Taoiseach Leo Varadkar cutting the tape to offically open Garret Ahearn's Constituency Office in Cahir. With him is Garret Ahearn and some of his immediate family. Photo: Seamus Bourke.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar paid tribute to his party colleague and Fine Gael election candidate Garret Ahearn on Friday, as the party opened a new constituency office in Cahir.
Fine Gael has no sitting TDs in the Premier County, and hopes are high amongst the party faithful that Fine Gael can take one, or even two, seats at the next General Election.
Garret Ahearn, son of the late TD Theresa Ahearn, defeated six other candidates for the nomination in the early hours of March 11th with just six votes separating him from nearest rival Mary Newman, a sister of sitting TD for Dublin Bay South Kate O’Connell.
On Friday, Mr Ahearn said it was his “solid goal and commitment” to win back a Dáil seat at the ribbon cutting ceremony in Cahir. “I can’t remember anyone opening an office within four weeks of being chosen,” said Mr Ahearn.
Thanking his family, wife, and party colleagues, Mr Ahearn said the last six or seven months had been challenging, and the new office would be used as a ‘base’ to co-ordinate Fine Gael’s activities in Co. Tipperary. “It’s hugely important for the County, and the area we represent in government, and I am determined to ensure that we bring back representation to Tipperary. It’s my belief that Fine Gael will be back in government after the next election and Leo will be reinstated as Taoiseach.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Tipperary Star that Clonmel hospital, which suffers from chronic overcrowding, is a “really important priority for us.” “I visited the hospital myself as Health Minister and I know it’s a priority at the moment for Minister Harris. As you are aware there plans for a new 40-bed ward and that’s still targeted to go in in the third quarter of this year. I am not aware of any delays. If there is an issue, we’ll certainly pursue it."
Full interview in this week's Tipperary Star, page 2.