Dara Murphy’s Diary

I had the great pleasure, the week before last, to be elected one of the Vice Presidents of the European People’s Party (EPP). This follows on a proud tradition for the Fine Gael Party in being at the heart of Europe’s largest political movement. There are more than 60 member parties from 35 European countries in the EPP. Previous Vice Presidents include John Bruton and Enda Kenny. To be elected, I think is of great potential benefit for this country. It will not, of course, affect my local constituency work to any extent. As Europe Minister, I already attended many of these meetings. I now just will be more at the heart of the decision making process. Ireland has a very good story to tell in a European context and it is great to see that the country is recovering so well domestically. However I do understand that there is more work to do and I am fully committed to playing my part.

I was extremely pleased at the recent Sports Capital Announcement to see clubs and sporting organisations in the Blarney and greater Muskerry area do so very well indeed. The work that is carried out by the volunteers in these organisations is of huge importance and benefit to our local community. Blarney, Grenagh, Inniscarra GAA Clubs along with Carrignavar and Dripsey all received funding and it was great to see the mix of clubs included with Muskerry Rugby football Club also receiving significant funding. Inniscara, Mourneabbey Trust Community Council and Courtbrack Community Associations also did very well, along with Killcully Campsite.

The Government is more than aware of the great work that is being done by volunteers in our communities and as Minister of this part of County Cork I was very pleased to support these applications and will continue to do so over the next number of years to support the great work that is being done. I attended last Friday at the opening of St. Fiacre’s Food Bank in Blackpool. In a perfect society, of course, the need to collect and redistribute food wouldn’t be needed but it was great to see this collaboration between people coming together to support and deliver hampers to those who are needy in our Community. It was particularly interesting to see the collaboration of the St. Vincent de Paul with BIA, a charity who are engaged in collecting perfectly good food products that may have been mis-labelled or wrongly branded that otherwise would have been wasted. Given the global pressure and domestic pressure it is important that all of us would use food as carefully as possible, as it is a limited resource and to see the enthusiasm and hard work of the volunteers in Blackpool supporting so many needy families in our Community is indeed very heart-warming. As the country’s economic position seeks to improve we must always remember that irrespective of the position that the country finds itself, there will always be people in need of help and support, that is why it is particularly important that people continue to play their part in volunteering so congratulations to Siobhán O’Leary, Kate Durrant and Ann Mull, Saint Vincent de Paul, Bia and indeed all the volunteers of St. Fiacre’s.

I had the great pleasure of attending recently at the Muskerry RFC Ruck and Tuck Event, organised by the Kevin Condon Group who were celebrating the magnificent achievement of 10 years in business. Also fantastic to see that some of the proceeds were going towards Muskerry Rugby Club and the great work that they all do. It was a fantastic day – great to attend. Congratulations to all involved. There was a great mix of the voluntary community present, along with Kevin’s friends and family – particular credit to his wife. It is great to see a business go from strength to strength particularly through the difficult years of the recession and I hope that they can continue now to kick on and provide the excellent auctioneering and financial services advice to the people of this area.

If I can be of any help to you regarding matters local or national please call my office on 021 4559353 or email dara.murphy@oireachtas.ie