Liadh for President
Liadh for President

News/Nuacht

Ní Riada in final call to voters to elect a new President for a new Ireland

25 October 2018

Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada today made a final appeal to people to come out and let their voices be heard in the Presidential election.

Speaking from her home area of Baile Mhúirne, on the final day of campaigning in the Presidential election, Ní Riada said:

“It is important that everyone who has a vote in this election gets out and uses that vote tomorrow because it does matter who the President is and what they represent.

“I want this to be the last Presidential election in which Irish citizens in the North and those forced to emigrate because of the Government’s economic policies are denied a vote.

“Ireland has changed a lot since the last Presidential election. We have legislated for equal marriage and repealed the 8th.

“However, deep inequalities and injustices remain in our society. Over 10,000 people are homeless. Families are struggling to make ends meet, with many just one step away from a crisis.

“If elected I will address the Oireachtas on issues of national importance like the housing crisis and the state of our health services.

“I will remind legislators that they have a duty of care to the Irish people - that no one can be left behind.

“I will be a President who stands up for ordinary people, who honours the contributions of citizens and champions the improvement of workers’ rights.

“Our future is in a United Ireland and the conversation about how we achieve that with maximum participation and consent needs to start now. As President I will lead that conversation.

“I want to be a strong, outspoken president with a clear vision and a clear purpose. I will be that President - active and not afraid to speak out.

“We need a President who will stand up for citizens and a fairer society.

“Tomorrow I am asking people to vote for me as a New President for a New Ireland.”


Liadh Ní Riada writes to Higgins over use of public money

22 October 2018

Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada has this morning sent a letter to Michael D Higgins asking him to respond to a number of very serious questions which were raised in the media over the weekend about his use of public money over the last seven years.

Ms. Ní Riada said:

“I have sent a letter this morning to Michael D Higgins in relation to a number of very serious questions which were raised in the media over the weekend about his use of public money over the last seven years.

“Among the issues which have been raised in the media were the use by the President of the Governments aircraft at huge public expense to fly within the island of Ireland, to places like Belfast and Kerry.

"It is also reported that the President has been using the OPW to maintain the garden and grounds of your private residence. These follow other unanswered questions in relation to the use of the €300,000 expense account

“It is my strong view that discussing these issues publicly is the only means left to reassure our citizens that public finances are being properly used, particularly at a time of hugh difficulties for many families.

“These are very legitimate questions, which should be answered in advance of tomorrow night’s debate so that we can move on and talk about the next seven years for our country.”


Higgins must “come clean” after PSNI reject his “security” claim

20 October 2018

Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada has called on Michael D. Higgins to “come clean” after the PSNI rejected his claim that he had to travel to Belfast in a Lear jet, funded by the taxpayer, earlier this year because the PSNI could not provide security for him to travel by road.

Ní Riada said:

“During a presidential debate on The Pat Kenny Show on Wednesday night Michael D Higgins claimed that his staff were advised ‘for security reasons’ that he couldn't be picked up at the border. He flew to Belfast in a Lear Jet, funded by the taxpayer, while his car was driven from Dublin to Belfast to pick him up at the airport.

“That claim has now been directly disputed by the PSNI. They reject this “security” claim who say it would be “inconceivable” that the President of Ireland would not have been afforded security if it had been requested.

“It is clear now that Michael D Higgins claim has caused considerable anger within the PSNI.

“Michael D. Higgins must make a public statement on this matter immediately. This is very serious. He must come clean.”


Brexit Backstop Must be Bottom Line - Liadh Ní Riada

18 October 2018

Presidential candidate and MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said it is vital that EU negotiators stand firm in Brexit negotiations and that the backstop must be the bottom line.

She added that the Irish Government must remain committed to this approach and withstand any pressure to back down over the coming days and weeks.

Ní Riada was addressing a Presidential campaign event attended by a large group of supporters in the Carrickdale Hotel, on the Louth/Armagh border this afternoon.

Liadh Ní Riada said:

“We are now approaching the defining moments of the Brexit negotiations and a lot is at stake.

“Last year, the British government signed up to an agreement with the EU which included provision for a ‘backstop’ aimed at avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland with a view to safeguarding the Good Friday Agreement.

“The backstop, in itself, failed to provide the full protections that the Irish people require but it was an important acknowledgement of the unique circumstances that apply to our country.

