Fine Gael's National Director of Elections, Brian Hayes MEP, was in Athlone last week to launch the re-election campaign of Longford-Westmeath TD Gabrielle McFadden.
In front of a large South Westmeath turnout, Mr Hayes underscored the need to keep the recovery going. He said the local area had benefited from having a Government TD in the last five years, and went on to suggest that Deputy McFadden is ideally placed to be appointed a Minister after the next election.
"Her courage, straight-talking, conviction, and perseverance are attributes that have won her many admirers in Leinster House. She is like a dog with a bone when she wants something important for her constituency," he said.
The MEP’s comments were echoed by Mayor of Athlone, Tom Farrell, who said a ministry specially dedicated to flooding ought to be based in the Midlands.
Setting out her plans for re-election, Deputy McFadden said that the last thing Ireland needed was a return to "parish pump politics".
“We are the party of recovery, of responsible government, of an Ireland with a future. Under Fine Gael’s watch, unemployment has dropped from 15 per cent to below 9 per cent. Jobs are the only way to pay for a proper health service, to pay for decent education, to pay for social welfare. Without jobs, how will we end poverty? How will we tackle inequality?” she asked.