THERE will be acute disappointment if Sinn Féin do not return three seats in the West Tyrone constituency, party president Gerry Adams has claimed.
On a canvass in Omagh town this afternoon Mr Adams emphasised how Sinn Féin has been energised by the appointment of Michelle O’Neill as leader in the North.
Describing the Mid Ulster candidate as a “breath of fresh air”, the Sinn Féin veteran also called for locals to turn their anger over the RHI scandal into votes on Thursday.
Mr Adams also told the Ulster Herald he did not mind being the main focus of any “scaremongering campaign” by the DUP.
He expressed how his party’s brand of politics was about “empowering people” while the “negativity” displayed by the DUP was about “frightening people into voting.”
During a walk-about in both Strabane and Omagh, Mr Adams made an appeal for people to come out an use their vote.
The Sinn Féin president said, “People are genuinely agitated by the breakdown of the Executive due to the RHI scandal and the DUP handling of it.
“I can’t quantify the support received for the stance Martin took (in resigning). We have to turn that anger now into votes. At the same time the people want the dispensation to work so there is a job of work to be done in terms of getting the biggest mandate possible. As Martin pointed out we are not returning to the status quo.
“This is not an election we wanted or planned for but the RHI scandal was the tipping point. A lesson we learnt a long time ago, which the DUP are yet to learn, is that you always have to allow space for the people you are working with. You can’t expect to ride roughshod over people’s feelings. You have to have a tolerance and respect for other people.
“I would appeal for people to use their vote on Thursday. There is no point complaining or getting agitated with what is wrong if you do not come out and use your vote and vote for Sinn Féin.
“You can never take the people for granted, but I would be very, very disappointed if we didn’t get the three candidates elected.”
Referring to the “challenges” of forming a government post election, Mr Adams said there must be accountability over the RHI issue and an honouring of previous negotiations.
He said, “Our endeavour will be to put together a government based on the Good Friday Agreement. It will be a big challenge. Michelle has already put together her negotiating team and will be inviting all other parties to join with us in creating an Executive. There doesn’t have to be a new agreement negotiated. Most of it is about getting old agreements honoured and delivered. But there has to be an explanation and accountability for those responsible for the almost £500 million of tax payers’ money squandered in the RHI scandal.”
VIDEO: Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams sharing a light hearted moment with Barry McElduff and Declan McAleer in Omagh.