“Since that agreement there has been no clarity or legal text on the implementation of the backstop. The latest Britishproposal is for a time limited backstop which, in reality, means no backstop.

“We must listen to the majority of the people in the North who do not want a hard border and seek to remain within the Customs Union and Single Market.

“The British Government have been playing to the lowest common denominator and have sought to undermine the agreement that they previously signed up to.

“As a candidate for the Presidency of Ireland I believe that we must stand up for the people of the North.

“We cannot allow people in the North to suffer economically, socially and politically.

“It is vital that EU negotiators stand firm. The backstop must be the bottom line. The Irish government must remain committed and withstand any pressure to back down over the coming days and weeks.

“Decisions taken in the coming weeks and months will shape politics for generations.

“As President I will be a strong voice for the people of the North and the border.

“We need a President who is in the six counties as often as they are in any other part of Ireland. That has not been the case for the last 7 years.

“I see the protection of the Good Friday Agreement as something where the President of Ireland can be play a positive and proactive role.

“Brexit has added real urgency to need to start talking about and planning for a United Ireland.

“It is not enough to talk about change - the President must lead.

“From the beginning I have set out my intention to be a strong voice for Irish Unity. I have put it at the center of my platform for the Presidency.

“I will initiate a Citizens Conversation on a United Ireland so we can all be part of the discussion about building a new inclusive United Ireland.”


Liadh Ní Riada condemns Casey anti-Traveller comments

17 October 2018

Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada has condemned remarks by fellow candidate Peter Casey regarding the Travelling community.

Liadh Ní Riada said:

“As an MEP I have worked closely with the Travelling community in the Ireland South constituency in relation to housing and education issues.

“I was happy to launch the Accommodation Rights Charter put together by the Travellers of North Cork, in UCC last year.

“The Travelling community are an integral and historic element of the Irish nation who have faced discrimination and marginalization at the hands of the state and local authorities for many decades.

“They have been demonized and vilified by elements of the media who see Travellers as a handy scapegoat when discussing social problems.

“For anyone seeking public office, let alone that of the nation’s first citizen to engage in lazy, racist stereotyping of any ethnic group is unacceptable.

“The type of vision I have been presenting in this election is one of a New Ireland built on the glorious diversity of our people.

“As I have stated previously, if elected, I will be seeking to appoint a representative from the Travelling community to the Council of State.

“My platform is for an equal society for women and men, citizens of all abilities and disabilities, settled and Traveller, LGBT and straight, young and old, black and white, Orange and Green. That is the way forward for Ireland in 2018.”


Gallagher hiding behind Michael D in failing to show up for debates

15 October 2018

Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada has criticised fellow candidates Michael D. Higgins and Seán Gallagher for their refusal once again to partake in a televised election debate.

Liadh Ní Riada said:

“If you are running for President, if you want to be first among equals, you need to turn up and that is equally true of Seán Gallagher and Michael D Higgins.

“No one should have a misplaced sense of entitlement in this election.

“It is simply not credible to stand for the highest office in the land and not turn up to debate the issues.

“Sean Gallagher shouldn’t be hiding behind Michael D Higgins unwillingness to participate in the first televised debate of the Presidential election.

“Instead of pleading with Michael D, Seán should be participating in the Claire Byrne Live show alongside everyone else.

“On Saturday, I asked Seán where he had been for the last seven years – at a time of huge difficulties for families right across the country.

“Where was he during the marriage equality referendum, the Repeal the 8th referendum or two years of discussion on Brexit.

“Seán wouldn’t answer that question on Saturday and tonight he is going to be watching the debate at home but at some point he is going to have to answer.”


Liadh Ní Riada hits out at latest ‘no show’ by Higgins, Gallagher and Casey

10 October 2018

Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada has criticised the latest ‘no show’ at an election debate by fellow candidates Michael D Higgins, Sean Gallagher and Peter Casey.

Today, The Wheel, the umbrella organisation representing the community and voluntary sector, hosted a Presidential Election Hustings in Dublin.

Ms. Ní Riada was joined at the hustings by fellow candidates Gavin Duffy and Joan Freeman, but the other three candidates did not participate.

Speaking after the debate, Liadh Ní Riada said:

“It is vitally important that we confront the overbearing sense of entitlement that exists among the political elite.

