North Cork Fine Gael Councillor and General Election candidate for Cork North West, Councillor John Paul O’Shea, officially opened his new constituency office on Strand Street in Kanturk on Monday morning.
An Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney TD, was present to cut the ribbon and was among the first to congratulate his party colleague on his new constituency office. Tanaiste Coveney highlighted his fate in Cllr O’Shea, describing him as a ‘fantastic candidate’ for Fine Gael ahead of the next General Election and said that Cllr O’Shea has ‘the talent, the drive and the ability’ to become an important part of the next Dail.
On a crisp and dry morning in Kanturk, Cllr O’Shea and Tanaiste Coveney were joined by a large number of supporters which included Cllr Gerard Murphy and former TD for Cork North West, Frank Crowley. Speaking on Monday, Cllr O’Shea said his constituency office is open to everyone within the Mallow/Kanturk Municipal District and the Cork North West constituency.
Cllr O’Shea said it is crucially important to work together for the benefit of Kanturk and the people living in North Cork. “I think the Government, since returning to office in 2016, has done extremely well to combat a lot of the economic uncertainties that we have seen and to bring this country back to almost full employment and make sure that we have a Government that does the best for the people right across this country. So it’s all really important that we work together to make sure that this continues into the future.”
Speaking to the crowd outside Cllr O’Shea’s new constituency office, Tanaiste Coveney said he wanted to attend the official opening for a number of reasons. As well as having family connections in Kanturk, he said ‘we also have political business to do here to put right the loss of a seat in the last general election’.
Tanaiste Coveney said Fine Gael in government is working to build a stronger country for everyone and that Cllr O’Shea’s election as a TD will play an important role in that. “I have to say that a combination of John Paul O’Shea and Minister Michael Creed is a very dynamic combination going into the next General Election.
“We are lucky to have people of their calibre, quite frankly, and they are people who want to stand up, give leadership, change things, demand a response from Dublin. So we have a very strong team here and that will give a very clear message, that there is only one result that is acceptable for this party in this constituency. This is not a case of John Paul O’Shea standing and getting a good vote for the future, this is about winning two seats with two good candidates, who are in my view by far the two best candidates for this constituency across all parties. Therefore we expect them both to get elected.”
Tanaiste Coveney encouraged Cork North West constituents to elect Cllr O’Shea to represent them in the next Dail and allow Fine Gael to continue the work it have being doing since 2011. “We’re trying to build something stronger, we’re trying to ensure that we get out of this cycle of boom and bust, which populist politics in Ireland has led to, over and over again. We’ve fixed it now and we’re going to stay in charge to make sure it doesn’t get broken again and that is what electing John Paul O’Shea is all about. Yes it’s about him and his personality and his drive, his family and his success in politics to date, being extended now into the Dail from Cork County Council.
“We know his leadership, we’ve seen him as Mayor for the county and we’ve seen his personality and his drive and his optimism and positivity. All of that is what this election is about, but it’s also about something bigger. It’s about making sure that we don’t allow what has been so hard won over the last decade to be undone again by the politics of others.”
Tanaiste Coveney added that he is ‘absolutely confident with support that we will get a stunning result’ for Cllr O’Shea Fine Gael in the Cork North West constituency.