Week’s events: State visit, Turkish civil society, community policing & catching up

11th April, 2014

This week marked a turning point in Anglo-Irish relations. The first State visit of an Irish president to the UK received blanket coverage as President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina met Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip. The Taoiseach and the Tanaiste were of course also present for many of these events. The significance of this historic event filled Irish people on both sides of the water with an enormous sense of pride at how far we’ve come. More than that, it filled us with hope for the future.


On Monday morning I spoke to RTE’s Morning Ireland about the State visit and what it meant. I then did an interview with Morning Edition (on RTE television) about the visit and what the week ahead was likely to hold.


Monday evening was spent canvassing in Cabra and Cloniffe Road, while some of Tuesday was spent meeting the people of Fitzgibbon Court and the Matt Talbot Court flat complexes. The rest of Tuesday was spent in the Dail, taking Seanad Adjournment Debates, followed by Private Members’ Business later that evening on wind turbines.


On Wednesday, I attended a presentation at Store Street Garda Station on the final phase of the Small Areas Policing Strategy. This puts a focus on community policing and direct engagement with local residents in Dublin Central. This is with a view to identifying and addressing the issues that most concern them. The presentation paid specific heed to policing around O’Connell Street and the surrounding area, as well as domestic violence issues. Given the importance of this issue I have a separate update on this on the way.


Wednesday afternoon, I conducted a phone interview with Eolas magazine, which targets policy makers in Ireland, discussing how I’m getting on as Minister for European Affairs, Ireland’s EU priorities at the moment and the direction the EU is expected to take in the future. I spent the rest of the day talking to European colleagues and following up on matters that have accumulated across previous weeks of travel.


On Thursday afternoon, I gave an address to members of Turkish Civil Society in the early afternoon, canvassed the people of Dunard in the early evening and launched the local election campaign of Enda Flynn in the Trim ward in Meath later that night.


On Friday, I took the Second Stage of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform (Amendment) Bill 2013 for Minister Shatter in the Dail until lunchtime.  Rest of day in the office dealing with ministerial and constituency work.
This week was unusual as I was not travelling. So a great opportunity to catch up on other important matters.