Speaking at the launch of his forthcoming 2016 general election campaign last Friday night, Michael Lowry T.D. spoke extensively on the need to progress rural Ireland forward to reflect the recovery being experienced in more easterly urban areas. The event launched by Eoin Kelly, was without doubt one of the most successful political campaigns ever witnessed in County Tipperary. The event, which took place in the Anner Hotel, Thurles saw the venue swamped to capacity, with supporters travelling dangerous icy roads, from north and south of the County. Two large television screens were conveniently placed in the hotels foyer and main bar area. Both assets allowed for late comers, many who were unable to enter the main ballroom area, to watch proceeding live. Deputy Lowry's previous efforts in the retention of South Tipperary General Hospital and his recent prominence in the need to retain the Rural Practice Allowance Scheme for GP's had not gone unnoticed. Support for his efforts saw people travel from Clonmel, Ballylooby, Bansha, Cahir, Ballyporreen, Carrick-on- Suir, and Cashel. His work rate was acknowledged also by his constituent members who flocked from the towns and villages of Upperchurch, Kilcommon, Nenagh, Silvermines, Roscrea and Templemore, to name but a few.A number of guest speakers addressed over 600 supporters, discussing issues of current importance in relating to communities throughout the County. The topics discussed related to Education, Crime, Agriculture, Food Production, Sport, Special Education, Health, Youth Affairs and the Elderly. From the floor of the venue came discussions from varying sports personnel, members of the farming communities and small businesses pledging their thanks and support. At the event, Deputy Lowry praised the magnificent efforts of numerous voluntary bodies throughout the county. He acknowledged the many excellent resources available today in the villages and towns of the county, but stated that rural Tipperary now felt neglected by the present decision makers.