Varadkar visits as Dolan eyes ‘Naughten seat’

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s visit to Roscommon and Galway last Friday came just two weeks after Denis Naughten’s announcement that he would not be contesting the next general election.

Coincidence? Local Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan certainly thinks so.

“It’s an honour to have the Taoiseach visit at any time and last week it was great to have him in Ballyleague to open the new national centre for accessible watersports,” she said.

“He was going to Galway so it was very fortunate that his diary allowed him to spend some time in Roscommon and Ballinasloe too”.

Senator Dolan makes no secret of the fact that she has her heart set on a seat in the next Dáil but claims the Taoiseach’s visit to the constituency wasn’t a Fine Gael show of strength.

“The Taoiseach is of course very keen to have a senior Fine Gael voice for Roscommon-Galway and as Tánaiste he showed his support for us last year when he visited Roscommon and spent time visiting local businesses. Last Friday’s visit was a follow-up to that,” she said.

“It’s very clear that he is making this constituency a priority. I would certainly hope to contest the next general election. That is the plan anyway”.

As for an endorsement from the Taoiseach, the Ballinasloe woman says she’s just focusing on the job at hand.

“I want to continue to be a voice for Roscommon-Galway and keep fighting for investment for this region and working with local groups to make sure their voices are heard,” she said.

“I see the next election as being a battle and I know this having contested the last election. When asking for someone’s vote you have to prove yourself and that’s what I am working hard to do”.