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Bad news for FF May 25, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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Bad News for Fianna Fail as Averil Power has resigned from the party.
It seems that others who were more than annoyed at the lack of activity by FF in much of the country during the Marriage Equality Referendum Campaign may follow too.
Trying to balance a socially liberal and a socially Conservative wing possibly became too much. It must have been hard for Yes campaigners to be in the same party as Jim Walsh and others.
Is there a leadership challenge in the offing? Yes they won Carlow Kilkenny but John McGuinness can also claim a small bit of credit for that too.
Either way a crisis Fianna Fail didn’t need.

Comments»

1. Joe - May 25, 2015

That is a shock. Is it about the lack of FF Yes activity during the referendum campaign or is it about her maybe fearing she might not get a nomination for the next general election? Or both?

I was certainly struck by a lack of FF Yes activity in the referendum. Whatever Martin or some younger members may wish, they are in danger of becoming the rural conservative party of Ireland. Which is the road to 10%.

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irishelectionliterature - May 25, 2015

She would have been added by HQ anyway, Sean Haughey would have been favourite for the nomination.
She said that no other FF Oireachtas member campaigned on the ground like she and her team did. Is that true?
I saw FF canvass in Town a few times, FG were far more active around the country, although still had plenty who stayed quiet.

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mossy - May 25, 2015

@joe.
‘FF in danger of becoming a rural conservative party’.
as a jackeen living in the south-east, (+ former ff voter) – the above is exactly what ff want.
it barely makes sense, except in the context of them wanting to morph with and even into (who formerly rejected their ‘formerly’ captippin’ caste) their former masters f.g.
beggars-on-hinterland-new-horse-breeding farms, and all that.

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2. Joe - May 25, 2015

Where to now? Renua? SF? I’d say both would be delighted to have her.

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rockroots - May 25, 2015

I’d say Labour would be a good fit for her, assuming she doesn’t quit politics altogether or go independent. I thought she would have been a very formidable next FF leader. Good on her.

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irishelectionliterature - May 25, 2015

Labour don’t really have room in Dublin Bay North at the minute with Sean Kenny and Aodhan O’Riordan. There is also Tommy Broughan, Richard Bruton, Terence Flanagan , Finian McGrath and a challenge from the Left and from Sinn Fein. With Power now an Independent, it makes it one of the toughest constituencies.

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rockroots - May 25, 2015

True, I just meant in terms of policy she’s more Ivana Bacik than Willie O’Dea. Maybe another stint in the Seanad? Though I can see her packing it in rather than joining another party.

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que - May 25, 2015

Other than being young, presentable and a woman – all of which are rare for Fiannna Fail – she never struck me as leadership material.

Is there substance there behind the mask.

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rockroots - May 25, 2015

Substance has rarely been a valuable commodity for FF leaders anyway, but she was a forceful personality and had the gumption to be more socially progressive than most in the party (on marriage equality, fatal foetal abnormalities, etc.). As the logical conclusion to Martin’s renewal drive, a young, liberal female leader could’ve cut deep into SF and Labour territory, if not the further left. With the party now pinning its hopes on getting Aylwards, Hanafins and Haugheys back into the Dail, that renewal masterplan looks like a pretty dismal failure. Surely Martin’s days are numbered as the party slips back into traditional mode.

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EWI - May 25, 2015

SF, I think. There’s already others gone there (not least Mary Lou, who came from FF).

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Jack Jameson - May 25, 2015

She loathes SF and the sentiment is returned as she even produced an eve-of-poll general election flyer targeting Larry O’Toole with the message “Keep Sinn Féin Out – Vote Power No 1.”

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3. deiseach - May 25, 2015

I’m proud, in a rather trite way, that I was on first-name terms in my time in college with both Averil Power, big party apparatchik that she is (was?), and Rory Hearne, arch-Trot extraordinaire. Given the Averil I knew then and what I’ve seen of her since, this is a surprise. She has said he doesn’t plan on joining another party but I can’t see her relishing the rather narrow confines of independent living.

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dublinstreams - May 25, 2015

why is it a surprise?

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deiseach - May 25, 2015

I thought she was a lifer. I mean, if you didn’t walk away from FF after the economic meltdown, when are you going to walk away from them?

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dublinstreams - May 25, 2015

she said Albert Reynolds work on the peace process inspired her to join, but Albert was corrupt too.

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EWI - May 25, 2015

I thankfully avoided Hearne, apart from unavoidably on protests against Bush and the like. Am I correct in my recollection that her ‘Dub’ accent has come back in since leaving that place, like Mr. Duffy’s?

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4. irishelectionliterature - May 25, 2015

I think this could go deeper, there were quite a few FF people involved in Yes Equality campaigns outside of Dublin, mainly because FF weren’t campaigning in those areas.
I’m told that involvement was frowned upon by elements within the party……… the extension of this and probably helped Power with her decision was that they were highly unlikely to be selected at a selection convention. The one member one vote system favours long established elements or dynasties within the party. So whilst OMOV was introduced as part of the FF Renewal it will in the end serve the old guard better than the young….. and they will end up as an old rural conservative party .

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dublinstreams - May 25, 2015

excuse my ignorance but what system was used before?

