I believe that like any party or large organisation Fine Gael needs to be in a constant state of renewal and reinvigoration in order to ensure that we're not faced with a sudden gap in experience.
The party has come a considerable distance since 2002 but it must retain as its immediate aim revisiting the levels of support enjoyed in the early 80s. In order to do that we must understand that the world and Ireland is markedly different to the late 1970s and early 1980s. People believe less in hierarchy, top down management and more in personal involvement in decision making. That is not nor should it be seen as a problem of us, it is in fact an opening for a party and people that believe in self reliance and personal initiative. Only when those who can provide for themselves do so can we ensure that the necessary resources exist to assist those that need help whether that help is great or small.
I believe that the greatest strength of the party lies, as it always has, in the membership. I would wish to see greater use made of the expertise of the members. We have many members whose professional experience covers many areas such as the spheres of education, medicine, engineering, accounting, and law amongst others. These are people who could assist for example in the assessment of policy to see if the assumptions made are correct and could also lend more formally towards the direction of the party. There is also the expertise that one develops from one's life experience and understanding of one's locality that can inform and shape policies so that they are appropriate, targeted and focused on getting results and not on simply being seen to do 'something'.
That is in large party why I'm standing for the national executive. I genuinely believe, though I recognise it is not very fashionable to say so, that some members really are interested in politics! We should never shy away from an open discussion of ideas. We must become our own strongest proving ground. We must foster a climate of openness and encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to join the party.
I would not wish to be elected simply for the sake of it.
The 2009 Ard Fheis is taking place over the course of April 3rd and 4th in the Citywest Hotel in Dublin. The elections for the Executive Council will be held on the afternoon of the Saturday between 1 and 4 pm. There are three places for the Dublin region to be filled.
In seeking election I am not running against anyone but rather am seeking to stand for Fine Gael, to serve the party to the best of my ability. I have not contested the elections for Executive Council before. I have consistently sought to contribute to the work of the party at all levels, whether as an ordinary member, prospective public representative, branch or constituency officer or as a founding member of the Executive Council IT committee.
My involvement in Fine Gael goes back to my membership of Young Fine Gael growing up in Kerry in the very early 1980s. They were trying times; much as we are faced with today. I am passionate about politics and Fine Gael, I always have been. As a Fine Gael member I have held a number of positions at branch and constituency level, secretary, branch organizer/PRO, constituency policy officer. I always had the privilege of being a candidate in Artane, an election where FG outpolled FF. I’m a straight talker, and will not shirk from debating in any forum for the party.
I may be known to some of you but I’m sure not to all. I hope that I will have the chance to change that. I have appreciated the opportunity to meet with people at local election conventions and to talk to the members and listen to their concerns. I believe that we can make greater use of the expertise of the membership in the scrutinising of policy and in developing our message. I believe that the changes in communications and information technology make possible a new political environment wherein Fine Gael can excel. But we can only excel if we make it a priority to be be open and confident in our message. We must never shy away from engaging with people though their opinions may differ from ours. This is after all at it's most basic a contest of ideas.
Beyond politics, I’ve worked as technical project manager and academic researcher in the IT sector and because of my background I am able to bring a methodical, results orientated approach to the work of the Fine Gael organisation. I believe that internal elections such as this offer an opportunity for our party to renew itself from within. I would appreciate your support in the form of your No.1 vote, or next available preference at the Ard Fheis.
Again my thanks for your time in reading this, and my thanks for your vote.