A Thurles man has been chosen by the Fianna Fail organisation in County Tipperary to become it’s first County wide chairman since the constituencies of North and South Tipperary were split in 1948.
Arthur Griffin (25) from Clongour in Thurles was unanimously elected to the position as chairman of the new Tipperary Comhairle Dail Ceantair at a packed Fianna Fail EGM on Thursday night last at Boru Boru in Cashel.
Mr Griffin, who was the outgoing chairman of North Tipperary Comhairle Dail Ceanntair, was proposed for the position by the outgoing chairman of South Tipp CDC Mr Don Davern, who was elected to the position of executive Vice chair, while he was seconded by David Morris. The newly created CDC was formed because of the recent constituency review which meant that all of South Tipperary and almost all of North Tipperary with the exception of Lower Ormond will become one constituency at the next General Election.
In a rousing speech to an audience which included party vice president and Clare TD Timmy Dooley TD and Finance spokesperson and Cork South Central deputy Michael McGrath, Senator Labhras O’Murchu as well as former TD’s Maire Hoctor, Michael Smith, Dr Sean McCarthy, Noel Davern and Martin Manseragh, and former Senators John and Des Hanafin as well as a number of current and former town and County Councillors, Mr Griffin told members that the comeback for Fianna Fail has already started. He said that “In September 2012 Fianna Fail Ogra recruited 1500 new members across the 3rd level institutions with a simple campaign entitled “Be part of the Comeback’”.
Mr Griffin stated that the first part of this comeback in County Tipperary was a new Tipperary CDC, a move necessitated by the constituency boundary review. He paid tribute to the merger group which helped bring North and South Tipperary together and in particular singled out Don Davern, Cllr Gerard Fogarty, Cllr Dr Sean McCarthy, John Egan, Eamon Power, Cllr Mattie Ryan, David Morris, Aileen Duggan and Richard Dunne for all their work. However even though Lower Ormond has been taken away from the Constituency Mr Griffin said ‘’We will also continue to work to develop the party in the Lower Ormond area, annexed into County Offaly. Those members will be observers here and members of the Nenagh CC. We look forward to meeting with our colleagues in Offaly and helping FF maximise its vote there too”. He added “Let us stress the fact that at this moment there are no FF deputies in the county. I believe we can put 2 in the Dáil the next time. It doesn’t matter whether they are from Thurles or Cahir. Cashel or Nenagh. Clonmel or Roscrea.”
On policy Mr Griffin stated that there is an intention under the merger group agreement to form a separate policy subcommittee under the chairmanship of Don Davern, a move he said would “play a role in allowing members to bring forth policy ideals”. Such policy arrangements, he suggested, would be on health and women in politics. He paid tribute to FF Deputies Maire Hoctor and Martin Manseragh, who lost their seats in the 2011 general election and added that “as the year progresses I would like to get a chance to bring all former FF TDs and Senators from Tipperary together at a social function to thank them for their work. There are many public representatives in this room tonight and indeed many former public reps”. Other speakers on the night included Don Davern, Timmy Dooley TD, Michael McGrath TD, Sentor Labhras O’Murchu and Cllr Mattie Ryan on behalf of North Tipp Councillors and Cllr Dr Sean McCarthy on behalf of South Tipp Councillors.
The Officer Board Elected on the Night includes Chairperson (North) Arthur Luke Griffin Executive Vice Chairperson (South) Don Davern, Secretary (South) Aileen Duggan, Treasurer 1 (North) Pat Fanning, Treasurer 2 (South) David Morris, (PRO) North Sean Ryan, Delegate to the Ard Chomhairle 1 (North) Cllr Mattie Ryan, Delegate to the Ard Chomhairle 2 (South) Frank Begley, Constituency Organiser 1 (North) Richie Dunne, Constituency Organiser 2 (South) Frank Begley. The extended Officer board is Assistant Secretary (North) PJ Ryan, Assistant PRO (South) Martin Longeran, Mem/Org (North) Tim Maher, Events Officer (North) Leonie O’Connell, Policy Officer (South) John McCarthy, Strategy (South) Dave Morris, Vice Chair (North) Tommy Dwyer and Vice Chair South Eamon Power.