I was bored at one point today so I went talking to a few delegates at the convention centre here in City West to see what their views were of the Ard Fheis. I first spoke to Simon Harris (he was the first person I met coming down the stairs) who is a candidate in Greystones for both Town and County Council, and I asked him what he made of the the Ard Fheis so far. He told me he felt the conference was very “upbeat”. He mentioned that there was 200 councillors and candidates at a meeting yesterday and Enda was very blunt with them, but at the same time was positive. He pointed out that Fine Gael should not get complacent, as “complacency breads defeat”.
I then met Emma Harrison a delegate from Cork South Central. She said it was her first Ard Fheis and feels “motivated” after the morning sessions. She felt that Fine Gael was giving a positive feel about Ireland in comparison to the doom and gloom that we get from the Fianna Fail Government.
Around the convention centre the same feelings are replicated. There is a holiday mood outside the centre as people mill around as the suite that is being used for the afternoon session does not have as many seats as the main hall. There is an air of expectation around as people are ultimately waiting for Enda’s keynote speech tonight. Most people seam to be hoping for a good speech but can he do it?