Thursday, 7 February 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I have always had great admiration for the SDLP. In the last few months, there has been talk of a merger with Fianna Fáil. I hope that will be good for the SDLP. It has been a very democratic nationalist party. There are mixed views as to its merger with Fianna Fáil. There are many people in the SDLP who have more in common with the Irish Labour Party and, indeed, a few have things in common with Fine Gael. The reason I mention this is that next Saturday will be a momentous day because Young Fine Gael in Queen's University in Belfast is holding its first meeting. I will be there along with many of my colleagues. Fine Gael is the party of equality of opportunity, enterprise and reward, security, integrity, and hope. This is a wonderful opportunity for Fine Gael. The Taoiseach rightly said that we come as neighbours, not as invaders. We act in a way that is right for the island of Ireland and I am looking forward to that inaugural event which is being organised by Jude Perry, son of former Deputy John Perry of Sligo. Times are changing on our island, and between the two islands.
Today I am wearing my Commonwealth tie.