Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has launched a withering attack on opposition rivals claiming they are not acting in the national interest.
At his party’s ard fheis in Dublin Mr Adams took a swipe at Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin comparing his post election attacks to those of unionists in Northern Ireland.
He also challenged him to keep his commitments to postpone water charges and scrap Irish Water as negotiations on supporting a Fine Gael minority government reach a crucial stage.
“After the election Sinn Fein said that in the interests of delivering change we were willing to talk to Fine Gael and Fianna Fail,” Mr Adams said.
“They refused to talk to us.
“In nasty little soundbites, which would make the DUP blush, the Fianna Fail leader in particular, proclaimed that this party, that the people in this Convention Centre, and more importantly those citizens who vote for Sinn Fein, were not fit for government.”
Mr Adams hit out at independent TDs involved in government talks over the last two months claiming people elected them in the hope of finding an alternative in politics.
But he reserved his harshest words for Mr Martin who he claimed had gone back on a pledge not to put Enda Kenny into government.
Mr Adams said the Fianna Fail leader was acting out of fear over the growth of Sinn Fein after the party took 23 seats in the election.
“That’s not in the national interest,” he said.
“Fianna Fail voters did not vote to give Fine Gael another term. Micheal Martin knows that Enda Kenny will not resolve the homelessness crisis, the health crisis or the crisis in living which many families are enduring.
“He knows the Fine Gael leadership have little interest in Irish unity.
“But he would prefer to put them back in government as part of his effort to counter the growth of Sinn Fein.”
Mr Adams detailed a number of commitments at the top of his party’s agenda including campaigning to repeal the ban on abortion and bringing in gay marriage in Northern Ireland.
He also challenged the British government to introduce laws they committed to which would clear the way for a united Ireland if a majority in Northern Ireland wanted it.
Mr Adams said his party was campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU in the June referendum.
“While Sinn Fein believes in a different European Union – a social EU based on equality and citizens’ rights – we will be campaigning for a strong vote against Brexit,” he said.
“The imposition of border controls and economic barriers are not in the interest of the people of this island. Our goal is to break them down and end partition.”
The Sinn Fein ard fheis took place on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.
Mr Adams said the Proclamation should be lived and claimed that no republic worthy of its name would tolerate partition, mass emigration, poverty, health service scandals and homelessness.
He said neutrality should not be “violated” by the US military’s use of Shannon.
Mr Adams also attacked the outgoing Fine Gael-Labour government for failing to extend the boundaries of the national monument on the Moore Street terrace.
“It is an absolute disgrace that in this centenary year the relatives of the 1916 leaders were forced to take the government to the High Court,” Mr Adams said.
“This Fine Gael and Labour government wanted to demolish it.
“They backed the property developer.
“They wanted to demolish the national monument.”