Dublin Fingal TD Darragh O’Brien has been appointed Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade following the announcement of the Fianna Fáil front bench by party leader Micheál Martin TD.
Deputy O’Brien commented “I am delighted to be taking over a role with such a proud history within Fianna Fáil. Since our foundation, a positive, proactive and independent Irish foreign policy has been a core element of the party’s vision and has facilitated Ireland playing an important role in global affairs. We have often enjoyed a role and influence far in excess of our size or economic output and it is Fianna Fáil’s belief that we can and should continue to have those ambitions into the future.
“Ireland and Europe are facing into very uncertain times. There is the immediate threat of Britain voting to leave the EU, a chronic and growing refugee crisis, an unpredictable Russia asserting itself on Europe’s borders, the ongoing political uncertainty in the US, ongoing conflicts across the Middle East and Africa to name just a few. Ireland may not have the capacity to solve all or indeed any of these issues, but we have an opportunity to assert our analysis as an independent neutral Republic, with an emphasis on human rights, the dignity of the individual and respect for minorities on the international stage.
“Fianna Fáil’s intention, within the area of Foreign Affairs, is to bring forward policies and positions that build on our proud history, addressing the challenges facing the European and global community in 2016 and helping to establish Irish thought leadership on the big issues we face.
“In the important area of trade, working with our diaspora and leveraging the network of excellent Irish diplomatic activity across the world is something that has the enthusiastic support of my party. I also look forward to bringing forward new thinking on how to deepen and expand this activity.
“In the immediate term, I look forward to meeting with key stakeholders across the sector and also playing our part in seeking to positively influence Irish voters in the Brexit referendum.”