Left meets to talk of change


Labour, Sinn Fein and left-wing candidates attended a conference on new political possibilities in Ireland this morning.

Sinn Fein TD Aengus O Snodaigh told delegates there was widespread desire for a realignment of Irish politics.

“It is time for all those who believe that a government without Fianna Fail or Fine Gael can deliver a better Ireland to work together,” he said.

“Voters want a real alternative. They are looking for change, for a break with the failed politics of the past and for hope that this is possible.”

Labour councillor Cian O’Callaghan maintained voters must demand a radical redistribution of power and extension of democracy.

“We are living in a period of unprecedented attack on our public services and of redistribution of resources from those with the least to the super-rich,” said Cllr O’Callaghan.

“The left must not carry out the dirty work of the IMF by implementing a programme of austerity and cuts that will wreck our public services — instead the left must encourage and support all those who are resisting these attacks.”

Richard Boyd Barrett, of People Before Profit and the United Left Alliance, outlined several elements he believes will save the country from economic and social destruction.

They included ending the bail-out of private banks and bondholders, hiking up taxes on the super-wealthy and closing tax loopholes, and capping public sector salaries at €100,000 euro.

The Worker’s Party president, Michael Finnegan, added: “We must work to unite progressive people within the trade union movement and the principled left to promote a campaign for jobs.”