Branchlines- Summer/Autumn 2014

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Branchlines- Summer/Autumn 2014

Text of Branchlines- Summer/Autumn 2014

  • * DSW Bye-Election * Minister Leo Varadkar * FG Women Review Election Experience * YFG Policy Launch

    BRANCHLINESSummer/Autumn 2014

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    Printed and Published by Fine Gael, 51 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 619 8444 Email:

  • A message from the General Secretary

    I know that if we continue to work together and support each other in the task ahead, a second successive term in Government awaits for our Party. Your help, in whatever form, is critical.

    General Election Preparations to begin in earnest.

    Winning two successive terms in Government for the first time will be a deserved achievement for our Party given the economic circumstances Fine Gael inherited in 2011.Following the European, Local Elections and Bye-election campaigns, our Party now moves to a General Election footing with preparations for the end of the Governments term in 2016 beginning in earnest.

    I know that many activists will take a well deserved break over the Summer, but activity will ramp up again in the autumn, with build-up to a National Conference in the Spring preceding full-on General Election preparations.

    Retaining our seats in the European Parliament and Longford Westmeath was no small feat. Our European result reaffirms Fine Gael as the largest Irish Party in Europe.

    While the Local Elections were challenging for our Party, I know that many of our candidates have very bright political careers ahead of them, including several who were not elected on this occasion. The Local Election outcome was very disappointing. It was saddening to see many fine representatives and candidates lose out and I thank them sincerely for their hard work.

    However, I also know that if we continue to work together and support each other in the task ahead, a second successive term in Government awaits for our Party. Your help, in whatever form, is critical, and a renewed consultation process with the Party organisation will begin in the Autumn.

    The passing of our dear friend and colleague, Nicky McFadden, is recorded in this issue, where she is fondly remembered by her friend, Mary Mitchell OConnor TD. I know that Nickys sister Gabrielle will build on her sisters legacy in Longford Westmeath and Leinster House.

    The passing of Cllr Owen Bannigan, Monaghan, and Local Election candidate Philip Leahy, Cork, were sources of great sadness within our ranks. I am always struck at the time of such bereavements of how our Party pulls together to comfort the bereaved, and believe it reflects very well on Fine Gael. I was heartened by the election of Owens son, Eugene, whom I know will carry on the great work of his father.

    With every good wish,

    Tom Curran


    FOR MORE INFORMATIONCover picture: Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD at Government buildings.


    2 Team to Take Recovery Forward4 Minister Leo Varadkar. A Day In The Life6 Taoiseach Sets Out Priorities7 Nicky McFadden TD An Appreciation8 Fundraising News 9 Bannigan Name lives on in Monaghan10 New Faces 2014

    12 Fine Gael Women Review Election Experiences14 Senator Cit Kenae to run for Fine Gael in Dublin

    South West Bye-Election

    15 YFG launches Youth Unemployment Policy Document

    16 Dates for Your Diary



    New approach and energyFine Gaels new Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State have taken up their posts following the reshuffle.

    The Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD said the changes outlined reflect the best team to take recovery forward. There is still much to do and all of it urgent.

    The new Ministers will bring a new approach and energy to job creation and to making sure that the recovery, for which people sacrificed so much, reaches every family in Ireland.

    The Taoiseach thanked outgoing members of the Cabinet and Ministers of State for their service during what have been difficult times for our country.

    Individually and collectively, these Ministers have played a major part in creating those all-important jobs for our people and in securing Irelands economic recovery.


    Department of Defence to Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine

    Department of Justice and Equality

    Deputy Simon Coveney

    Deputy Frances Fitzgerald

    Deputy Paschal Donohoe

    Deputy Charlie Flanagan

    Deputy Michael Noonan

    Deputy James Reilly

    Deputy Leo Varadkar

    Deputy Richard Bruton

    Deputy Heather Humphreys

    Deputy Paul Kehoe

    Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

    Department of Finance

    Department of Children and Youth Affairs

    Department of Health

    Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

    Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht

    Chief Whip & Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Defence


    The new Ministers will bring a new approach and energy to job creation and to making sure that the recovery, for which people sacrificed so much, reaches every family in Ireland

    TWO NEW FACES JOIN FINE GAELS MEP TEAMTwo new faces have joined the Fine Gael team in Europe. Brian Hayes MEP was elected for Dublin and Deirdre Clune MEP was elected in the South constituency. Together, they join their party colleagues Mairead McGuinness MEP, who was successfully re-elected in Midlands-North West, and Sen Kelly MEP, who was re-elected in South.

    NEW TD FOR LONGFORD-WESTMEATHGabrielle McFadden was elected to the Dil in the Longford-Westmeath bye-election at the end of May. Gabrielle has a long association with Fine Gael, having served as a member of Westmeath County Council for a number of years. Her late father Brendan McFadden was also a Fine Gael Councillor, as was her late sister Nicky, who went on to be elected to Seanad ireann, before being elected to the Dil in 2011.

    Gabrielle has a proven track record of delivery in her constituency, having served on the boards of Longford/Westmeath ETB (VEC), Athlone Community Task Force, the Dean Crowe Theatre and Athlone Institute of Technology.

    Gabrielle is married to Brian McClean, a clinical psychologist, and they have two children, Katie and Luke.

    Gabrielle McFaddenTD and her husband Brian McClean, pictured on the plinth of Leinster House

    on her first day as a Dil Deputy.


    Departments of Finance PER and Taoiseach with Special Responsibility for the OPW, Public procurement, and International Banking (inc IFSC)

    Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport with Special Responsibility for Tourism and Sport

    Department of the Environment with Special Responsibility for Housing, Planning and Coordination of the Construction 2020 Strategy

    Departments of the Taoiseach and Foreign Affairs with Special Responsibility for the Diaspora

    Departments of the Taoiseach and Foreign Affairs with Special Responsibility for European Affairs and Data Protection

    Departments of Education and Skills and Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation With Special Responsibility for Skills, Research and Innovation

    Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine With Special Responsibility for Food, Forestry, Horticulture and Food Safety

    Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources with Special Responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources

    Deputy Simon Harris

    Deputy Michael Ring

    Deputy Paudie Coffey

    Deputy Jimmy Deenihan

    Deputy Dara Murphy

    Deputy Damien English

    Deputy Tom Hayes

    Deputy Joe McHugh

  • Iam more than three years in the job, but every day is still fresh and new. Truth be told, there is no typical day. When the Dil is sitting, the week is very different to when the Dil is in recess. Some times of the year are especially busy, such as the run-up to the Budget and the run-up to the recess when the pressure is on to get legislation done and dusted. But August and Christmas are a bit quieter and gives you a chance to get some down-time and do some planning When the Dil is not sitting, I use it as an opportunity to meet with the agencies under my remit, and also the officials in my Department. We review plans, check up on progress and I make sure they are delivering on the Programme for Government. I also explore ways that I can help move things on. Monday is usually spent in the Department when the Dil in is session, attending Cabinet committees, or doing public engagements outside of Dublin. Tuesday is mostly taken up by the morning Cabinet meeting and Dil, Seanad or committee business in the afternoon. Wednesday is almost all Oireachtas business including the Parliamentary Party meeting. The Taoiseach attends almost every week, and I also attend regularly. I think its really important to hear from the backbenchers whats actually happening on the ground. I also meet backbenchers individually on a Wednesday if they want to raise particular issues. Thursday is a mix of Oireachtas work and meetings in the Department with outside interest groups.

    Minister Leo