“Getting ready for a general election is like sitting in a changing room, getting ready to get out there and beat the head of somebody, to use a GAA term,” noted Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, at the launch of Laois Fine Gael's campaign in the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel on a bitter cold Friday night, January 15.
He gave Laois Fine Gael supporters a pep talk.
“Five years ago people were very fearful of what the future held, for their children, for the value of their homes. We saw businesses crumbling because of mismanagement and greed. We were seen as a problem child internationally,” he said, before listing the changes.
“Now economic growth is at 7 percent, 13,000 jobs a week are being created. Ireland is back on an even keel. It hasn't been easy, we tried to do some things too quickly and made people angry, but we are now on a steady path of growth. Imagine after all that toil, to hand it to somebody else to be popular for a few years and wreck it again. Let's finish the job this time, and create an economy that serves its people,” he said.
He praised Minister Flanagan for his “great wit, sharp political mind, and strategic thinking”, noting that as foreign minister he used “intelligence and sensitivity” to deal with terrorist attacks, tragedies, migration and Northern Ireland Assembly's near collapse.
“Thomasina is young, smart, experienced in law, and has seen inequalities in rural Ireland. She passionately wants to be in the cockpit in Leinster House, working to find solutions and improve her community. We have a team of youth and experience,” Minister Coveney said.
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