“The political elite didn’t want an election in the first place. Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party all circled the wagons to prevent it. Now they don’t want their candidate engaging in the debates.

“Today’s latest no show by Michael D Higgins, Sean Gallagher and Peter Casey is disappointing and flows on from a refusal of Michael D Higgins and Sean Gallagher to take part in a number of other media debates.

"Seán Gallagher, as someone who claims to espouse such a commitment to the community sector, his absence today was deafening to those seeking to make positive change in our communities.

“Unfortunately this election has been characterised by candidates taking the electorate for granted. They are trying to shut down the discussion and shut out the public. This is bad for democracy and bad for the office of the President.

“It is important that, in this election, citizens send a clear message to the establishment that they don’t want the Presidency to remain the property of the political elite.

“I am the only non-establishment candidate in this election who can win. So, I am asking people to vote for me to send out that clear message.”


Presidency should not be preserve of establishment

08 Ocotober 2018

Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada has said that the Presidency should not be the preserve of the political establishment.

Speaking during a canvass in Oranmore, Galway this morning, Ms Ní Riada said:

“The political establishment of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party are united behind one candidate in this election.

“They do not want change. They want to preserve the status quo.

“They want a President who won't challenge them, who won't hold them to account.

“But I believe that we need a constructive tension between President and Government - not a cosy consensus.

“The establishment parties did not want any election. They did not want the people to have a choice. They wanted a coronation.

“But, in a republic nobody has an automatic entitlement to be President.

“Now that we have an election, it is important that people exercise their vote and vote for change.

“I am the only candidate that can actually challenge the status quo.

“Over the past seven years, the current President has not once addressed the Houses of the Oireachtas on any of the issues which are impacting on our people.

“I have made clear that as President, I will remind legislators to do their job, that they have a duty of care to the Irish people - that no one can be left behind.

“I will be a President who stands up for ordinary people, and who will point out that people need decent healthcare, decent housing and access to decently paid jobs.

“The Presidency should not be the preserve of the establishment. We need a President who will speak out on the need for equality and social justice. We need a new President for a new Ireland.”


Beidh an Ghaeilge mar ghné lárnach do m’Uachtarántacht

05 October 2018

Tá sé ráite ag an iarrathóir uachtaránachta Liadh Ní Riada go mbeidh an Ghaeilge mar ghné lárnach dá hUachtarántacht; go ndéanfaidh sí foghlaimeoirí Gaeilge a spreagadh; agus go seasfaidh sí an fód ar son pobal Gaeltachta agus Gaeilgeoirí.

Dúirt sí comh maith gur cheart Acht Gaeilge a chuir i bhfeidhm ó thuaidh.

“Is mor an onóir agus cúis bród dom bheith mar an céad iarrathóir Gaeltachta d’Uachtarántacht na hÉireann.

“Beidh an Ghaeilge mar ghné lárnach do m’Uachtarántacht

“Seasfaidh mé an fód taobh le pobail Gaeltachta atá thíos de dheasca cruachás eacnamaíochta agus neamhaird, in ainneoin dóibh bheith mar thaisclann ár saibhreas teanga.

“Is í teanga beo an Ghaeilge atá ag fás i go leor áiteanna urbacha taobh amuigh den nGaeltacht. Tá sé mar sprioc agam tacú leis an bhfás seo, chun é a spreagadh, agus chun foghlaimeoirí agus lucht labhartha na Gaeilge a spreagadh comh maith.

“Teastaíonn uaim cinntiú go bhfuil ionadaíocht mar ba cheart déanta ar phobail Gaeltachta maraon le Gaeilgeoirí agus iad i gcroí-lár ár náisiún.

“Tá an Ghaeilge á chur chun cinn agam le linn mo fheachtas toghchána. Beidh mé ag tabhairt cúirt ar phobail Gaeltachta i dTír Chonaill, i nGaillimh agus i gContae na Mí na lathanta amach romhainn.

“Is í an Ghaeilge ár bpríomhteanga, tá sí mar chuid dúinn, agus cuid dár n-uathúlacht mar náisiún.

“Tá ról lárnach ag an nGaeilge i dtaobh oifig Uachtarán na hÉireann, agus is fiú chuir i gcuimhne go bhfuil tús áite ag leagan Gaeilge an Bhunreachta de réir an dlí.

