“I’m heading into the Dáil this minute, and I’ve the paper read from back to front, and I’m ready to go,” Deputy Fitzpatrick told the paper this week.
“I come from the Dundalk area, and if you go back the last 30, 40, 50 years the people of Dundalk depend completely on the Democrat and Argus for local information.
“My constituents call around to me and it’s a terror how many quote the paper back to me. For many it is the only communication that elderly people had with what was going on in the area.
“In my particular circumstances, whether it was GAA or whether it was politics, people would come back to me after what they had seen in the paper.
“It’s great feed back for myself, when I get to see local ideas and opinions expressed in the newspaper.
“From my point of view as a politician and the former manager of Louth GAA, sometimes the paper can be good to you, sometime they be bad to you. But by the end of the day you can’t be right the whole time and sometimes it’s good to read about yourself and you’d think ‘maybe I got that wrong’ or ‘maybe I could do that differently the next time’.”
Deputy Fitzpatrick says as a Fine Gael backbencher it is great to read people views about current affairs issues.
“There are controversial issues at the moment such as the household charges and the HSE and it’s important to hear the views on the ground in Dundalk. It’s good to read what the columnists think and what the opinions are and to have a broad input on everything.
“The local media is fantastic. I found as a young fellow, be it the summer league, the minor league, the Gaelic, the rugby, the athletics; the coverage was fantastic. The sports pages were and are unbelievable. It’s great to read abut local people doing well.
“Most people in the county would know a lot about sport and the Democrat are a big part of that. The coverage of the Ladies Team getting to Croke Park for example is fantastic. You wouldn’t get it anywhere else.
“My previous company, Fitzpatrick Electrical, advertise with the local papers on a regular basis. Local papers are a fantastic way of getting to local people. If you want local people to come and visit you and do business with you, you put it in the local paper.
“I’ve always been a local newspaper reader, since I was nappies I’ve been reading them!”