Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney says increasing his party’s political strength will ultimately lead to an end to partition and the establishment of a “new Ireland worthy of the men and women of 1916.”
Speaking at the Easter Rising commemoration in the City Cemetery on Sunday, Mr McCartney said: “This is an exciting time to be part of the republican family.
“For our part all that we do in pursuit of our political objectives is about creating a nation where the vision of the Proclamation is the living experience of every Irish man, woman and child.
“We are an ever growing force across Ireland. Increasing numbers of people are turning to us for leadership because Sinn Féin provides a better way, a challenge to the agenda of self interest and inequality of opportunity.
“500,000 people voting for our vision has made Sinn Féin the largest political party in Ireland but we know that we must become stronger.”
Mr McCartney said Sinn Féin is confident of prising a third seat in the constituency from the SDLP in the forthcoming Assembly Election.
“The Assembly election on May 5 provides another opportunity to increase the strength built up over many years of struggle.
“In Derry we have set ourselves a goal of returning three MLAs - Martin McGuinness, Maeve McLaughlin and myself - and it is a goal which can be achieved.
“It is about maximising political strength which ultimately will bring an end to partition and political domination by elites and golden circles.
“Increased political strength provides the opportunity to bring equality to every aspect of our lives and create the Ireland set out so eloquently in the Proclamation of 1916,” he said.