“Tá impleachtaí suntasacha ag an méid seo ar léirléamh an Bhunreachta.

“Táim ag iarraidh a bheith Uachtarán ar son muintir na hÉireann ar fad, agus táim ag tacú le Gaeilgeoirí ó thuaidh atá ag éileamh a gcearta. Tá Acht Gaeilge ag teastáil ó thuaidh.”

Irish language will be a central feature of Ní Riada Presidency

Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada has said that the Irish language will be a central feature of her Presidency; that she will encourage learners of Irish; and that she will stand up for Gaeltacht communities and all Irish speakers.

She also said that there must be an Irish Language Act in the North.

“I am proud and deeply honoured to be the first candidate for the position of Úachtarán na hÉireann to come from the Gaeltacht.

“Irish will be a central feature of my Presidency.

I will stand up for Gaeltacht communities who have faced economic hardship and neglect despite being the repository of our language wealth.

“Irish is a living language which is growing in many urban areas outside the Gaeltacht. I intend to support and encourage that and to support and encourage all learners and speakers of the language.

I want to ensure that Gaeltacht communities, and all Irish speakers throughout the island are properly represented in the life of the nation.

“I have been consciously promoting Irish in my election campaign. Over the coming days I will be visiting Gaeltacht communities in Donegal, Galway and Meath.

“Irish is our first language, it’s part of what we are and what makes this country unique.

“Irish is of central importance to the office of Úachtarán na hÉireann and it should be noted that in regards to the Constitution, it is the Irish language version which takes precedence.

“This has significant legal and political implications for interpretation of the Constitution.

“In seeking to be a President for all Irish people I support Irish speakers in the North who are demanding their rights. The North needs, and must have, an Irish Language Act.”


Liadh Ní Riada criticises Higgins and Gallagher debates no show

03 October 2018

Presidential Candidate Liadh Ní Riada has criticised Michael D Higgins and Sean Gallagher for refusing to participate in key televised debates during the election campaign.

Liadh Ní Riada said:

“All candidates for Úachtarán na hÉireann, including the incumbent, have a responsibility to spell out their vision and the values they would promote in office.

“I will participate in all televised debates and all other candidates should do likewise.

“The political establishment did not want a Presidential election.

“Now some don't want debates.

“No one has an automatic entitlement to be Úachtarán.

“To be first among equals you must be prepared to participate fully in the democratic election process.

“Anything else smacks of entitlement.

“It is very surprising and disappointing that Michael D Higgins had Sean Gallagher have adopted this position.

“It does a disservice to the office.

“Both of these candidates should show up and debate with the rest of us.

“They should allow the electorate to assess each candidate and their vision and plans for the years ahead.”


Liadh Ní Riada welcomes discussion of United Ireland as part of Presidential campaign

01 October 2018

Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada has said she welcomes the fact that the issue of a United Ireland has now become a feature of the Presidential election campaign.

Ms. Ní Riada said:

"I have sought, since the announcement of my candidacy to make discussion of a United Ireland a key feature of the Presidential election. I have already initiated the conversation as some of the other candidates are now at least talking about this key issue facing our country.

“The island of Ireland today is in transition. Brexit will have a major impact on the political and constitutional future of this island. Increasingly the prospect, shape and nature of a United Ireland will be a feature of public discussion and political decision making.

“We need an inclusive, informed and wide ranging conversation about Irish Unity. We were told that the issue of abortion was taboo but we had a respectful debate and the 8th amendment is now gone.We had a respectful debate on marriage equality and gay people can now get married.

“The next great debate will be about Irish Unity and we need to start that conversation and that would be the centerpiece of my presidency.

“As President, I will initiate an inclusive citizens conversation on a future united Ireland.

“My vision for a New Ireland is a pluralist and inclusive one. It is of a United Ireland that respects the identities and traditions of all.

“As President, I will lead by example and demonstrate the outreach and inclusivity that is needed to bring the people of this island together."


Ní Riada was speaking today during a visit to the Ballinasloe Horse Fair in County Galway

30 September 2018

Liadh Ní Riada said:

“The Ballinasloe Horse Fair, like the recent Ploughing Championships, is a wonderful example of the rich spirit and culture of Irish rural life.

