Malachy Hand, Fianna Fáil Local Election Candidate in South Roscommon hosted a successful pre-Brexit breakfast gathering in the Hodson Bay Hotel with key political party colleagues joining the ballot aspirant just two days before the United Kingdom’s initial agreed date to exit the European Union.
The morning’s keynote speaker was Michael McGrath TD (Cork South Central ), Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Finance. He firstly acknowledged Malachy as “an outstanding young, new candidate for the Fianna Fáil party in South Roscommon” and thanked all those who attended the gathering for their commitment and support to Malachy’s election campaign.
“It is very encouraging and uplifting to be here this morning to support a young candidate, as a party it is so important that we have balanced tickets, that we have people with experience and young people,” Deputy McGrath remarked.
When discussing Brexit, he referred to the recent report published by the ESRI and stated that “there is no cost-free outcome for Ireland if Brexit happens, it is about identifying the least costly outcome in the form of an orderly exit with a withdrawal agreement, a transition period, hopefully followed by a comprehensive free trade agreement. It is deeply worrying to read forecasts of a ‘crash out scenario’ where we could be looking at up to 80,000 fewer jobs in our country than otherwise would be there if Brexit did not happen.
“The cost in this year alone could be up to 7.5 billion euro in terms of economic output being reduced. This gives you the sense of the scale of the impact of Brexit on our country, transcending public finances, employment numbers, economic growth and the whole enterprise environment. The overall figures mask the impact on the regions, the impact on indigenous sectors, agriculture and agri-food, indigenous manufacturing would be far worse than the overall aggregate numbers,” Deputy McGrath emphasised.
Malachy concluded proceedings, thanking those present for their support, acknowledging the support of his Director of Elections, Teresa Hand-Campbell, adding that he looks forward to the weeks ahead as he meets the people of South Roscommon on the doorsteps ahead of polling day on May 24.
Describing himself as “a new voice, a new choice with new ideas, an inter-generational bridge, who understands local issues affecting both old, middle-aged and young.”
He acknowledged that the “creation of new and relevant employment locally for our youth and those retraining is key to retaining vibrancy in our local villages and towns such as Athlone, Monksland, Ballinasloe and Roscommon.
“I envisage nurturing entrepreneurship through the creation of hubs amid the pharmaceutical and agri-food companies located on the outskirts of Athlone, in the Monksland area. The importance of securing a strong broadband connection which will allow employees to work from home and to connect on a world stage, without having to leave their homes in the South Roscommon area is vital,” Hand continued.
Malachy also referenced “the ongoing saga in relation to Lough Funshinagh and called for immediate action in terms of a drainage scheme in the vicinity” as well as highlighting the urgency with regard to the “restoration of the 4th Western Brigade in Athlone, the poor pay and conditions of Defence Forces personnel and the need for strengthening home assist and a rural connect transport network scheme for people with disabilities, the elderly and vulnerable.”
In culminating the breakfast gathering, the local election hopeful quoted the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future”, expressing his hope that he will play his part in the journey towards a vibrant future for the people of South Roscommon.