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Keaveney: Fianna Fáil is a party that has learned from the mistakes of the past

The former Labour chairman has been unanimously accepted into the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party.

Updated 11.21pm


NEWLY-ORDAINED FIANNA Fáil TD Colm Keaveney has been described as “a serious politician” by his new party leader Micheál Martin today.

The Galway East deputy was formally accepted into Fianna Fáil parliamentary party after a unanimous vote this afternoon and will take responsibility for issues related to special needs and mental health.

Keaveney said “it’s a great honour” to be a member of Fianna Fáil and said he was “encouraged by the determination and enthusiasm for the party”.

“Fianna Fáil is a party that has learned from the mistakes of the past,” he insisted on the plinth at Leinster House and said he believes his “value system will be welcome” in the party.

“I was lonely in independence, I don’t believe independence works in politics,” he said.

Martin confirmed that it was Keaveney who approached him about joining the party and said that the former Labour chairman will be charged with “producing a blueprint for the whole special needs area”.

Keaveney and Martin respond to Labour’s “desperate” claim:


Keaveney said: “It’s very clear to me that the only political party in this country that wants to highlight and protect people in society who simply cannot protect themselves is Fianna Fáil.”

Keaveney confirmed that he will not be standing in next year’s European elections and said that he would run to represent the people of Galway East in 2016, but noted that the general election is “many, many, many years away”.

He said there is a “humility that is attractive in the party that can identify with people who are out there hurting” and dismissed the notion that his move to Fianna Fáil is controversial.

“This controversy of me moving to Fianna Fáil pales into insignificance relative to the broken promises that have been made by this government to the people of my constituency,” he said.

Asked if he still believed his new party had “run the country into the ground” as he said in 2010, he said: “What I believe is it is a changed party, I think that I was elected for tomorrow.

I am the father of three children, I want a future for my family and my children that they dont have to emigrate from this country. It’s about tomorrow I’ve been elected for. I can’t undo what’s happened in the past, but I know that I can influence tomorrow by my membership of Fianna Fáil.”
Originally posted at 2.57pm

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Confirmed: Former Labour chairman Colm Keaveney joining Fianna Fáil

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Hugh O'Connell

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