When the true believers come together

20th March, 2010

Is the way Ard Fheiseanne and national conferences have always felt to me. I joined Fine Gael when I was 18, making me a member for the last 17 years.
I’ve probably attended between 8 and 9 Ard Fheiseanna or national conferences during this time. As I write this I am now sitting on the 7am train to Killarney for our ’10 National Conference. There’s a big difference between this conference and a proper Ard Fheis but it will still be super to see many colleagues and friends who I only see at every gathering.

My earliest memory of a conferences is one at the RDS. I can’t remember anything from the conference itself. All I can remember is all of the stands selling party tat. My best memory is of the Ard Fheis last year where myself and Richard Bruton introduced Enda. This was part of the lead up to the summer bye election. There were around 3000 people in the room. I was due to get 3 minutes. 20 seconds before I stood up Tom Curran (party general secretary) signalled to me to say I had 2 minutes. On my way to the podium he signalled to say that I had 1 minute. All went fine though.

Today I’m chairing the New Politics session, which will be sparky enough. After that I’m participating in the transport policy session. After that Enda will be speaking.