Mitchell Vows To Be A ‘Voice For Communities’

Fine Gael presidential candidate Gay Mitchell has stated that, as President, “my job would be to try to encourage greater community co-operation”. Mr Mitchell was speaking exclusively to the Tipperary Star during his visit to North Tipperary as part of his campaign.

Fine Gael presidential candidate Gay Mitchell has stated that, as President, “my job would be to try to encourage greater community co-operation”.

Mr Mitchell was speaking exclusively to the Tipperary Star during his visit to North Tipperary as part of his campaign.

Fine Gael presidential candidate Gay Mitchell has stated that, as President, “my job would be to try to encourage greater community co-operation”.

Mr Mitchell was speaking exclusively to the Tipperary Star during his visit to North Tipperary as part of his campaign.

Asked how, as President, he thought he could maintain and strengthen the fabric of rural Ireland, especially with the closure of schools, post offices, Garda stations and the withdrawal of funding for rural transport and for community groups, he said: “I believe in meitheal. I believe that the community should be vibrant. I do believe it is an issue.

“It’s not the President’s job to do what the Government should be doing, but this infrastructure is important. It’s not just important, incidentally, in the villages in rural Ireland. Dublin is a series of villages and a lot of people now can’t go into the village and get their pension and go on to Mass.“I think it is time we revisited a lot of these decisions and made our villages and towns places where people feel part of the community. That is important. I would like to encourage that.”

Mr Mitchell also believed he could be a “voice for communities” if elected President.

“I promise I will be a very energetic and active president. I will be using my experience in everything I have ever done and put energy into. My involvement in politics came through my involvement in community as a youth leader and I will be seen in every half-parish in this country, working with people, talking to people about my vision for Ireland, listening to them as well.

“The President meets the Taoiseach once a month for a briefing, and it will give me the opportunity to take back to the Taoiseach some of the views directly expressed y communities to him. I promise to be a voice for communities,”

He also said that suicide was an issue in rural Ireland, and that he had raised it on every single occasion since seeking the party’s nomination

“I believe a lot of it has to do with loneliness, people not being able to be part of the community,” he said.

Mr Mitchell was welcomed to Nenagh by Cllr Tom Moylan, the party’s senior representative in the town, who said that it as now up to them to “make sure they maximize the party vote” to get Mr Mitchell elected.

Deputy Noel Coonan told the gathering of the party faithful in his office that they “needed to get the vote out” this Thursday for the election.

“Gay Mitchell is a decent politician. We have learned our lesson in Tipperary never to give up. Look at the football minors. They came from behind to beat Kerry and they came from behind to beat Dublin in the final,” he said.

Mr Mitchell said that the presidential election was an opportunity to restore confidence in the country and outlined his political background as well as his contacts in America, Europe and the Pacific Rim.

“I want to put my shoulder to the wheel because this country is in a worrying place and I want to be part of the team that brings it to the cusp of prosperity,” he said. “I will tell the Taoiseach: ‘Put me to work for this country’.”

Mr Mitchell, who visited Roscrea and Moneygall during his visit, was also welcomed to North Tipperary by Cllr Phyll Bugler, Cllr Ger Darcy and Cllr Conor Delaney, who had his young son, Ben, with him to meet the party’s candidate.