Video: Keaveney joins FF and will run in Galway East
Martin says former Labour chairman is ‘committed to policies and ideas’
Mr Martin and Mr Keaveney spoke to reporters outside Leinster House in where it was announced that Fianna Fáil’s parliamentary party had endorsed the application for membership.
He becomes the party’s 20th member of the Dáil and will be one of two deputies in the constituency of Galway East, where leas Ceann Comhairle Micheál Kitt also holds a seat.
Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur istis - Audentis Fortuna iuvat! (h/t Ovid & Virgil)— Colm Keaveney T.D. (@Colm_Keaveney) December 3, 2013
The 42-year-old Tuam-based Mr Keaveney confirmed he will be a candidate for the party in Galway East in the next election as he says he has lost none of his support base in the radical changes that were made in the boundary changes.
Mr Martin said Mr Keaveney would add value to the party and would be its spokesman on mental health and special needs.
“He has shown a commitment to policies and ideas. He believes he can make the best contribution by joining FF and pursuing those.”
Mr Keaveny said he had just attended his first parliamentary party meeting and was encouraged by the determination and the enthusiasm of the party.
“Fianna Fáil has learned from the mistakes of the past. “I am delighted to have witnessed a renewal in Fianna Fáil at the grassroots level to suggest my value system is apparent in Fianna Fáil.”
“I was elected in a democratic revolution in 2011. I am delighted that Fianna Fáil has given me an opportunity to represent those values,” he said.
Mr Keaveney said he was lonely as an independent and did not think independence worked in politics.
Responding to senior Labour Party figure Ruairi Quinn’s description of the move as “desperate”, Mr Martin responded by saying there was a “dismissive attitude from the Labour hierarchy from people who disagree with them”.
Asked could he reconcile his previous claims of corruption within Fianna Fáil with his decision to join the party, Mr Keaveney said the party had changed.
Mr Martin said he and his colleagues had “learned from the mistakes in the past”.
Asked if he was nervous about Mr Keaveney’s reputation in Labour as being outspoken, contrarian and maverick, Mr Martin replied: “I take a different view. I am not nervous in any shape or form. From our point of view it is broadening out our views, He said people were joining Fianna Fáil at all levels.
Earlier Mr Keaveney told The Irish Times “my views and those of Fianna Fáil have become very similar, not only on the economy but in the areas of Social Protection and Health,” he said.