Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams launched his party’s manifesto in Dundalk on Saturday morning with outgoing TD Arthur Morgan and Cllr Tomás Sharkey.
Before hitting the campaign trail, Mr Adams said that the current situation that the country finds itself in “can be sorted out” but stressed the importance of people voting in the right manner.
He said: “Sinn Féin is standing on a platform based on our Republican values of citizenship and equality.
“There is a lot of despair and distress as a consequence of the political and economic crisis. It can be sorted out but it needs people as citizens to take a stand. It needs citizens to use our votes. Sinn Féin’s manifesto points the way forward. A better way.
“We are the only party to state clearly that we would reverse budget cuts – specifically to public services, social welfare and the minimum wage.
“We would also abolish the Universal Social Charge,” he said.
Mr Adams also insisted that Sinn Féin is seeking a mandate for a root and branch reform of the political system, the protection and creation of jobs and an end to the two tier health and education systems.
He is also seeking to ensure there is proper use of Ireland’s natural resources and continued support for the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement.
Speaking on the matter, the party president said: “This is the broad basis of our manifesto. It also includes immediate costed and practical steps to correct the awful damage done to our society, our communities and our citizens by an awful government and those who have committed to continue these policies, if they can cobble together a Fine Gael/Labour coalition after this election.
“They appear to be blind to the social consequences of their so called austerity policies. This manifesto sets out a better way and a step change for the future.”