My Contribution to the TD’s Column in the Clare People - May 2012

June 12th, 2012 - Pat Breen

Quite a considerable amount of my time was spent canvassing as well as attending a number of Meetings throughout the County to discuss the Treaty. I was also happy to assist the West Clare Fine Gael Executive to organise a Public Meeting in Kilrush at which the Minister for State Fergus O’Dowd was among the speakers. The people have now delivered their verdict a resounding yes vote in favour of the Treaty. 65.7% of Clare people voted yes and I would like all those who voted and contributed to this result. The International reaction has been swift and positive. I have received quite a number of calls from colleagues throughout Europe congratulating us on this result. I have no doubt that Irelands lead in ratifying this Treaty will pay dividends in terms of attracting further direct foreign investment here, it will strengthen our Governments hands in future discussions at EU Level as well as guaranteeing us access to Europe’s new permanent emergency fund, should we need it.
Clare Tourism received a double boost during the month. Loop Head Lighthouse lit up with pride on Friday, 18th May, when the Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. officially launched the 2012 season. On the Saturday morning, I was delighted to organise for the Taoiseach to visit 102 year old Timmy Ryan, in Knockalough in Kilmilil, The new Burren National Park Visitor Information Point which is located in the Clare Heritage Centre in Corofin was also opened with the Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan T.D., on hand to do the honours. A seasonal bus service will be introduced on a pilot basis facilitating people to park in Corofin and travel from there to the Burren National Park which is a very welcome initiative.
Nine Clare Primary Schools are participating in the Blue Star European Programme. Barefield N.S., Fanore N.S., Scoil na Maighdine, Newmarket on Fergus, Querrin N.S., St Cuan’s National School in Kilbaha, Shragh N.S., Bodyke N.S., St. Tola’s National School and St Colman’s N.S. in New Quay. In recognition of their efforts, I facilitated the visit of the Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton T.D. to a number of the schools in May. And this week, As Chairman of the Foreign Affairs & Trade Committee, I visited St Colman’s N.S. in New Quay.
I also had the honour of opening the Shannon Chamber of Commerce organised Conference which was focusing on how the Shannon Region could tap into the potential tourism opportunities from the Chinese Market following the very successful visit of Chinese Vice President Mr Xi Jinping to County Clare.
Now that the Treaty Campaign is over and a Yes Vote has been delivered, in my role as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee, my focus will be very much on Trade and how we can build on this result to bring further international investment and much needed jobs to this Country.