FINE Gael county councillor Jim D’Arcy has been nominated by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the 24th Seanad.
But on Monday he had to decline an invatation to meet President Obama because of a checkmate final.
It wasn’t a political checkmate. The new Louth senator and principal of Bellurgan national school was on his way to Limerick with pupils from the school.
Fergal McArdle, Jack Murphy, Ciaran Finnegan and David Sally were taking aprt in the National Chess Primary Schools Checkmate finals.
“The economy will be one of my main concerns,” Senator D’Arcy said. “The Seanad may not be the main house of the Oreachtas to debate these all important issues but the more pressure we can exert the better.
“We have to get the EU-IMF bail-out interest rates down. We should not be paying 3 billion a year.
“The bail-out is a stitch-up.
“I will also be pressing for further development of Dundalk Institute of Technology and advocating that the college be established as a university.
I’ve been a member of the board of management and I know just how important the campus is to local industry and education.
“I also want to see the Fine Gael policy on the future of the Irish language fully implemented,” Senator D’Arcy said.
He said Louth now has eight Oireachtas representatives and he hoped that everyone would pull together on issues that are important to the people of Louth and the country.
Senator D’Arcy is the only one of the seven Fine Gael nominees who is a serving politician.
He is a life-long member of Fine Gael. The Haggardstown-born teacher was first elected to Louth County Council in 1999 and was elected to Dundalk town Countil in 2004.
He is a former chairman of Louth County Council and vice-chairman of Dundalk Town Council.
He stood for Fine Gael in the 2007 general election but stepped aside in this year’s election to allow Louth football manager Peter Fitspatrick to win a second seat for the party.
Fine Gael junior minister Fergus O’Dowd said he was delighted with Mr D’Arcy’s nomination.
“We couldn’t have won two seats without him,” Mr O’Dowd said.
Senator D’Arcy’s magnanimous decision to withdraw his name before the party’s conference to select candidates for the general election was seen as a key move in the party’s success in Louth.
In the 2007 election the party ran three candidates and failed to take a second seat, but this time they got it just right with vote management.
The Taoiseach’s selection join the other 49 senators when the Seanad meets tomorrow (Wednesday).