The appointment of Micheál Martin TD as Úachtarán Fhianna Fáil marks a new era for Irish politics, according to Minister of State for Labour Affairs, Mayo TD Dara Calleary.
Minister Calleary has said that Fianna Fáil is united in its focus on putting aside politics as usual and concentrating on the serious issues affecting this country.
“I put a lot of consideration into my decision to nominate Micheál Martin for this week’s leadership vote. Micheál has shown true leadership throughout his time as a Government Minister. He used his role as Minister for Foreign Affairs to focus on strengthening Ireland’s diplomatic and economic ties abroad.
“As Director of Elections of the second Lisbon campaign, Micheál steered Ireland towards the positive result, and ensured that the concerns raised by Irish people during the first referendum were addressed. He led the negotiations with our EU partners to secure legally binding agreements, protecting Ireland’s sovereignty. Acceptance of the Lisbon Treaty has secured our position at the heart of Europe.
“Micheál’s commitment to the national interest is evident in his work on North-South relations. As Minister for Foreign Affairs, he took the lead in the ongoing implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. He also played a crucial role in ensuring that the Hillsborough Accord was achieved in Northern Ireland.
“It is has never been so important for Ireland to boost its economic and social relationships with other countries. The continued growth in our export industry is vital to economic recovery and job creation. During his time as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál took charge of strengthening our relationship with the US. He hosted the first Global Irish Economic Forum in September 2009, allowing high achievers from around the world share their expertise about the Irish economy. This resulted in the development of the very successful Global Irish Network.
“As Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has lit a fire under the opposition, challenging other parties to put aside political games and offer voters a real choice based on real issues. Politics in this country must change because society in this country has changed. Micheál Martin has promised voters a programme of radical reform that’s realistic and in the national interest.
“The decisions made by politicians and voters over the next few weeks will be crucial to determining Ireland’s future. Micheál has assured the electorate that we will not be distracted by political stunts; our focus remains on recovery, growth and jobs,” concluded Minister Calleary.