“I want to pay tribute to Denis Naughten for the enormous contribution he has made to politics nationally, and to his native county.
“Politics is full of ups and downs, triumphs and disappointments. It’s what you achieve along the way that matters most.
“I am absolutely convinced that the National Broadband Plan would not be a reality today were it not for Naughten’s work on it as Minister.
“He also played a crucial role in ensuring that Athlone was designated a growth centre in Project Ireland 2040, helping to secure more jobs and investment for the town as well as the development of TU Shannon.”