ENGAGEMENT with the people in West Cork was one of the key motives for a two-day visit to West Cork by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin last week.
From canvassing in Eyeries to meeting local farmers and fishermen in Banry and Castletownbere, it was certainly a busy itinerary for the Corkman.
Mr Martin told The Southern Star that this is part of his ‘ongoing journey of keeping in touch with people on the ground’.
‘We’ve had the general election and we’ve had the formation of the government and the summer recess and I’m commencing my journey here in West Cork. In particular, I was anxious to do the Castletownbere area and the Beara peninsula,’ said Mr Martin.
‘I was there on a number of occasions over the last number of years, particularly to meet the fishing community, farming community and tourist interests with a view to ensuring that our rural policies are in tune with the needs of the people. It’s also crucial that we are up to speed and updated on the current issues as they affect people,’ he said.
Another reason for his visit was to meet and thank the party members who helped Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony secure one of the three seats in this competitive constituency of Cork South West.
‘The election for us was recovery from our position in 2011 where we had a very poor outcome and we wanted to get back a seat in West Cork and we succeeded in that. Margarey did very well in a very competitive race with independents and other political parties all jostling for the three seats.’
Complacency isn’t an option and the Fianna Fáil leader believes that they need to work harder to sustain these results.
‘She topped the poll and did very well, but we’re not taking anything for granted and we’ve a long way to go yet. We have to work very hard and Margaret has to work hard and is working hard. It’s a big constituency and my visit, I think, reflects the fact that we are committed to West Cork and will continue to remain committed as it’s a very competitive electoral world out there. The journey begins again,’ he said.
The Fianna Fáíl leader had particular praise for the O’Donovan brothers from Skibbereen who, he said, lifted the spirits of everyone with their Olympic silver medal success.
‘I salute them for the tremendous message that they’ve sent out to the young people. They have restored the message that you should enjoy your sport. They’re a breath of fresh of air.’