis fás níos láidre, níos eagraithe, níos ullmhaithe, níos diongbháilte ná riamh chun freastal ar ár muintir agus ar ár dtír.
Since we last met, Sinn Féin have become the largest party in local government in the north.
We have continued to top opinion polls, north and south.
We are the largest party in the Dáil and the largest party in the Assembly.
In the 26 Counties, we aspire to become the largest party in local Councils right throughout the State next year.
But a mandate is what you make of it.
And Sinn Féin are focussed on one thing – delivery for workers and family the length and breadth of our island.
We are on the countdown to the general election, and we are setting out the type of change that a Sinn Féin government will deliver if the people give us that opportunity.
We are setting out our plans to build a better, fairer country for all, for positive change and transformation.
In no area is change needed more than ever than in housing.
The others have had their chance, and they’ve completely blown it.
And the longer Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael remain in government the worse the housing crisis gets – we have record homelessness, record high rents and unaffordable house prices.
And all those metrics are going in the wrong direction.
It is a national embarrassment.
It is, in fact, a national scandal.
Yet, Micheál Martin has the cheek to ramble on about Fianna Fáil being the party of home ownership.
It is fantasy and a fallacy.
Neither Fianna Fáil, or Fine Gael, can claim to be parties of home ownership when it has become harder and harder to buy your own home while these parties have been in office.
A party of home ownership is the party that will build affordable homes.
That party is Sinn Féin.
Is iad Sinn Féin an páirtí a rachaidh i ngleic le géarchéim tithíochta an Rialtais seo.
The question must be asked – what kind of housing crisis will we be facing if Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael get another term in government?
The choice at the next election is a worsening housing crisis under Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael or a Sinn Féin led government that will fix the housing crisis by building homes and reducing rents.
Moving forward our focus has to be on electing enough Sinn Féin TD’s to form a government without Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil after the next general election so that we can deliver real change.
That is the objective.
And we will deliver change, a chairde.
Because our party is different to all the others.
With Sinn Féin, what you see is what you get.
You get the hardest working public representatives in Ireland.
You get the hardest working activists in Ireland.
You get a party that thinks big.
But a party that delivers.
We are ready.
I know you are ready.
And the workers and families of Ireland are ready for a Sinn Féin government.
Is é ár ndualgas anois gach rud is féidir linn a dhéanamh chun dul isteach sa Rialtas, chun an t-athrú ata an phobal ag lorg a bhaint amach.
Ar aghaidh linn le chéile.