“As a rural woman from west Cork and as someone who has fought for the interests of rural communities at home and abroad, I will be a powerful voice for rural Ireland if I am elected as Úachtarán na hÉireann.

“In the European Parliament I have been a strong advocate for the renewal and development of rural Ireland.

“Rural Ireland has been under attack for some time now. In many ways, successive governments have effectively abandoned rural Ireland.

“Rural schools, Garda stations and post offices have been closed at an alarming rate. Meanwhile small and medium business in regional towns have been starved of credit.

“Political decisions have too often made living in rural Ireland more difficult. We see this in the downgrading of rural transport programmes and the closure of local post offices.

“There has been imbalanced economic development with Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) mostly directed into a zone within an hour’s drive of Dublin.

“Irish agriculture and rural businesses face particular threats as a result of Brexit and these issues must me prioritised by our political leaders.

“If we are to reverse the decline of rural Ireland a clear plan of action is needed for job creation combined and greater support for local enterprise.

“If elected as Úachtarán na hÉireann, my Presidency would cherish and champion rural Ireland as an integral part in the life of our nation.

“I have a vision for rural Ireland as a sustainable place to live and work. A place where the quality of life is matched by the quality of public services.

“In my Presidency, Áras an Úachtarán will be a warm house for those wonderful organisations and individuals who give so much to the rich life of our rural communities.

“I will also have no hesitation in reminding legislators of their duty to provide services and uphold the rights of rural citizens.”


Liadh Ní Riada launches Presidential award initiative for Decency at Work

28 September 2018

Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada has said that, if elected, she will institute a Charter for Decency at Work award.

Employers signing up to a collective agreement regarding working conditions and terms of employment for their staff would be recognised with a a Presidential reward.

Ní Riada launched the initiative at an event in Galway this evening attended by trade unionists and a number of city councillors.

Speaking at the event Liadh Ní Riada said:

"As President I will institute a Charter for Decency at Work, which employees will nominate their workplace where a collective agreement is in place whereby:

“Employers will be invited to sign up to the charter following a nomination from their staff through their recognised Trade Union. An annual award for excellence will be awarded to those who excel in all five criteria.

"As President I will create a forum for trade unionists and experts from all over Ireland who will meet annually to discuss how working conditions can be further improved and how those employers that have received an award for excellence can lead by example and role model best practice.”


Easpa díospóireacht teilifíse Gaeilge cáinte ag Liadh Ní Riada

28 September 2018

Tá cinneadh TG4 agus RTÉ gan díospóireacht Gaeilge a chuir ar bun le linn an fheachtais Uachtarántachta cáinte ag an iarrathóir Liadh Ní Riada.

Dúirt Liadh Ní Riada:

“Is cinneadh do-ghlactha é seo a chaitheann le muintir na Gaeltachta agus lucht labhartha na Gaeilge mar shaoránaigh den dara grád.

“Is cúis náire é nach ndéanfadh ár gcraoltóir náisiúnta freastail ar Ghaeilgeoirí agus ar an nGaeilge i gcomhthéacs toghcháin don oifig phoiblí is airde san tír.

“Is í an Ghaeilge príomh-teanga na tíre seo, agus tá sí mar chuid dár bhféiniúlacht.

“Tá tabhacht lárnach ag an nGaeilge i dtaobh oifig Uachtaráin na hÉireann agus ba cheart bheith soiléir go bhfuil tús áite ag an leagan Gaeilge den mBunreacht. Tá impleachtaí dlíthiúla agus polaitiúla dáiríre i gceist le seo maidir le léirmhiniú an bhunreachta.

“Tá an Ghaeilge á chuir chun cinn agam le linn m’fheachtas toghcháin. Mar dhuine ón nGaeltacht teastaíonn uaim a chinntiú go bhfuil ionadaíocht ceart déanta ar phobal na Gaeltachta agus ar lucht labhartha na Gaeilge ar fud na tíre.

“Is masla uafásach é dár dteanga dúchasach dóibh siúd go léir a tá ag iarraidh a saol a chaitheamh trí Ghaeilge, sa Ghaeltacht.”

CRÍOCH//

Ní Riada slams decision not to have TV debate in Irish

Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada MEP has slammed the decision of TG4 and RTÉ not to host an Irish language debate for candidates in the Presidential election.

