Sunday, March 08, 2009


Eamon Visits Meath


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Eamon Gilmore spent Friday in County Meath, his first official visit to the Royal County since his election in Autumn 2007.

The purpose of the visit was to see at first hand our preparations for the local elections in June. Eamon started the day in the offices of LMFM, where he did a 30 minute interview with Michael Reade of the Loose Talk show. He was preceded by Fionnan Sheehan, political commentator with the Irish Independent. Fionnan was critical of the Labour Party’s approach to the current economic climate, but I feel that Eamon more than answered the criticisms he raised when his turn came.

After the interview the visit started in earnest. Myself and Cllr Eoin Holmes brought Eamon into the council offices in Slane, where we met several staff. Eamon then did another interview in the Jumping Bean café in Duleek (I opened the coffee shop four years ago this week, during the Meath by-election campaign). Then we travelled into Navan and had a walk around the Fair Green market place. It was quite busy for a Friday afternoon and we managed to meet lots of Navan residents. Eamon concluded the Navan visit with an interview with the Meath Chronicle.

In Kells the local branch put on a big show with a social event in the Headford Arms. We were tight for time so we had to leave just as things were getting going, and we travelled down the backroads to call into Ballivor Community Centre, where we met with Tracey McEhinney and her supporters. The day finished with a walkabout in Trim with local election candidates James O’Shea and Donall O’Brien.

No doubt Eamon will be back down to Meath before the local elections take place. We have great candidates in place and the more support we get the better our chance of winning.

In the Seanad this week I spoke about the need for a national strategy on apprentices, particularly in the light of so many companies closing down. It followed on from a meeting myself and my colleagues held on Wednesday evening with about 30 of the apprentices from SR Technics. These apprentices are over half-way through their training and are in danger of being left in a situation where they are unable to complete their courses. We will be working to try and find a way forward on this in the next few weeks.

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