Convention Speech

Convention Speech by Senator Joe O’Reilly

May I begin by thanking my proposer and seconder. They are both elected colleagues of the highest calibre. May I welcome our visiting Chair, Senator Bradford. He is very intellectually able, politically astute and despite his relative youth has a vast political experience. Thanks for coming, Paul. May I pay tribute once again to my retiring colleague, Deputy Crawford. We worked very well together and I will miss him as a colleague.

This coming election will be vital to our people. The electorate will vote with a realisation that the blame lies fairly and squarely with Fianna Fáil for the battered and broken state of our country. They know, and it will be our job to remind them, that Fianna Fáil have got everything wrong with disasterous consequences. They were wrong on banking. Imagine they gave Merril Lynch €7.3 million for expert advice on the Banking Guarantee and then proceeded to ignore it. We, in Fine Gael, told them create a good bank / bad bank. They ignored that until some weeks ago. Did you know that they spent €33.7ml on advice during the entire banking crisis that they either did not take, did not understand or ignored.

Fianna Fáil have left us with a banking crisis, an unemployment crisis and a sovereignty crisis. The Live Register for Cavan for November was 7,269 of which 1,466 are under 25. For Monaghan it was 6,195 of which 1,073 are under age of 25. By January 1st, 65,300 will have emigrated from the country this year. There is nothing as heart rending as to watch a young person wave goodbye to a teary mum or dad as they fade into the Departures area at our airports. There is nothing as demoralising as to visit a home where there are two or three young people sitting around unemployed and fighting for the remote! This is Fianna Fáil’s legacy. Meanwhile, the Party of Armchair Republicanism have sold us out to the control of International Bankers.

Although people will vote with the distressing memory and reality of Fianna Fáil Government haunting them, they will also vote for candidates and parties that offer them a new vision and new hope. They will vote for a Party that will take our country out of the vice grip of the I.M.F. and the E.C.B., giving people new direction and life. Fine Gael is that Party. We will create leaner, fitter and clearer Government. We will put our young people back to work, we will shift the burden of our debt from the vulnerable to those who can pay. We will get rid of cronyism and put the country first. We have had to do this many times before and not been found wanting.

Our New Era Job Creation Plan will benefit Cavan/Monaghan. We can be a net exporter of energy and there is great potential in Cavan/Monaghan for more wind farms, for the promotion of hydro energy, for solar panels and for the introduction of macro generators. Much more can be done in Cavan/Monaghan on growing Bio-Fuels. 100,000 acres of lands nationally can be used for Bio Fuels without affecting food growth. Thousands of animals leave Cavan/Monaghan each week and month on the hoof. I believe there is much more can be done in Food Processing and Value Added. Fine Gael in Government will tackle this, creating jobs here in Cavan/Monaghan. We have a strong and supportive Leader Programme which has to be a vital resource for farmers in our counties. I will be fighting hard to keep all our Farm Supports and improve them.

Cavan/Monaghan has further potential in Tourism through Cultural and Heritage Tourism. More incentives are needed here. Fine Gael will be presenting the electorate with an imaginative Tourism Policy that will benefit Cavan/Monaghan . If we could connect with the people all over the world with a Cavan/Monaghan connection, our tourism would boom. I will be pushing this through the use of free or cheap tickets and other incentives.

Cavan/Monaghan can create jobs in Language Schools, Music Schools and Heritage Trails. This must happen.

We need new inward investment. When our Party enter Government, I will be pushing hard that a more vigorous effort is made to bring in jobs. All Fianna Fáil have given us is a phony Teradyne project and a botched decentralisation. By creating a leaner and fitter Government Fine Gael will bring down costs. Cost Competitiveness is key to Job Creation. If we get costs right, jobs will be created. If we restore our banking sector to health then credit will flow thus increasing job creation. We will have the international and national confidence to do this.

Our people need a new vision. They need change. Madness is doing the things you did last year and expecting a different result. Fine Gael have a message of hope and new beginning. As the old Irish Proverb says “Hope is the Physician of each misery”. It was John Fitzgerald Kennedy who said “Change is the Law of Life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”.

I want to be part of Cavan/Monaghan’s future. I want to be on the Fine Gael Team that bring new vision and life. I want to be part of the team that gives Ireland back to the people of Ireland free from the shackles of corruption, insider trading, and gombeenism.

To be part of this new beginning I need your Number One Vote or highest preference tonight. I hope you can give me this opportunity.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website