Liadh Ní Riada said:

“This is a completely unacceptable decision which treats people in the Gaeltacht and Irish language speakers through the island as 2nd class citizens.

“That the national broadcaster would refuse to facilitate Irish speakers and the Irish language in an election to the highest public office in the land is a disgrace.

“Irish is our first language, it’s part of what we are and what makes this country unique.

“Irish is of central importance to the office of Úachtarán na hÉireann and it should be noted that in regards to the Constitution, it is the Irish language version which takes precedence. This has significant legal and political implications for interpretation of the Constitution.

“I have been consciously promoting Irish in my election campaign. As a person from the Gaeltacht, I want to ensure that Gaeltacht communities, and all Irish speakers throughout the island are properly represented in the life of the nation.

“Refusing to facilitate a debate in Irish is a gross insult to all those citizens who live their lives through Irish, to the Gaeltacht, and to our native language.


Liadh Ní Riada welcomes decision to delay decision on licence to burn to hazardous materials in Limerick

26 September 2018

Sinn Féin Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed a decision to delay granting a controversial licence to burn to hazardous materials in Mungret, Co Limerick.

As MEP for Ireland South, Ní Riada was one of thousands of people who made submissions to the Environmental Protection Agency urging them to block the controversial practice at the Irish Cement facility in Limerick.

Ms. Ní Riada said;

"I am relieved to see that the granting of this licence has been at the very least delayed.

"While it does not mean the fight is over it does show that the concerns of people in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary are being taken seriously by the EPA.

"It's also a wonderful indicator of the strength of people power. When communities work together, as they have done around this issue, there is no limit to what they can achieve.

"The amount of people who made submissions and who showed up to public meetings that I called on this issue shows just how passionately people believe in it and how concerned they are. And they are right to be concerned.

"The impact of burning this waste on the site will have repercussions not only for Mungret and Limerick but for the whole Mid West region as well. It has the potential to seriously pollute our air with repercussions for health in one of Ireland’s most populous urban areas.

“There is no social, environmental or economic argument in favour of this proposal that stands up to the slightest scrutiny. The real reason behind this move is that it improves Irish Cement’s bottom line. But at what cost?

"I will continue to stand with the people of Mungret and the Mid West when it comes to protecting the very air they breathe."


Caithfear díospóireacht teilifíse i nGaeilge a dhéanamh mar chuid den bhfeachtas Uachtarántachta - Liadh Ní Riada

21 September 2018

Dúirt Liadh Ní Riada, iarrthóir Uachtarántachta Shinn Féin go bhfuil sé tábhachtach go dtarlódh díospóireacht teilifíse i nGaeilge mar chuid d'fheachtas toghcháin an Uachtaráin.

Dúirt Liadh Ní Riada:

"Tá sé tábhachtach go ndéanfaí freastal ar phobal na Gaeilge mar ba cheart le linn na feachtais toghcháin seo.

"Creidim gur gá go mbeadh díospóireacht i nGaeilge. Is í ár bpríomh teanga, agus ba chóir don craoltóir náisiúnta é seo a éascú san toghchán don oifig is airde sa tír.

"Bheadh aon rud níos lú ná sin mar mhasla ar na saoránaigh atá ag maireachtaint trí mheán na Gaeilge, orthu siúd a bhfuil conaí orthu sa Ghaeltacht, agus ar ár dteanga dhúchais.

"Táim ag tnúth le RTÉ nó TG4 a phleananna a fhógairt le haghaidh díospóireacht i nGaeilge idir na iarrthóirí Uachtarántachta ar fad."


All candidates should agree to take part in TV debate

20 September 2018

Presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada has said that all candidates for the Presidency have a duty to inform citizens of their various platforms and should take part in a televised debate.

Liadh Ní Riada said:

“Úachtarán na hÉireann is an extremely important elected position and it is vitally important that all candidates for the post clearly outline their vision for the role and the values they would promote in office. All candidates owe this to the electorate.

“The Presidential election is not a reality TV show. Ireland is not a business or a platform to promote private interests.

“The current President has not said whether he will participate in televised TV debates and two of the other candidates have stated that they will not participate unless the incumbent does. This is not good enough.

“Candidates have a responsibility to citizens to spell out what they would do if elected. I will participate in televised debates and I am calling on all other candidates to state very clearly that they will do likewise.”


