Martin Cullen has spoken publicly for the first time since leaving politics, thanking the people of Waterford for their good wishes since he resigned from the Cabinet.
The former Arts Minister, who has received intensive specialist treatment for a long-standing spinal ailment in the United States in recent months, will return there for further treatment within the next few weeks.
Speaking at City Hall where he received a special memento from the City Council (a portrait of Reginald’s Tower by John Byrne) in recognition of his contribution to the arts, Mr Cullen cut a rested and relaxed figure.
“I’m happy, de-stressed and content with life,” he told a packed Mayor’s Parlour, with Bishop of Waterford and Lismore William Lee and Dean Trevor Lester of Christ Church among the invited audience.
“What legacy there may be (regarding his own political career) is there for others to judge.”
Mr Cullen said his treatment had been going well, although his eagerness to regain full mobility had led to him “putting the back out again” while in the US.
“One of the staff at the facility told me: ‘your spine isn’t made of steel’, but I’m happy to say that I’m getting there and that I’m putting in a huge effort.”
The greetings and good wishes received by Mr Cullen since departing politics have literally bowled him over, he added.
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.