SERIES: Political hopes and ambitions for 2022 - Ruairi Ó Murchú TD
The Dundalk Democrat asked local councillors and TDs from north and mid Louth to share their hopes, ambitions and predictions for the year ahead. In this piece, Louth Sinn Féin TD Ruairi Ó Murchú, shares his thoughts on 2022.
Tá athrú ag teach. Tá sé le mothú san aer.
Change is coming. It can be felt in the air.
The last 12 months have all been about change, the desire for change, the need for change, the promise of change.
The most recent opinion polls have put Sinn Féin at 35%, an incredible indication that the public in this state continues to seek the change that so many indicated in the ballot boxes in February 2020.
We understand that things need to change – the year 2021 has shown up stark problems with the way things are done in this state.
The increasing costs of energy, with wholesale gas prices jumping a massive 800% this year alone, coupled with record increases in rent and house prices, inflation and electricity, mean that the screw continues to be unrelentingly turned on families, with little relief from government.
Unfortunately, some things have not changed. The Covid 19 crisis is still with us, despite the initial optimism of the middle months of 2021. We are in a much better position than we were this time last year, with vaccinations helping to reduce the numbers of people who are getting hospitalised with the virus.
There needs to be a better international response to ensure that there are enough vaccinations throughout the whole world and the government has to play its part.
The government continues to refuse to say whether they will initiate a public inquiry into the deaths from Covid 19 of residents at Dealgan House nursing home in Dundalk in April and May 2020.
The remarkable families of those who died are entering their third year of a campaign for this essential public inquiry and I know they will not give up until it is secured.
Meanwhile, Brexit continues to twist and turn, biting hard on British business, with the Tory government in utter disarray and Boris Johnson holding onto power by his fingertips.
And political unionism is facing into 2022 with no plan, nowhere to turn, no more cards to play in relation to their opposition to the Irish protocol.
The year 2021 has seen the conversations around Irish unity intensify, grow louder, and include more and more people. It is clear that the appetite for ‘athrú’ is growing stronger and I will continue to put the case for the government to prepare for a referendum for Irish unity in all the fora I can, including in Europe.
We can look forward in 2022 to giving a voice to the change that people desire and to progress the change that we know is coming.
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