In his New Year message, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has accused political and banking institutions of failing in their duty to invigorate the economy of the North.
He said: “so many institutions in this country — political, economic and banking, have failed our people. Rather than playing their part in building a modern, dynamic republic, so many of our youngest and brightest have been forced onto the dole or to various corners of the globe.
“The imposition of austerity policies by governments in Dublin and London is stifling Irish economic growth, causing severe hardship for families and creating poverty.
“There is deep anger that the Fine Gael/Labour government has been merciless in pursuing policies that harm the welfare of its own citizens while adopting a meek, ineffective approach in negotiations with banks, Europe and the IMF. Our country urgently needs a change of direction.”
Gerry Adams also criticised unionist politicians for comments regarding the erosion of British identity in recent weeks.
“Recent misrepresentations by unionist politicians of a ‘chipping away at everything British’ in the North, are a dangerous falsehood. The North is no longer a unionist fiefdom and must reflect Irishness and Britishness with equality of treatment as envisaged in the Good Friday Agreement.
“Equality also means freedom to pursue political objectives peacefully and democratically.
"In the coming weeks Sinn Féin will launch a campaign to secure a border poll. This is part of the Good Friday arrangements."