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irishelectionliterature - May 25, 2015

previously it was delegates from a Cumman that voted at a selection convention. This was seen as undemocratic as a Cumman may have 5 members and another may have 50 yet they had the same voting power. So if there was a small cumman it was often in the interests of certain candidates to keep them alive rather than amalgamate with another small cumann.
Also the delegate may have been given direction by the cumman as to how to vote but may not have followed their wishes.

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dublinstreams - May 26, 2015

everytime I get that explained to me it doesn’t make sense

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que - May 25, 2015

Very cynical here but this discussion about whether FF did or did not campaign in the SSM referendum seems to me to be buying lock stock and barrel into Averil Power’s story.

2 weeks earlier or 2 weeks later we would not have much doubt that the fact Averil has no where to go with FF in Dublin was the key to unlocking the story.

First full media day after the referendum and instead its Averil the civil rights campaigner forced out.
Yes FF played sneaky on the SSM but Averil is no fool and she has timed this to look like its not careerist.

We shouldn’t buy into her spin.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 25, 2015

I think that’s a possibility too – albeit she doesn’t seem wrong about the lack of engagement by much of FF and she was – according to reports, given a rough reception at an FF parliamentary party meeting last week. But yes, the timing is perhaps convenient given the realities of the constituency.

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que - May 25, 2015

I wouldn’t think this would have been a surprise to anyone on FF. They didn’t surely go into that meeting last week thinking Averil was sound. They knew from well in traditional Fianna Fail style that she would be heading out the door seeing as how she wasn’t getting selected and there aren’t 2 seats lying around for her.

In the Info she said:
“I ran for election in 2011 because I wanted to make a difference.

I believed our country needed a strong opposition to hold the Government to account.”

So in 2011 she ran to hold Govt to account. Breath taking. She was running for the Govt. party but she was still trying to get in their to hold the govt to account. Pass the bucket.

She is no fool is our Averil. Now she is the face of modern progressive Fianna Fail even if she has left it. She wasn’t going anywhere with them and she knows it. For a woman who started her progressive career helping Mary Hanfin in Bertie’s govt the girl has done well.

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5. roddy - May 25, 2015

She based her entire election campaign in 2011 on an anti SF hatefest.She would suit the blueshirts well being married to blueshirt journalist Sheehan.

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EWI - May 25, 2015

I can’t imagine her going for FG. Where else’s she going to go then, Renua?

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irishelectionliterature - May 25, 2015

Renua already have Terence Flanagan as a TD there.

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WorldbyStorm - May 25, 2015

Yeah, and they’re not going to drop him. It really isn’t great as a constituency for her. Someone suggested she might go a short way more northerly, but I don’t know…

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Joe - May 26, 2015

On telly last night she ruled out joining FG, Lab, SF, Renua and said she’d be staying independent for the foreseeable. And seemed to be hinting at running as an independent in the next general election.
Then again she didn’t specifically rule out joining AAA, PbP, WP, Éirígí or the Irish Bolshevik Tendency so I guess we’ll just have to watch this space.

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CMK - May 26, 2015

International Bolshevik Tendency, I think, you heard it here first, Joe.

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Joe - May 26, 2015

Did you not hear about the split, CMK?

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6. sonofstan - May 25, 2015

A disaster for FF – without a least a few figures that look electable in Dublin and don’t share a surname with a predecessor TD, they are screwed as a national party. SF can go toe to toe with them in most non-Dublin constituencies, with a few exceptions AND win 7-8 seats in Dublin. If SF are the second biggest party next year, t’s the end for FF. Martin is bright enough to know it but not strong enough to do much about it. The leader of a small party without a realistic chance of power is naturally weak.

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7. Jack Jameson - May 25, 2015

As someone else said, Martin is suffering the shortest by-election bounce ever.

Liked by 1 person

8. irishelectionliterature - May 26, 2015

Miriam Lord fairly cuts at FF over the loss of Power. This is not doing FF any good at all, especially among women and young voters.
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/miriam-lord-it-s-no-surprise-that-averil-power-has-resigned-from-fianna-f%C3%A1il-1.2225750

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9. irishelectionliterature - May 26, 2015

This is turning into a forensic examination as to the efforts put in by FF during the Referendum….. and there are many not coming out well from it.
Sean Haughey on Radio One saying how he didn’t campaign for a Yes and then refused to say which way he voted.
The local spats are starting too with Cllr X saying Cllr Y and Cllr Z did nothing!
The gas thing about all this is that I thought Michael Martin performed well in the media during the Referendum. He put the Yes side very well.

Liked by 1 person

10. Jack Jameson - May 26, 2015

Should the resignation from Fianna Fáil of prominent Cork activist and Yes campaigner Ken Curtin on Tuesday be more worrying for FF as this is clearly not selfish electoral self-interest?

http://www.thejournal.ie/ken-curtin-quits-fianna-fail-2125231-May2015/?utm_source=shortlink

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dublinstreams - May 26, 2015

hey I’ve been supporting a a corrupt party for the last 20 years, whens a good time to leave that will make people forget the past 2 decades

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irishelectionliterature - May 26, 2015

Ah I wouldn’t be so harsh with Ken Curtin, he’s a decent enough chap. It can be very hard for people leaving political parties no matter what they are, often its your social life as well as your political life.

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dublinstreams - May 26, 2015

okay then don’t join a corrupt party and you won’t have trouble leaving.

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