Last month I reported on rumours that PD leader Ciarán Cannon could jump ship to Labour before his own party finally sank into oblivion. However, news came through this afternoon that the Bertie Ahern-appointed Senator has actually moved to Fine Gael.
According to Fine Gael, party leader Enda Kenny said: "This is yet another good news story for a Fine Gael team that is growing from strength to strength. Ciarán Cannon is a politician of real ability and commitment and I am delighted that he has chosen to join the Fine Gael Party. I know that he had other options when considering his future and I welcome the fact that he chose a re-energised and dynamic Fine Gael Party when deciding on how best to maintain his commitment to national politics.
"Ever since Fine Gael won six of the eight Progressive Democrat seats in the 2007 Election the future of that Party has been in doubt. Since then I have been very encouraged that so many of the PD public representatives at Local Authority level have decided to join Fine Gael and today I am delighted that their Leader has decided to join our Senate team. I wish Ciarán well as he embarks on this new phase of his political career and look forward to him making a very positive contribution to the Party."
Commenting on his move across, Ciarán Cannon said: "I am very excited about this new start after joining the Fine Gael Party. With the PDs winding up as a Party I had a tough decision to make about my own political future and how best to continue representing the people of East Galway. I was flattered by the approaches made by a number of sources but am very happy that the Fine Gael Party led by Enda Kenny is the right option for me. The way Enda has managed to rebuild the Party after the 2002 Election and bring forward a strong new team was central to my decision to join Fine Gael.
"I have been particularly impressed with the Party's very positive and constructive approach to the current economic crisis the country is facing and note the very progressive policies announced recently on Oireachtas Reform, Education Reform and job creation. My primary task now is to get to work with my new colleagues and continue to represent the people of East Galway as effectively as I possibly can. Finally I would like to thank all my former colleagues in the PDs and wish them well individually as they start making plans for their future."
Commenting on Fine Gael's new Senator, FG Seanad Leader Frances Fitzgerald said: "Having seen Ciarán at work in the Seanad I am very pleased to welcome him to the Fine Gael ranks in Seanad Éireann. He will be a big addition to our team. I would also like to pay tribute to Enda Kenny who was central to this good news and is a further testament to his ability to build both a Party and a team capable of winning elections and offering the country a new direction."
Local Galway based Fine Gael TDs Ulick Burke and Paul Connaughton said: "Ciarán is a hard working and well regarded public representative who is a welcome addition to the Party and we wish him well."