In this the third segment of my interview with Gerry Adams we talk about the future of Ireland's reunification and how his political party, Sinn Fein, meaning "we ourselves," is gaining more popularity.
Sinn Fein is gaining greater power in Ireland, polls show it is the 2nd most popular political party at this time. I asked Gerry what his opinion of that was: "Opinion polls are opinion polls," he stated. "They are only a snapshot in time, the poll that really counts is the one on election day." He went on to say: "We (Sinn Fein) see our way as a better path for the people of Ireland, particularly our ideas to help the economy which is flat at this time."
Gerry said: "We see the current government, as not much different from what they replaced, same basic economic policies which are hurting the middle and lower classes disproportionately." You can't cut your way out of a recession, you must grow your way out." "The current government is spending a tiny fraction on job creation and stimulus, yet at the same time paying billions to bondholders of banks....banks whose actions could be described as criminal."
Read parts 1 & 2 here:
From soldier to statesman, Gerry Adams made his mark
The US civil rights movement inspired Gerry Adams
He told me: "Sinn Fein has brought forth proposals to reduce the deficit, which don't include the dire consequences to the most vulnerable in our society" Gerry then went on to describe a very evocative scene which occurred a couple of weeks ago at expos for employment abroad in Dublin and Cork: " Ed, it was sad to see the thousands of mostly young, well educated, trained Irish people, having to leave the country in order to get work. We have seen this too often in our past-we need them here at home." I told Gerry that's why my family left and came to the States for a better life and to get work.
Then we talked about the future of Ireland and the chances of getting north and south united again. "Getting rid of partition is a good and patriotic thing to do. The British still have an illegal, immoral and illegitimate claim to part of Ireland," he said "I believe we can have Irish Unity in our time." "We have transcended partition, not entirely, but by the infrastructure of the Good Friday Agreement we are getting closer. When a majority of the people wish for unity it will happen."
To illuminate some of the great sea change happening in Ireland, he shared that he was "quite taken by a Sinn Fein event last month in Derry". "A Unionist speaker was invited to attend and in the audience were up to 200 from the unionist movement, it was all very peaceful and respectful"...."Ed, you couldn't have imagined that sort of thing happening 5-10 years ago in the mood and spirit this was conducted. "The more we do of this the better for all."
But Gerry said "the Diaspora have a huge roll to play in all of this." This island's in transition, the south because of its economic condition and the north because of the peace process, we're looking for a way forward and the Diaspora can help." "There was never a time when Republican policies are more needed than now."
Gerry said: "The great Patriot Theobald Wolfe Tone believed in the unity of Catholic and Protestant together in the center" Then Gerry finished with: "We want a new Republic, a new Ireland where people can travel by choice-not forced. We want rights and entitlements that all free countries have. But we must have unification so we can have our Republic."
I asked Gerry about his past and the tumultuous occurrences and tragedies, if he had the chance would he have made the same choices. We'll get his answer in the final upcoming segment
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