Northern Ireland

Sinn Féin launches council election manifesto

Mary Lou McDonald Image copyright Pacemaker

The Sinn Féin president has described Brexit as an act of "political vandalism".

Mary Lou McDonald urged voters to use the forthcoming council election to send a message to the Conservative government.

She also blamed the "Tory-DUP pact" for cuts to health and other public services.

Ms McDonald was speaking at the launch of the party's local government election manifesto in Ballymena.

The party had planned to hold the event at the local council offices, but were forced to find a new venue when that move was blocked by officials who said it breached council protocol.

The party is standing 155 candidates in next month's election and many of them gathered for Monday's launch at the Galgorm Resort.

Party leader Ms McDonald said the election was an "opportunity for voters to say the time is up for Brexit and the time is up for DUP Tory cuts".

She said it will be "a local election with a national vision".

The 16-page manifesto sets out the party's priorities on job creation, housing policing and the environment.

It also calls on councils to:

  • Have a charter to protect citizens rights
  • Have an Irish language policy
  • Have greater powers for economic regeneration
  • Build stronger cross border relations

"Under the Tory and DUP pact funding for health and public services isn't even enough to stand still and now they seek to impose Brexit against the will of the people," Ms McDonald said.

She said this was "against the needs of the economy and against the years of progress we have all enjoyed".