AS a councillor, Deputy Michael Collins had repeatedly called for meetings with local TDs. Now, as a TD, he is proposing that West Cork’s Oireachtas members should meet regularly and work collaboratively with each other.
Deputy Michael Collins TD has, in fact, called on all of the public representatives in West Cork – Fianna Fáil TD Margaret Murphy O’Mahony and Fine Gael TD Jim Daly, as well as Sen Denis O’Donovan – to work together.
He has also suggested that all of the region’s representatives – including the members of the West Cork Municipal District and the Kinsale/Bandon Municipal District – should collaborate.
He is proposing that all of the elected representatives would meet formally every three months to discuss issues affecting West Cork.
Deputy Collins said: ‘I think it is important for all of the elected representatives to work together for the betterment of West Cork and these meetings would provide a platform for councillors to discuss relevant issues with the Oireachtas members.’
By working together, he said, the region’s public representatives can achieve much more for West Cork and become a stronger more coherent voice when highlighting constituents’ concerns.
‘Rural communities, like West Cork,’ he said, ‘have suffered as a result of the outgoing Government turning its back on rural Ireland.’ And he suggested it was ‘an advantage’ that West Cork is represented by a Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Independent voice in Dail Éireann.
‘We have a unique Government in that – for the first time – the major opposition party, Fianna Fáil, is acting in a facilitation role.’ In a direct appeal to them, Deputy Collins said: ‘We are too close together to work apart.’