Statement by the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton
The decision of the 26-County Environment Minister Phil Hogan to abolish all borough and town councils marks a decisive shift in the balance of power between local communities and the Dublin administration. The 26-County State, already one of the most highly centralised states in Europe according to Dr Jane Suiter of Dublin City University, has increased further the imbalance of power between the Dublin administration and the people. This comes on top of the relentless power grab of the EU political elite at a national level. The cumulative effect is to place ever increasing power in the hands of small and in many cases unaccountable political elites in Dublin and Brussels while disenfranchising people on the ground.
Republican Sinn Féin identified this imbalance in power relations over 40 years ago and forecast that it would only worsen. Through Éire Nua we put forward a credible alternative to what was then and is clearly now a dysfunctional political system. The type of real decentralisation of decision making from national to provincial, local level as advocated by Éire Nua has never been as relevant or as necessary as it is today. Éire Nua would empower people in a tangible way, ensuring that they, and not an unaccountable elite would make the political, social and economic decisions that directly affected them and their communities.