Liadh Ní Riada campaign launch full speech

16 September 2018

Ar an gcéad dul síos teastaíonn uaim a rá gur mór an onóir dom bheith roghnaithe ag Sinn Féin chun bheith mar iarrathóir d’oifig Uachtaráin na hÉireann.

Is onóir speisialta dom leanúint ár gcara Martin McGuinness a thug agus a thugann an-ionspioráid domsa agus do go leor daoine eile.

Firstly I wish to say how honoured I am to be chosen by Sinn Féin to be a candidate for the office of Úachtarán an hÉireann.

It is a special honour to follow in the footsteps of the late Martin McGuinness who remains a huge political inspiration to myself and so many others.

As Mary Lou has said, I too believe strongly that the highest elected position in the land should be subject to popular mandate.

I also believe a Presidential election provides us with an opportunity to have an important conversation about how Ireland has changed over the past seven years and where we want it to go over the next seven.

When it was decided that Sinn Féin would contest this election I gave the matter deep thought and consideration. I was heartened by the encouragement I received from party colleagues who felt I would make a suitable candidate.

My personal background has given me a deep appreciation of Ireland’s unique identity and culture, its place in the wider world and a strong commitment to a United Ireland.

D'fhás mé aníos in Iarthar Chorcaí, áit lena bhaineann stair phoblachtach bródúil. Tógadh mé i nGaeltacht Mhuscraí i dteaghlach le Gaeilge, agus mar iníon Seán Ó Riada, ba nadúrtha dom bheith tumtha ina oidhreacht cheolmhar.

I grew up in west Cork, an area with a proud republican history. I was raised in the Gaeltacht in an Irish speaking family and as the daughter of Seán Ó Riada, naturally, I was surrounded by his musical legacy.

As someone who lost both parents at a young age, I have faced personal challenges and hardship. Myself and my siblings raised each other. This has given me a strong sense of independence and an empathy for those who are struggling.

Teastaíonn uaim a bheith mar Uachtarán Nua d’Éirinn nua.

I want to be a new President for a New Ireland.

Ireland has radically changed since the last Presidential election. We've become a more caring and inclusive society. A global inspiration when it comes to progressive social change.

But we are only at the beginning of this new chapter.

It’s time for all of us – particularly our younger generation – to write our own story, to shape a new and United Ireland.

Ireland needs an energetic President to support and encourage this journey.

Ba chúis bród domsa bheith tofa mar feisire Eorpach ar son muintir Cúige Mumhan agus Deisceart Cúige Laighin. San Eorap léirigh mé guth láidir ar son leas mhuintir na hÉireann ar Brexit, na healaíona, pobail tuaithe agus uirbeacha, athrú aeráide, neodracht agus ceartas soisíalta.

I am proud to have served as MEP for Ireland South. I have fought hard for the interests of the Irish people in the European Parliament whether on Brexit, the arts, rural and urban communities, climate change, neutrality, or economic and social justice.

I am now asking the people to allow me to bring to the office of President, the enthusiasm, energy and commitment I have already shown.

Uachtarán na hÉireann must be a beacon of hope for all our people – North, South, East, and West.

As President, my approach will be a humanitarian one that values the dignity of the individual and doesn’t look away from injustice and suffering at home or abroad.

Maron le bheith caomhnóir ár mBunreacht, beidh mé cróga mar chosantór ár ndaonlathas, leas náisiúnta na hÉireann, ár n-ardcheannas agus ár neodracht.

As well as being the custodian of our Constitution, I will be courageous in the defence of democracy, the national interest, aswell as Ireland's sovereignty and neutrality.

Uachtarán na hÉireann should have the integrity to represent all that is good in the instincts of the Irish people.

This may be in highlighting existential threats – such as climate change or the alarming rise of the Far Right across the world.

It may be drawing attention to the reality that refugees, from wherever they come, are our fellow human beings in need of protection.

Mar Uachtarán beidh mé forásach agus gníomhach ag tacú leo siúd inár sochaí atá leochaileach nó imeallaithe.

Beidh mo Uachtaránacht mar ghuth ar son Éire comhbhách, Éire cóir; Éire in a bhfuil dídean ag gach páiste ina mbaile féin.

