Murphy laments Ahern’s parting, welcomes Cowen

Strokestown Area Fianna Fáil Cllr. Eugene Murphy, right, has said he was shocked at the quick exit of Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fail, however he added that he felt he made the right decision to move on. ‘Bertie Ahern visited this county on many, many occasions and made many stop offs in the Strokestown electoral area. I recall the time he visited St. Barry’s GAA in Tarmonbarry, Strokestown Day Care Centre, Scoil Mhuire, Strokestown and Elphin Community College. He also had time to stop and talk. He would always be prepared to stop and listen to a group lobbying for something or other. On one such occasion he stopped to chat with Strokestown Community Playschool Group, even though they were not on his schedule of meetings.  He took a huge interest in the Elphin Community College project and spoke to me several times about it. Eventually Deputy Finneran, myself and Fianna Fáil delivered to Elphin, and when I met Bertie in Dublin on one occasion afterwards Bertie’s comments were ‘Well, are they happy in Elphin now?’  ‘I hope Bertie is not in too much difficulty with the tribunals, but whatever the outcome, the pictures of Bertie with our children will never be removed from the hallway of our house. I really believe some of the media have got it badly wrong about the type of person he really is. When he eventually bows out as Taoiseach on the 6th of May, I feel he will be knocking on the doors of constituents in his area, which he has constantly done over the years.  Brian Cowen as Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil, will be good for Roscommon, according to Cllr. Eugene Murphy. ‘Michael Finneran could be in line for promotion in the coming weeks if not within the next year or two. I predict he could even at this early stage get Junior status, but within a year or two he could receive a call to the senior ranks from his very good friend.    ‘It will in my opinion be good news for Roscommon County Hospital which Cowen took a keen interest in when Minister for Health. I will be talking to Deputy Finneran about this issue this week and as Chairman of the FF group of councillors I am anxious that we retain the status of the hospital and if possible widen the services available at the hospital. ‘I have no doubt that Finneran has this issue top of his agenda with the Taoiseach-in-waiting. Cowen’s appointment in my opinion will also have other positive spin-offs for Roscommon.’