Week’s events: From Belfast to Blanchardstown

21st June, 2014

I was in Belfast this week for the launch of a book by Mary C. Murphy called ‘Northern Ireland and the European Union; The dynamics of a changing relationship’. The book is a very timely piece of work due to the institutional changes that are taking place in Brussels and Strasbourg at the moment (post- European Parliament elections) and the debate that is going on in the UK in terms of that country’s future relationship with the EU. During my address I called for Northern Ireland’s voice to be more loudly heard in the debate, as the outcome will have implications for them, as well as for us.

I also met up with the children from Scoil Oilobheir in Blanchardstown and together we launched three information leaflets for the European Consumer centre and Europe Direct aimed at outlining the rights and protections people have as members of the EU when shopping online or travelling within the Union. The leaflets entitled ‘Shopping Online’, a ‘Summer survival Kit’ and ‘Travelling to Spain’ identify the potential pitfalls for consumers who purchase goods and services at home or abroad; the aim of which is to help them avoid nasty situations in the first place. 

On Thursday, I did an interview with the Irish Independent in the morning for its weekly Classroom Confidential piece. It was enjoyable to reminisce about the best (and worst) parts of my early education and the things that stood out for me during my formative school years. Recalling musical tastes at that time, among other things, brought home to me just how long ago that was!

I also met with a delegation of Committee members from the German Bundestag this week to outline how Ireland is doing and our plans for economic growth for the future. There was, as there always is with delegations from other countries, great interest in how we’ve turned our economy around and in our determination to continue to attract investment and get our people back to work.

I took the Scrap and Precious Metal Dealers Bill 2013 in the Dáil for Minister Fitzgerald on Friday and called on the good people of Sheriff Street, Blackhorse Avenue and the North Wall across the week to hear about what’s going on for them and in what way I can help.