February 2 marked the kick-off campaigns for the February 25 Irish snap general election. In his speech Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams noted that the IMF/EU deal, which has forfeited Ireland's sovereignty to foreign institutions, has become the key focus of the election. He said Sinn Fein's election theme, "There is a better way," is resonating throughout the Irish people, who were being told that they had no choice but to negotiate slightly better terms and accept a future of misery and austerity.
He reiterated Sinn Fein's message: IMF, go home and take your money with you.
In his opening day speech he drew the line between Sinn Fein and any of the other parties, who, he said, are part of "the cozy coalition of cuts."
Campaigning at the James Connolly Memorial in Dublin, he quoted the famous trade union and socialist organizer who called for an alliance of principled candidates in the early days of Irish republican organizing. In the first decade of the 1900s, Connolly organized workers in the Bronx (a borough of NYC) and in New Jersey. He returned to Ireland and was killed in the 1916 Easter Rising. Adams said Connolly's call for real unity many decades ago is as relevant today as it was then. The issue is the future of the country, and people must think beyond party interests.
The pundits are all speculating about who will be in a governing coalition with whom. Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore has been trying, with next to no success, to marginalize Sinn Fein, talking about the election really being a three-way horse race between Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and Labour.
Adams responded that Fine Gael and Fianna Fail were natural bedfellows, and criticized Labour by saying, "It doesn't make sense to me how any party which is progressive could have a vision which is as narrow and as stunted as that which is about putting Fine Gael into power." Adams said people talking to the media can get a 'rush of blood to the head.' 'I don't want to be too provocative in what I say, but there is certain arrogance in all of that. The people haven't cast a vote, hasn't been one single vote cast.'
Reacting to a poll today which showed a drop in support for Fine Gael and a rise for Sinn Féin, he said: 'There is three-and- a-half weeks or so to go, and opinion polls come and go; I wouldn't pay too much heed to them.' 'You know the normal response from politicians is to laud the ones which are approving of what you are doing and dismiss the ones that don't... I tend to just try and ignore them all.