Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon-Galway, Eugene Murphy, received a standing ovation at the party’s selection convention in the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon on Friday night when he was unanimously selected and ratified to be the single candidate for the party in the constituency.
In advance, Fianna Fáil headquarters had issued a directive that only one candidate was to be selected and, after the three other candidates who initially accepted nominations withdrew, the sitting Deputy Murphy was unopposed.
Deputy Murphy said he was “delighted and humbled” to be selected and he was very appreciative of the delegates who had turned out in force despite the fact that it was a non-voting convention.
“The fact that such a large crowd turned out augers well for the organisation, and I am glad to be over this hurdle,” he said.
Addressing issues in the constituency, Deputy Murphy criticised the Government’s handling of the National Broadband Plan rollout, which is now delayed by five years and left with only a single bidder following the withdrawal of Eir from the tender process.
He also spoke of Ireland’s urban/rural jobs divide, highlighting how Ballinasloe has lost 3,500 jobs over the last decade, and how 700 people per day from Roscommon commute to Dublin for work. Murphy said that his party will strive to bring jobs back to the regions.
After hitting out at the Government’s spending on flood relief, Murphy concluded by urging everybody in the party to fight for the third seat in the constituency.
“There are 800 party members in this region so if each of them encouraged ten people to vote for Fianna Fáil – then that would result in 8,000 votes in the election. If you bring one message home tonight, let that be it: this is achievable if we all work together,” said Deputy Murphy.