“Friday 13 was a resounding success for Brian Cowen and for Mullingar,” says Senator Camillus Glynn.
The Taoiseach’s visit to Mullingar has been hailed as a success by members of Fianna Fáil and the business community.
After addressing a packed breakfast gathering of supporters and business people in the Annebrook House Hotel last Friday, the Taoiseach received a standing ovation.
He also received spontaneous applause mid-speech when he announced he had asked the Minister for Communications and the Energy Regulator to see to cutting electricity costs by 10 to 15 per cent in the next couple of months, much sooner than had been anticipated.
It is a move which appealed greatly to the business community whom the Taoiseach admitted have been finding the cost of electricity impacting negatively on their competitiveness.
Speaking afterwards, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Paul O’Brennan said it was “quite a good and positive speech” and it “gave hope” to the business community.
“It’s good to hear the Taoiseach say that the focus is on ‘jobs, jobs, jobs,” he added.
The breakfast was organised by Ken Glynn as a fundraiser for payment of rent for his father’s constituency office. It is reputed to be the only full-time senate office in Ireland. Tickets cost €60 each and the event was fully subscribed.
The Taoiseach said it was important to have good constituency services for people in the area.
There was a large media presence following the publication of poll results that morning indicating that support for Fianna Fáil had fallen to such an extent that for the first time, the party was trailing both Fine Gael and Labour.
However, in a rousing presentation, the Taoiseach said that popularity contests didn’t matter.
“It is not about short term popularity. It is not about playing politics as others will. It is about doing the right thing by the country in the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
“This party will hold its head high on the basis of doing the right thing by the country, of doing what is in the national interest.”
He said it was a time for people to pull together, and that we have “within our own resources, the capacity, the good ideas, the people” which will lead to us having a better standard of living going forward.
Senator Glynn described the event as “an electric occasion”.
“The Taoiseach spoke exceptionally well and his communication was very, very well received. The standing ovation was a clear indication of the appreciation those attending had of what he said.
“It indicates that the Taoiseach might be criticised for his tardiness in moving, but his measured approach has proven to be the right one.”
Cllr Ken Glynn said the feedback had been “fantastic” from those attending who came from all parties across the political spectrum and he welcomed the announcement about electricity price cuts.
He said the poll results had been “a reality check” for the party, but that the event had been good and it was time to move forward.