Cllr Mulligan successfully ran as an Independent candidate in Waterford City East in May’s local elections.
His entry into Fianna Fáil was agreed upon at a meeting of the party in The Park Hotel, Dungarvan last Friday night.
Describing himself as “a Republican at heart”, he explained his decision to join Fianna Fáil to The Munster Express.
“I want to contribute to the rebuilding of the party and plan for the future,” he said.
“I feel as an Independent I didn’t have a voice to bring issues to national level. As part of an opposition party such as Fianna Fáil I can make that voice heard.”
Cllr Mulligan continued: “Fianna Fáil has always been the party that Waterford has benefitted under. If you go back to Martin Cullen’s time you can see all that was done. Since Martin Cullen, we haven’t achieved as we should have achieved. We seem to be in a lull at the moment, lacking in capital investment.”
Eddie Mulligan’s decision to join Fianna Fáil was greeted with a barrage of critical comments on social media pages, with many expressing disappointment over the decision.
While acknowledging that certain voters may take issue with his move, he said his decision was in the best interests of Waterford. “I think they voted for me – Eddie Mulligan the man,” he said.
“None of my principles are changing. I’m still going to fight for the same principles within the city and the county. I think the majority of people who know me and have seen my work are aware that I am very proactive. I would ask anyone with any doubts to watch me closely over the coming months.”
He added: “When I made the decision to run as an Independent I was very focused on being an Independent. I always considered myself strong enough to be an Independent. However, there is strength in unity and numbers.”
He said Fianna Fáil has been proactive behind the scenes locally and that it’s “open to making a difference”.
“I have been affected by what happened during the economic crash as have my family,” he said.
“I have been on the receiving end of decisions made during the Fianna Fáil government but I firmly believe we have to learn from our mistakes. The Fianna Fáil party wants to see Waterford established as the economic hub of the south east and I hope to help bring that to fruition.”
When asked about ambitions for national politics, Cllr Mulligan said he was open to any such discussions.
“If Fianna Fáil thought I was a suitable candidate to go forward obviously I would be delighted,” he said.
Cllr Mulligan also made it clear that he intends to retain his chairmanship of the Waterford Business Group.
“When I got elected I did offer to step down as chair but the committee voted unanimously for me to stay on. Similarly if they wish for me to stand down now that I have joined Fianna Fáil, I will,” he stated.