Chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party Martin Heydon has today (Thursday) praised the contribution of Michael Noonan in his roles as Minister, Party Leader and most recently as Finance Minister following the country’s most serious financial crisis.

“When we needed a steady hand to take over our precarious national finances in March 2011, Michael Noonan was an inspired choice who brought experience, calm and huge expertise to a crucial role.  In his six years as Minister for Finance, we have seen our economy go from free fall to become the fastest growing economy in Europe in 2015 and 2016.  He was proactive in introducing measures to grow our economy, such as the reduced VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sectors which directly contributed to the creation of an additional 30,000 jobs.

“First elected to the Dail in 1981, he has served the people of Limerick City and County for 36 years.  He was Fine Gael party leader from February 2001 to May 2002 and served as Minister for Justice, Industry Commerce & Trade, and Health.

“He is a calming influence and respected voice within the party and his commentary, wit and advice will continue to be valued by the parliamentary party as a whole.  On behalf of myself and my party colleagues, I would like to wish him very well in the future,” Deputy Heydon concluded.