As we enter into 2012 Irish people do so facing another year of dealing with austerity, bleak economic forecasts and stark social conditions.
It is a position which is not the responsibility of those are now suffering most; the mortgage holders, the unemployed and the elderly.
It is a position which had its die cast by a Fianna Fáil government, its treasonous portrayals of public representation and its blatant distain for their moral obligation to the people of Ireland.
It is the position that has filled the public coffers with only anger and distrust, a palpable lack of faith in the body politic, one which the body politic truly deserves for its past transgressions.
But we must enter 2012 with a new energy and attitude. A year where those entrusted with building an New Ireland show the dynamism, guile and bravery in policy making which delivers on the rhetoric of the last elections.
It is not an easy task, one which requires the input of all, and no more so than an opposition with a similar passion for this New Ireland.
An opposition whose policies offer the voters true democratic value and positive choice at the ballot box, instead they are being offered a Sinn Fein party who can spot the problem with everything and sadly the answer for nothing.
It is truly the politics of the professional; an exercise in shameless vote grabbing, riding the frustration of a disillusioned public without shame or providing alternative.
Sinn Fein’s ‘Empty Barrel’ politics rely on their shouts to fill the void needed filling with sense and progressive thinking.
Their continued objective to cry foul without conscience or remorse is all the more galling considering their self-image as the ‘Republican Party’.
There is nothing more dangerous to the rebirth of our Republic than an irresponsible opposition, one which is unable to perform its role with good duty and moral decency.
If Sinn Fein cannot or are unwilling to step up to the mark in terms of providing alternative policy, then one can only hope they will be recognised as the danger they are to a public who have been damaged so badly by the politically incapable in the recent past.
Cllr. Aidan Pendlebury
Clonakilty Labour Branch