IRELAND East MEP Mairead McGuinness congratulated Wexford native, Robert Fitzhenry, on his retirement as Head of the Press Service of the EPP Group of the European Parliament in Brussels, to which Fine Gael is aligned, at a special function held in his honour recently.
Robert A Fitzhenry (Bob) was educated at St. Peter's College Wexford and then moved to Dublin to study Agricultural Science at University College Dublin (UCD).
Shortly after graduation he was recruited into the Irish Civil Service by the Department of Agriculture and started his career travelling around the country inspecting veterinary facilities and abattoirs as a Department of Agriculture Inspector.
During the 1970s and at the height of the Common Agricultural Policy Bob began travelling to Brussels on behalf of the Department of Agriculture to represent Ireland in agricultural matters on behalf of the government. In 1975, Bob moved with his family to Brussels to take up a temporary three-year contract as a national expert in the European Commission, in the Guidance section of the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund. However, this temporary stint in Brussels was to last 35 years.
Bob's work in the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund led him to work closely with all the Irish Members of the European Parliament. Bob was recruited as the National Press Advisor to the Irish Delegation in the EPP-ED Group in 1981 and spent 14 years as the Irish Press Advisor to the Fine Gael MEPs.
In 1995, he was promoted to the position of Head of Press and Communications of the EPP Group in the European Parliament. His colleagues said his 'innate wisdom and diplomacy 'will be missed by the EPP Group, his staff and the Fine Gael Members of the EPP Group who have all wished him and his family every future happiness on his retirement.