A new TD for these new Times -Paschal accepts the Fine Gael nomination to contest the Dublin Central bye election

28th April, 2009

Speech by Paschal Donohoe upon receiving the Fine Gael nomination to contest the Dublin Central bye election.

“I am honoured to accept the nomination to contest the by election caused by the tragic early death of the late Tony Gregory TD.

Our country stands at a cross roads. The President of America writes and talks of the audacity of hope. By contrast, the people whom I want to represent in Dail Eireann, are in hope of audacity.

My constituency and the country experience the return of challenges we thought banished for good. The scourge of unemployment. Violence in the North. A weakened relationship with Europe.

For these challenges to be tackled politics must become relevant again. For our too long it was redundant. Politics is about making choices and because times were good there was no need to make these choices. Any project could be funded, any need met.

This lack of politics, this lack of vision created by the ability to say yes to everything is the reason why Ireland and my constituency is now at a cross road.

Politics must now become centre stage again. Politicians of all parties, not just in government must change how we do our business in response to a world that has changed suddenly and profoundly.

I want to be a new TD for these new times. I will do this by acting differently in three ways.

Firstly, I will always be positive while never misleading. I know that our country can emerge from this current crisis. When this will happen can be influenced by decisions we can make.

Secondly, I will always be constructive. It is not enough to be against something. I will always say what I will do differently and better.

Finally, I will do my best to act with a sense of values. We should not do something just because it is right today. It must be right tomorrow as well.

These new times will demand more of politics. These greater demands can be met if we act with the same values and vision that we have at other times of crisis in our country.

But this challenge for us all can only be met if each of us act differently. If privileged to be elected this is what I will do. Vote for me. Vote for a new TD for these new times.

I cannot promise you that everything I do will work. But I can promise you that I will do my best. On that promise, I know I will not let you down.”


Paschal delivered this speech at a packed convention in the Maples Hotel on Monday night. It was followed by ringing endorsements from Brian Hayes TD, and from Party Leader Enda Kenny.