Week’s events: Strasbourg, Warsaw & 77th FG Ard Fheis

1st March, 2014

Very few weeks are anything but busy, but this one topped most with two separate trips abroad and an Ard Fheis thrown into the mix.


Met with residents in Sheridan Court and Place on Monday morning. After this I participated in the Cabinet Sub-Committee on European Affairs. A full discussion took place on a number of European matters with many members of the Cabinet participating. Late Monday evening I flew to Paris, arriving at midnight, and spent the night there before embarking for Strasbourg early the next day. The plenary session of the European Parliament was taking place and I was there as part of the Government’s strategy to increase engagement with our MEPs by ensuring a ministerial presence in Strasbourg every month.


These visits allow the Government to meet with all of our MEPs, from north and south of the border, as well as to advance our national priorities by meeting with key and influential members of the Parliament from other parties across Europe. I also spoke to Sean O’Rourke on Tuesday evening, discussing Ireland’s legacy bank debt, whistleblowers and post offices.


Wednesday morning took me to Sheriff Street; the afternoon was spent in the office getting ready the for rest of the week.

All of Thursday was spent giving statements in the Dail on EU affairs before getting ready to travel to Warsaw on Thursday and Friday.


Irish-Polish relations are excellent right now. The purpose of such visits is to ensure they stay that way and are strengthened into the future. While there, I met with members of the Polish Government and the Irish business and student community living in Warsaw. I also gave an address to a leading think-tank on Ireland ‘s economic progress and our perspective on membership of the EU. A key part of day was a substantial meeting with my Ministerial colleague Piotr Serafin.


Due to the fact that I didn’t return from Warsaw until midnight on Friday, I missed the opening day of the Fine Gael Ard Fheis. Chairing the live session that is broadcast on RTE on Saturday between 11am and 1pm more than made up for it. Having a chance to meet and engage with all of our European election candidates during my own session, Driving Recovery in Europe, closed out another busy and productive week.