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LIKE other Fine Gael members, I am disappointed that George Lee has resigned from Fine Gael and the Dáil. I fully understand Lee’s frustration with his experience with politics. Many people, who observe politics, and participate in politics, will know that politics has its limitations. My own experience of politics has had its ups and downs.
When I joined Fine Gael, I was propelled onto the front bench as a high-profile spokesperson on Health and Children. At the next election, I lost my seat and my portfolio. It was a harsh lesson that a TD is not just elected to deliver on national issues. I was subsequently elected to the Seanad to continue my political career, but with less influence on policy formulation.
In some respects the loss of Lee shows how much stronger Fine Gael has grown since the last election. Since the time I was given my front bench role, the party has grown stronger. The calibre of the front bench is strong and where the loss of George Lee to politics and Fine Gael is significant, Fine Gael will continue to provide the policies and leadership the people of Ireland need.
At the end of the day, I personally feel Lee has made a rash decision. He could have achieved his objectives of having his voice heard and his views influencing Fine Gael policy and also played his role as a political leader for the Irish people. It is unfair for Lee to criticise Richard Bruton. I am the Seanad Finance spokesperson for Fine Gael and I have no trouble in contacting Bruton or our economic advisor on financial issues. I know that individuals like Bruton and Kenny are too busy to go looking for me. I also know that people like Kenny and other senior party people are there to give you advice when you look for it but you must be prepared to stand up for yourself in politics.
It may suit some individuals to use this issue to attack Kenny’s leadership, but a more thoughtful analysis on why Lee left politics could be very useful to the people of Ireland.
Dr Liam Twomey
Seanad Finance Spokesperson for Fine Gael
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