Thank you to Michael Mulcahy for submitting to our 500 words request.
I have been involved in politics on every level for most of my life. From the time I was first elected to Dublin Corporation for the South Inner City Ward in 1985, through to my most recent term as your local Fianna Fáil TD, I have gained invaluable experience in the role of effecting change throughout our local area of Dublin South Central. I have represented our local community as an Activist, Councillor, Senator and Lord Mayor. I was afforded the great privilege of representing the people of Dublin South Central on a national level when they elected me as their TD to Dáil Éireann in 2002. I was extremely grateful to be returned in 2007, with an increased vote. Since 1985 I have endeavoured to work hard for constituents and I have always been there for any local or national matter through my weekly advice clinics or my full time constituency office in the Cork St. Full details of which can be found on my website.
There is no doubting that the forthcoming general election is one of the most important for generations. The question posed by Pauline on writing this blog was why we are entering the race for the Dublin South Central area. For me it is simple, to help get this country back on track. There is no doubt that the economic downturn since 2008 has affected each family and every home in our locality. It is hard to believe, but less than 3 years ago, we were running at virtually zero unemployment. I believe that in following the right fiscal plan, we can once again return there, albeit through a different economic vehicle.
Why enter the race? I believe Dublin South Central and the people of Drimnagh need a strong Fianna Fáil voice, one committed to doing the right thing and that is me, Michael Mulcahy.
Fianna Fáil has published the only credible fiscal plan to enter the political arena through our National Recovery Plan. This is our road to recovery. It is paramount that we stick to the measures that are outlined in it. It is only by showing the world we have a clear economic programme that we can fully restore international confidence in the Irish economy.
Fianna Fáil remains the party best placed to manage the economy back to full prosperity, creating new opportunities and sustainable employment. The voters should know that they risk being sold empty promises in this election if a combination of parties, of opposing ideologies and ideas, find themselves managing the recovery that is quite evidently taking hold in the economy. Irish exports had a record year last year with a value of 161 billion, a growth of nearly 7%. While unemployment is still too high, the situation is stabilising and the Live Register fell for the fourth month in a row in December, the first time since early 2004. Ireland’s competitiveness improved significantly in 2010 and both gas and electricity prices are now below the Euro average. Things are starting to turn. The National Recovery Plan is starting to find its feet.
People need to take note that Fianna Fáil is the only party to have published a credible economic plan. This is something the opposition are overlooking, because quite simply, they have no decent, credible alternative. Opposition party’s cannot condemn nor challenge this plan, so instead they propose to erect empty smokescreens to take away from proper economic analysis on the pathway we need to follow.
We have a blueprint for recovery, we have an economic plan that this country must follow to restore ourselves to significant economic growth. Fianna Fáil and Michael Mulcahy are prepared to stand behind this plan. The newly elected leader of Fianna Fáil has shown the confidence we have in it by stating that we are prepared to support it, even from opposition benches. It is not about who can promise what this time, It is about doing the right thing by the people of this country. We need to move away from politics as usual.
We cannot afford to blow the recovery that is taking hold in the economy. Consensus is the way forward. The Fianna Fáil National Recovery Plan is that vehicle we need.
It has been my absolute privilege to represent the people of Drimnagh and Dublin South Central since 2002. I sincerely hope you will place your trust in me once again on Feb 25th. Experience is vital for the people of Dublin South Central. I have that experience, energy and commitment to represent you in the next Dáil.