McFadden wellwishers dwell on the doorsteps


FINE GAEL’S Nicky McFadden, who was recently diagnosed with motor neuron disease, held a fundraising coffee morning in Leinster House on Thursday.

The Longford-Westmeath deputy was delighted with the cross-party turnout – the Taoiseach was a surprise guest – and she raised more than €2,000 for the Motor Neuron Association.

The Members’ Dining Room was full for the occasion, and the place was buzzing with news of the Constituency Commission report, which had been released. Never mind the coffee and the buns, the redrawing of the doorsteps was the main item on the menu.

Nicky says she is overwhelmed by all the messages of support and goodwill sent to her since she revealed her condition earlier this month. “I’d love to thank people for their generosity and their hundreds of cards. I’m still getting about 20 of them a day.”

She says Fine Gael “has been amazing” since she told her colleagues about her diagnosis, singling out deputies Áine Collins and Mary Mitchell O’Connor for particular mention.

For now, Nicky is working away at her desk in Leinster House. “I’m fine, it’s only my voice that’s affected.”

Any plans for more fundraisers?

“Listen, I don’t want to be the poster girl for motor neuron,” she jokes.

It’s been a very difficult few weeks for Deputy McFadden, and her family, particularly her sisters Gabrielle and Áine, have been a wonderful support.

After the Dáil rises at the end of July,

Nicky is off on holiday to Greece. “The whole family is going with me. I’m really looking forward to it.”