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Brexit set to top FG Slieve Russell conference

Friday, 10th November, 2017 5:12pm

Brexit set to top FG Slieve Russell conference

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It's all eyes on Cavan politically speaking as the main government party ensconce themselves in the Slieve Russell Hotel for Fine Gael's National Conference this weekend.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has a nice new road, complete with hard shoulder, to follow to Ballyconnell allowing him plenty of time to get there to deliver his first conference speech as party leader at 8:30pm this evening.

The Fine Gael leader is not the only recognisable face around today as you could not cast a ballot box without hitting a minister. Minister Simon Harris is opening the new CF Unit extension at Cavan General Hospital this afternoon and later today Minister Richard Bruton is heading to the Royal School in Cavan Town with expectations high that he may be bearing gifts.

They are among the 1,500 delegates expected to attend. Minister Heather Humphreys expressed delight that the party's 2017 National Conference was being 'held on home soil'.

“As delegates make their travel plans for the weekend, accommodation is in high demand but, as we know, there are many top-class hotels in Cavan and the surrounding area. Restaurants, shops and pubs will also feel the benefit of increased footfall in the approach to the weekend,” Minister Humphreys said.

The Taoiseach's Friday night address is a break from tradition having been switched from the usual Saturday night spot to accommodate sports fans eager to see Ireland's efforts against Denmark in the World Cup play-off game tomorrow night.

The opening ceremony commences at 7:15am with Senator Joe O'Reilly set to introduced his party leader. Tonight's speech is televised live on RTÉ One. High on the agenda, and flagged as the reason for selecting Cavan as the centre of the Irish political universe for the next two days, will be the topic of Brexit.

Mr Varadkar is expected to highlight a number of other key themes including; sustainable economic growth, balanced regional development, creating strong communities and making work pay. Saturday will see Fine Geal publish a rolling manifesto which will outline its priorities in the area of public services, the economy and on social issues.

The conference will conclude on Saturday at around 7.30pm with a Ministerial roundtable discussion with grassroot members, during which time attendees will have an opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with Taoiseach Varadkar.

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