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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09DUBLIN46 2009-01-30 15:29:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Dublin
Cable title:  

GERRY ADAMS ENCOURAGES RENEWED EFFORTS TO UNITE

Tags:   PREL PGOV EI 
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1. (C) During a January 21 speech at Mansion House
commemorating the 90th anniversary of the first meeting of
Ireland's first Dail (Parliament), Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams
sought to reinvigorate the quest for a unified Ireland. He
stated that the Ireland of equality and solidarity envisaged
by the first Dail had not been achieved and that the current
woes of the Irish economy are a result of the partition of
the island. Adams blamed the Irish government for "high"
levels of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness, and
declared that duplication of health services, education
systems, and economies, North and South, was not logical. He
cited the socialist objectives of the original Dail and
accused the Irish administration of allowing the rich to
prosper at the expense of the common laborers. Sinn Fein
plans to extend its reach among the Irish Diaspora as it
seeks to rally funds and support for a united Ireland.
However, Adam's rhetoric reveals a large gulf between the
Republic of Ireland of today and that imagined by the Sinn
Fein of the 1920s. As long as such a gulf exists, it is
unlikely that Sinn Fein will regain its past prominence in
the Republic. End Summary.



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Celebrating 1918


--------------------------





2. (U) Adams began his remarks with a stark criticism of
British Imperialism stating that it "has much to answer for"
and asserting that the actions of the British in carving up
the Middle East had laid the foundations for today's
conflicts in Palestine and Iraq. He then celebrated the 90th
anniversary of Ireland's declaration of independence from
Britain (which had taken place in the very room Adams was
speaking in).



3. (U) Central to Adams' speech was the Sinn Fein manifesto
pledge of 1918 that it would establish a national parliament
able to "speak and act in the name of the Irish people, and
to develop Ireland's social, political, and industrial life
for the welfare of the whole people of Ireland." He cited
the landslide victory for Sinn Fein in the 1918 elections and
lamented that it was the last instance in which the people of
Ireland voted in a single election.



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Condemning Ireland's Leadership


--------------------------





4. (U) Adams condemned the partition of Ireland, stating that
it has distorted and stunted the economic and political
potential of the island and has led to an environment where
unemployment, poverty, and homelessness are increasing.
Further, he noted the poor quality of infrastructure and
public services. Adams then asserted that Irish natural
resources are exploited solely for the benefit of private
multinational corporations, to the detriment of local
communities. Adams noted that the Dail had met in the same
room on the previous day to celebrate the 90th anniversary --
one day before the actual date. (Note: Sinn Fein used the
historic "Round Room" in Mansion House on the actual day of
the 90th anniversary simply because they managed to book the
room before the Irish government. End note.) Adams
announced that Sinn Fein had offered to share the room with
the Irish government and lamented that the government would
not accept Sinn Fein's condition that the event include
co-equal speaking rights for Irish and Northern Irish
participants.



5. (U) Adams cited the socialist intent of the 1916
independence proclamation and criticized the government for
abandoning those principals. He quoted Liam Mellows'
statement that "a political revolution in Ireland without a
coincident economic revolution merely means a change of
masters." Sinn Fein, he stated, has "warned time and time
again that (the Irish) government was mismanaging the
economy." Adams then accused the government of "protecting
its wealthy friends in the banks, the developers, property
speculators, and private health insurers" and "targeting the
sick, the elderly, and children."



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Moving Forward


--------------------------




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6. (U) Adams called for a renewed focus on Irish language and
arts and for an increase in state borrowing to fund capital
projects coupled with a reduction in consumption taxes (VAT)
to fuel consumer spending. He called on the North to press
the British Government for greater fiscal autonomy and the
ability to independently manage the economy. He criticized
the existence of duplicate systems on each side of the border.



7. (U) As in past speeches, Adams urged the formation of a
single republic on the island. He advocated a shared Ireland
in which Unionists are welcome and integrated. He cited the
continued good will in the United States for a united Ireland
and vaguely outlined a plan to mobilize the Irish Diaspora in
support of this goal.



--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------





8. (C) Adams' speech highlights the gulf that has grown
between the traditional all-island socialist dogma of Sinn
Fein and the modern Republic of Ireland, which is now
dominated by educated employees of multinational corporations
for whom reunification of the island is a fairly low
priority. As long as such a gulf exists, it is unlikely that
Sinn Fein will regain its past prominence in the Republic.
FAUCHER