Sinn FÃ©in leader Mary Lou McDonald says Ireland is having the election because the government could not win a confidence motion in their Minister for Health, Simon Harris.
âItâs a symbol of their failures and we are now offering a choice to the electorate, the choice is for more of the same or for change,â she said.
âSinn FÃ©in will stand up for communities, workers and families, weâll give workers and families a break.
âThis is about the kind of Ireland we want to create and live in, and the electorate will have to ask themselves these questions: Who do they believe will put money back in their pocket?
âWho do they believe will take on the insurance industry and other vested interests? Who do they believe can deliver a huge council house building programme and affordable housing?
âWho do they believe will plan for their future? And the answer to all of these questions is Sinn FÃ©in will.â
Ms McDonald added that although they are open to speaking to both major political parties, âthe first people who have to be consulted are the citizens of this landâ.
âPeople know that for all the talk of economic recovery, many, many families actually have less money in their pocket than they had three of four years ago,â she said.
âThe people are first, the political establishment are a very, very distant second to them.
Although her party suffered major losses in the previous local elections last year, Ms McDonald said she was looking forward to her first general election as party leader.
âWeâre going to run a very vigorous campaign, Iâm looking forward to it, I like being out on the stump, I like meeting people and itâs a welcome relief from the political show that can go on in the Dail,â she said.
âWeâre setting out to defend the seats that we hold, weâre confident we can do that, we donât underestimate the challenge, but weâre confident.
âEvery election is about convincing people voter by voter and there is no room for complacency.
âThis campaign will be very different, weâve listened, weâve learned, weâve been very honest with each other.
âThis time youâll see a clear policy platform for workers for families, for those people who hear about economic recovery but arenât experiencing it in their lives, critically for us, for people who donât have a secure roof over their head.â