The most difficult jobs during Bertie’s visit to Castlerea on Thursday last fell to Emer O’Callaghan from Ballaghaderreen and Emma Brennan from Cloontuskert. They had the tough task of carrying the giant posters of Michael Finneran which went everywhere with the posse surrounding the Taoiseach on this whistle-stop tour of Castlerea. The Taoiseach arrived in Castlerea by helicopter, landing near the Prison and being taken quickly to Tully’s Hotel, where a crowd of supporters awaited. Trumpet blast greeted his arrival and the party faithful were out in force, including party candidates, councillors, their families and party members. After being greeted by all members of the party faithful, the group took off at a fast pace down Main Street, popping into Figaro’s barbers as he passed by and then into Hester’s Golden Eagle bar. Going down the street, the Taoiseach was flanked by the local Fianna Fáil candidates Michael Finneran and John Ellis and he called into Michael Finneran’s constituency office in Castlerea, where an impromptu meeting was arranged with the local media. While travelling down the street, Emer and Emma had to battle with the strong winds and rain and keep their posters up and visible to all. Emer is a committed member of Ógra Fianna Fáil. Her mother is well-known Fianna Fáil activist Mary Devine O’Callaghan from Ballaghaderreen. Another stop followed at Carthy & Associates, where the Taoiseach took time out for a radio interview and was also pictured with both the staff and local representatives. The radio interview with the News at One on RTÉ centred around Tony Blair’s imminent departure as British Prime Minister and the Taoiseach paid glowing tributes to his erstwhile peace process colleague. Later, the Taoiseach made his way back up the town, receiving a warm reception from local people, who were surprised to bump into the Taoiseach while on a shopping trip. A visit to a busy Castlerea Mart followed, where the Taoiseach met with Manager Noel Moran and staff. The tour ended quickly and the Taoiseach continued on his canvass, leaving by helicopter for Portumna and then on to Limerick.