Dara Murphy TD reports..

Ireland’s place remains firmly in Europe despite Brexit vote The UK’s decision to leave the EU was disappointing and not what we had hoped for, but it’s very heartening to continue to see very strong Irish support for our EU membership, in numerous polls and pieces of research that have been published after the vote. For us as a small country, EU membership is Central to our continued prosperity. I think there is broad recognition in Ireland of the value and great benefits we all enjoy from being members, from freedom of movement, to to support for agriculture and rural communities . The Government, and myself as European Affairs Minister, have plenty of work to do in the weeks and months ahead to ensure Ireland’s interests are protected as part of the negotiations on the UK exit, and we already have detailed plans in place to make sure any downsides are minimised.

Powering ahead for Grenagh Playground Fund I was delighted to take part in last month’s fundraiser for the Grenagh Playground Fund where I took to the bike for the Pedal Power Cinema fundraiser. Lots of fun, a bit of hard work and a great atmosphere at the event, which was a really creative way to raise money for this much-needed community facility.

Fun and games in Dripsey for a great cause A great day out in Dripsey too last month at the Dripsey Community Association and Tidy Towns 6k Fun Run and Funday. There was a great turnout on the day, with funds raised going to this year’s chosen charity, Friends of Leukaemia, and to the two associations. I enjoyed catching up with Shane Doocey and Conor Corkery at the event.

Slovakia launches EU Presidency with Cork concert On the 1st of July Slovakia took over the six month rotating presidency of the EU, its first since it became a member state just over ten years ago. I work closely with Ambassadors from our European neighbours and was delighted when the Slovak Ambassador to Ireland, Dusan Matulay, approached me last year with the idea to host the Irish launch of their presidency at an event in Cork. Working closely with the City Council and the Embassy, the event took place in the Triskel in early July and was a great success. I’m pictured here with newly elected Lord Mayor Des Cahill, the Ambassador and some guests.