My Presidency will major on the need to provide support for our most vulnerable and marginalised citizens.

I will be a voice for a caring Ireland. A fair Ireland. An Ireland where every child has a home. An Ireland that leaves no one behind.

As President, I will honour the contribution of our carers and those working in our public services. I will launch a Presidential initiative to recognise employers paying fair wages.

Thar lear, cuirfidh mé leasanna muintir na hÉireann chun cinn, mar a ndéanaim i gconaí. Tiománfaidh mé togra chun iad siúd a chuireadh ar imirce de dheasca an géarchéim eacnamaíoct a thabhairt abhaile.

When abroad, I will put the interests of the Irish people first, as I always have. I will lead a drive to bring home a generation forced to leave since the economic crash.

I will give leadership on the values that should underpin a New Ireland - such as the economy serving the needs of our people and not the other way around.

Tá imní agus éadaingne ag cur leis an géarchéim sláinte intinne atá ag fás inár dtír. Díreoidh mé ar chúiseanna na géarchéime seo - ar na slite ar féidir linn ár sochaí a eagrú ionas go mbeimíd ag tacú lena chéile in ionad ligint dár gcaighdeán saoil bheith laghdaithe de dheasca éagothroime agus aonarachas.

Anxiety and insecurity are contributing to a growing mental health crisis in our country. I will focus on the causes of this crisis – on how we can organise society so that we support each other rather than allow our quality of life be undermined by inequality and extreme individualism.

There are exciting opportunities within the parameters of Oifig an Úachtarán to really empower people – through educational scholarships, by reaching out to our Diaspora, by helping to promote women on their journey towards full equality of citizenship, or by nurturing the incredible, untapped potential of our rich culture.

Bainfidh mé úsáid as deiseanna na hoifige, san áireamh an deis labhairt ós comhar an Oireachtais, chun reachtairí a chur i gcuimhne ar na luachanna is tábhachtaí - rathúnas a roinnt, aire a thabhairt dár saoránach go léir, agus dlúthpháirtíocht a thaispeáint lena chéile.

I will use the opportunities of the office, including the ability to address the Oireachtas, to remind legislators of the values that matter - sharing prosperity, caring for all citizens and showing solidarity with others.

Tá fís agam d’Éirinn nua atá iolraíoch agus ionchuimsitheach. Fís d’Éirinn aontaithe ina bhfuil meas léirithe dár bhféiniúlachtaí agus traidisiúin ar fad.

My vision for a New Ireland is a pluralist and inclusive one. It is of a United Ireland that respects the identities and traditions of all.

I will be a positive voice for Irish Unity, leading by example and demonstrating the outreach and inclusivity that is needed to bring the people of this island together. If I am president, Áras an Uachtaráin will be a welcoming house for all.

The island of Ireland today is in transition. Brexit will have a major impact on the political and constitutional future of this island.

Increasingly the prospect, shape and nature of a United Ireland will be a feature of public discussion and political decision making.

Mar Uachtarán, cuirfidh mé tús le comhrá cuimsitheach saoránach mar gheall ar Éire aontaithe amach anseo.

As President, I will initiate an inclusive citizens conversation on a future united Ireland.

The past seven years have witnessed the disappearance of a lot of Ireland’s of old certainties. Partition too will be overcome. The tide of history is with those seeking to build a new, progressive and inclusive future.

A process of national reconciliation is central to any genuine effort to unite the people of Ireland. And, if elected, reconciliation will be a theme of my Presidency.

The future of this great country will be built on our glorious diversity – an equal society for women and men, citizens of all abilities and disabilities, settled and traveller, LGBT and straight, young and old, black and white, Orange and Green.

Táim iarraidh oraibh bheith liom ar an turas seo amach romhainn, agus mé ag seasamh ós bhur gcomhar mar duine daoibh, bean bródúil poblachtach, ag iarraidh oraibhse tacú liom chun bheith mar Uachtarán do gach éinne.

I am asking you to take that journey with me as I stand here before you today, as one of us, a proud Republican woman, asking you to help me to become a president for all of us.

A chairde, make no mistake, today’s announcement is a game changer in this Presidential election. Together we can win. Together we can make history. Together we can ensure that we have a new President for a New Ireland.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh.

Ar aghaidh linn le chéile.

Copyright 2018