Region: Greater Middle East
Taoiseach Eimear Ni Liongsigh addressed the nation again today ahead of June 2020. "Fir agus mná, buchailli, cailini, agus gach saghas duine eile. Oiche mhaith. Men and women, boys, girls, and everyone else. Good evening. This week has been yet another stressful week for the country but we need to continue to pull together by staying apart. The purpose of my address today is not actually to speak to you about the pandemic so I will keep it short regarding that for today. I wanted to speak to you today to express my sincere gratitude to you for the support you have shown the Government and I and the rest of the Dáil too over the last five years ahead of our very unique General Election in June. Firstly, Covid-19. This week, a further 4,496 people have recovered which is good but it is not the number we were expecting it to be, we were expecting it to be much higher. A further 3,028 deaths have occurred which means 207,929 cases remain active. This is not ideal. It is progress but it's much slower than expected which means we need you continue observing the measures in place until we do start to see a sharp reduction in the number of active cases and measures have been eased or even lifted. I just want to take the opportunity to say we will not be putting in place a system of phasing the country back to work, we frankly think that is a stupid system. We will keep all measures in place until good hygiene can be maintained everywhere. Now, enough of that and onto what I do want to talk to you about tonight. The Government you elected in 2015 had been in power for 5 years and been majorly unsuccessful but due to your support and utter trust in us, you elected us again in 2015 for a second term in Government. For that, I thank you. Thank you very much for supporting the trusting us throughout our two unsuccessful terms in Government. Go raibh maith agaibh go leir. This month, we will see many faces continue to lead their Parties all hoping to win a Majority and have their leader elected Taoiseach and many faces will be leaving us. Most of them will be retiring but not all. I am not retiring from Politics but Irish Law prevents Party Leaders holding Office of Taoiseach for any more than two full terms, mine of which are up on 3 June 2020 so I can't run again. I will be around, I hope to be in Parliament, but I cannot lead the Party to another victory, assuming we are successful again in 2020 so I am stepping down and my colleague Sam Hackett has been elected the new Leader of Republican Sinn Fein by us Party members to lead us to another victory in June 2020. We do need you to continue to support us. Sam Hackett is a fine young man, the youngest Leader we have ever elected since foundation in 1986 but the reason he got the role is because he is good and if you still trust us to run your country, please do trust we made the right decision in electing him Leader and show him your support in June 2020. The only reason I am still Taoiseach is because I was Party Leader when we were elected in 2015 which is currently the last election to have been run in the nation but your new leader now is Sam so he needs your help just as I did ten years ago when I was the then youngest Leader of the Party. We will also be saying goodbye to the Leader of the Socialist Workers Network, Faith Chan, who is retiring from Politics at this time. She led her Party in 2015 and they won one seat in the Parliament we have just dissolved. I want to thank her for her co-operation since 2010. She has been a delight to work with and I wish her all the best for her retirement. I would like to wish her replacement as Leader, Ruairi Linehan, all the best in the upcoming election. Likewise, I would like to wish the new Leader of Fis Nua, Calvin O'Keily, all the best in his role and like to thank his predecessor, Erin Fox, for co-operating in Parliament since 2015 and wish her all the best in her retirement. Our own Republican Sinn Fein TD Billy Gaffney is retiring from Politics at this time too, since early this year he has served as our Minister of Safety. I want to wish him all the best in his retirement. During our time in Government, we didn't achieve much of our manifesto but let's focus on what we did achieve. Between June 2010 and June 2015, we managed to raise the economy from developing to reasonable. This is not great but we got it into a better position than Sinn Fein left it in before us. Between June 2015 and now, unfortunately, the economy under us fell from reasonable to fair. Fair is still higher than what Sinn Fein achieved on being voted out of Government. I am happy with that. Between June 2010 and June 2015, under us, Civil Rights also rose from some to below average. Whilst we didn't quite manage to hit average, we did manage to raise them. From June 2015 to today, we have managed to maintain this which is good because it's not fallen. We also introduced socialism into the country. That was on our manifesto and we accomplished that at least. I hope we can continue to work on this after June 2020 or if we don't get re-elected, I hope Irish politics is in a good position for the next Government to continue with. I'll leave you with that for tonight and I will give way later in the week and let our current Leader of the Opposition address you ahead of June 2020 for his own reasons. Oiche mhaith, gach duine, agus go raibh mile maith agaibh!"