John Finucane personification of what our Party stands for – O’Neill

It is hugely inspiring to see the energy and enthusiasm in this room tonight.

It’s as clear a signal as any that Sinn Féin is determined, willing and able to take this seat for the first-time in our history.

And in John, we have an exceptional candidate. 33283707170_b7c6376416_k

Someone who is the personification of what our Party stands for.

His family has struggled for justice for many years and despite all they have gone through, John spoke eloquently and passionately here tonight about his determination to continue to reach out the hand of friendship. To seek reconciliation on our island and to build on the work and legacy of Martin McGuinness.

To defend those who need defended and to oppose the destructive policies of the British Government in Ireland, particularly Brexit.

We can build a better future. Our own future.

And I have no doubt that a generation of republicans epitomised by people like John will be at the forefront of that.

I also want to pay tribute to Gerry and Caral who have represented North Belfast with such distinction for many years and will continue to do so in the time ahead.

Together with John as MP, they will make an even more formidable team as we seek to build on the progress and opportunities created by the Assembly election.

That election result fundamentally changed the political landscape. The perpetual unionist majority is gone. Irish unity is now firmly on the agenda and rights and equality have been put centre-stage of the political process.

We must defend those achievements in the Westminster election.

We defend them by winning seats like North Belfast.

And make no mistake, we can win it.

This can be another ground-breaking election for Sinn Féin. And it is the people in this room who will make it happen.

So as John has said, let’s do it.

Let’s go out and make history.