Dr Patrick Hillery discusses the importance of local politics in a national context.

Milltown Malbay is the West Clare base of Dr Parick Hillery, Fianna Fáil TD and Minister for External Affairs. '7 Days' provides a profile of the man, the doctor and the politician.

The son of the local doctor, Patrick Hillery began his medical practice in Milltown Malbay. Dr Hillery has long since moved to Dublin but still has a house near Spanish Point. 

Dr Hillery is not by nature the flattery to funerals kind of politician. Indeed, when forced into a back-slapping situation, he seems positively uncomfortable.

Speaking about his role as a politician, Dr Hillery talks about the need for politicians to listen to their constituents. After all, these are the people who live with the decisions made not just at a local level, but more importantly at a national level. He feels that this contact with people, especially in rural Ireland, is good for a politician. 

Whether you like it or not, they'll come to you with problems and if you turn them away, they won't come to you with their advice or with their knowledge or the things you want from them when you're a public representative. It's not a matter of saying I won't do that. You're a TD and this happens to you.

This excerpt from the report shows Dr Hillery out and about meeting his constituents in a local pub. 

This episode of 'Seven Days' was broadcast on 13 October 1972.

'Seven Days' began broadcasting on 26 September 1966 and was RTE television's flagship current affairs programme for ten years. The programme's young production team was made up of producer Lelia Doolan, directors Eoghan Harris and Dick Hill, and reporters John O'Donoghue, Brian Cleeve and Brian Farrell. Muiris Mac Conghail became producer of 'Seven Days' in 1967 when the programme was merged with another current affairs programme, 'Division'.