Huge crowds turned out for the official opening of Deputy Eugene Murphy’s constituency offices in Roscommon Town and Strokestown by Micheál Martin yesterday.
The Fianna Fail party leader praised Eugene Murphy for being a “voice of balance and reason within the parliamentary party.”
Micheál Martin began his tour of the Roscommon/Galway constituency last Wednesday evening when both he and Deputy Murphy met with a delegation from Lough Funshinagh area in the Athlone Springs Hotel. A door-to-door canvass was also carried out in the Cluain Broc estate in Monksland. A meeting was also held with the Roscommon Chamber of Commerce in the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon Town on Thursday morning before a press conference with regional press.
Speaking at the official opening of the constituency office in Strokestown Deputy Murphy noted that it was a particularly emotional day for him and he was delighted to be surrounded by so many members of his family, friends and supporters and he noted that it was a particularly special day for his mother Margaret. Deputy Murphy said that so many people are becoming disaffected with the political system and he said Party Leader Micheál Martin “wants to listen and engage with many of the Irish people feeling left behind and that’s the road I want to travel on.”
Great crowds also turned out for the opening of the Roscommon Town constituency office earlier that day. Eugene Murphy said that the party had taken back a seat in the region and it was important to work on the ground to further build Fianna Fáil. “ I am so delighted that people are engaging with us, contacting us, emailing us and calling into our constituency offices. As spokesperson for the OPW and Flood Relief spokesperson I am leaving no stone unturned in terms of changing legislation so people do not have to go through what they did in recent years- agencies cannot have the final say over Government when people are in deep distress,” said Deputy Murphy. Party Leader Micheál Martin said that Fianna Fáil had embarked on a difficult and challenging journey since 2011. “ The first chapter of that was the local elections and this county did extremely well in the local elections in 2014- we have high quality councillors dotted across the county and that’s the base and the platform on which the Dáil seat was won we are a party rooted in the community,” said Mr Martin.
Mr Martin praised the councillors across the county in terms of serving the community and he noted that the party was rooted in the community and getting work done. Cllrs Joe Murphy, Rachel Doherty and John Cummins were in attendance at the Strokestown office opening while Orla Leyden also attended the opening of the Roscommon Town office. Micheal Martin met with Cllr John Keogh in Monksland on Wednesday evening while he met with Cllr Paschal Fitzmaurice in Castlerea on Thursday evening.
Mr Martin said that one of the biggest concerns facing the region is the Brexit decision which fundamentally alters the economic model. The party leader noted that traditional manufacturing companies, agri-food and tourism were sectors particularly at risk. “A lot of people in rural Ireland are not feeling the recovery and I’m very concerned that Brexit could exacerbate that if interventionist measures are not taken to create jobs in places like Roscommon,” said Mr Martin.
“the voice of reason and balance”
Mr Martin was full of praise for Eugene Murphy whom he said was doing a first class job and he noted that Deputy Murphy was a diligent, fair-minded and hardworking individual and he thanked him for his calm, articulate interventions within the parliamentary party.
“Eugene is a very balanced and articulate voice in the parliamentary party and he is very often the voice of reason and balance and someone who can unite the rural and urban TDs,” said Mr Martin.
Mr Martin said that the most important priority infrastructure which the country faces is the flooding infrastructure . “Roscommon is a particular problem – people are very worried about this winter,” noted Mr Martin. They also met with a delegation from Castleplunkett on Thursday afternoon where ongoing concerns in relation to flooding were raised by home owners and business people.
Questions in relation to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump were top of the agenda from students in Scoil Mhuire in Strokestown when the party leader stopped off during his visit to the constituency on Thursday. Micheal Martin also visited Boyle where he stopped off in SuperValu and Londis and did a walk about the town. A number of shop owners raised concerns over the Alcohol Bill whereby shop owners will now have to segregate an area in the shop for the sale of alcohol and there are concerns over additional staffing costs etc. to facilitate this move.
Micheál Martin concluded his visit to the constituency with a visit to Ballaghaderreen on Thursday evening where he canvassed the Kilcolman estate.