|Simon Gillespie speaking during the Mock Dáil debate|
SINN FÉIN REPUBLICAN YOUTH scooped first prize at last week’s Dublin-wide Mock Dáil competition held in the Garrett Fitzgerald chamber in UCD. The Sinn Féin team claimed victory over Young Fine Gael, Labour Youth and Ógra Fianna Fáil in a fiercely contested and often heated debate. Speaking after the event, Simon Gillespie said that the victory showed the realistic alternatives to partition and austerity that were being offered by Sinn Féin across the island.
“In tackling and defeating the establishment rhetoric that the Government parties and Fianna Fáil offered, Sinn Féin has proven yet again that there is a credible and achievable alternative to the status quo,” said Gillespie.
The Sinn Féin Republican Youth front bench comprised of Simon Gillespie, Jonathan Graham, and brothers Eamonn and Mairtín Arbuckle. The debate was chaired by former Deputy Government Press Secretary, John Downing.
|Eamonn Arbuckle is applauded by the Sinn Féin team for his contribution to the debate|
A number of Dublin SFRY representatives made-up the Sinn Féin back-bench and were praised for their articulate contributions to the debate.
“The Sinn Féin Republican Youth team were great ambassadors for the party and proved themselves to be talented orators and gifted debaters. Each and every one of them is a credit to Sinn Féin and their performances on the night ensure that the future is bright for our party,” Gillespie added.
There were three motions debated on the night. The Government motion concerned the pending Family Home Tax and faced tough criticism from the Sinn Féin team. From the opposition benches came two motions, the first being a motion relating to the failure of the Nursing Graduate Scheme and the second being a general motion of No Confidence in the Government.
In striking similarity to the Dáil, the Sinn Féin speakers faced constant heckling and childishness from Government and Fianna Fáil benches but overcame the interruptions to be described by the Judges as ‘by far the most cohesive and comprehensive group.’ The judges, from the Department of Politics and International Relation in UCD, also praised Simon Gillespie as being ‘the most impressive and convincing speaker’ on the night.
“I suppose you could say we swept the board,” said Gillespie. “It was a fantastic opportunity to advance the Sinn Féin vision and challenge those who believe that the actions of this Government and previous Governments are acceptable. The politics of austerity and hardship must end. There are clear choices and alternatives.”
“While we sit and listen to the same nonsense from Government about how Ireland is the ‘best small country’ in which to do business, grow old with dignity and respect, and in which to raise a family, the reality is we have shop owners who can’t access credit, old age pensioners who can’t afford to heat their homes and families in mortgage distress who can’t afford to put food on the table. The effects of austerity, unemployment and emigration have taken their toll on towns and communities across the island and the Sinn Féin Republican Youth message to the youth wings of the establishment parties was simple: Ireland has had enough!” he concluded.
“Never has this country needed an alternative approach more than it needs it now. Sinn Féin is that alternative and I’m proud to be part of that.”
|Jonathan Graham of SFRY speaking|