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Some smaller realignment(s) in Irish politics… May 27, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

…well, that’s overstating it, but the indications of at least three Technical Groups in the Dáil are suggestive. There’s the six TDs who will form one with Independents4Change at its heart:

Independents4Change, made up of Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Tommy Broughan and Joan Collins, will align with Donegal TD Thomas Pringle and Galway West TD Catherine Connolly.

Then there’s the Social Democrats and Green Party’s collective five TDs who will form another.

And then there’s the ‘rural grouping’. That’s the following:

The rural grouping will be made up of Clare TD Michael Harty, Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath, Kerry TDs Michael Healy-Rae and Danny Healy-Rae, Cork South-West TD Michael Collins and Galway West TD Noel Grealish.

It all makes sense – those cohering in these loose groups have some commonality politically and so on even if the groups themselves are technical, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s a situation where the myriad competing voices in this Dáil are going to mean determining a clear message is drowned out. Perhaps it won’t be a problem. And what of Séamus Healy? Anyone know?


1. Dr. X - May 27, 2016

Is this the first green shoots of a new party system? Or is that jumping the gun?


2. sonofstan - May 27, 2016

Interesting that, in counterbalance to the rural grouping, all roughly speaking from constituencies in the western half of the country, the SD/ GP group all come from Dublin or the greater Pale.


Michael Carley - May 27, 2016

That’ll be a genetic thing.


3. murf - May 27, 2016

Interesting question re Seamus Healy. I can’t see him going in with I4C , in light of his robust (and in my view correct) response to Mick Wallace’s tax affairs. He clearly doesn’t fit with the rural independents, or (I would think) with the GP/SD hook-up. And I’m not sure the WUAG would be happy to affiliate with AAA-PBP?

Of them all, I would have thought linking in with AAA-PBP would be the most natural, but he might prefer to stay solo?


4. Gerryboy - May 27, 2016

I doubt whether it represents the green sheets of a new party system, or even a political system. In the multi-seat constituency system of our democracy every deputy, whether party or independent, feels obliged to shout in the media to enhance voter recognition. Parish pumps, turbary rights, flood closure of post offices etc. are the contents of their utterances, whether on the Dail floor or down in the constituencies. Independents form ‘technical groups’ to get their viewpoint heard, or occasionally themselves heard, because the speaking arrangements in Dail ‘debates’ have become so constricted over the decades. Political culture will continue to be clientelist and populist.C’est la vie Irlandaise.


5. roddy - May 27, 2016

Seamus would’nt be far from SF on a lot of issues.A vote transfer pact with SF ensured his election.


murf - May 27, 2016

Ah, I didn’t know that.


6. Gerryboy - May 27, 2016

missing comma *floods, closure of post offices etc.


7. dublinstreams - May 27, 2016

these are more then technical groups, what other TDs are left out?

Harry McGee reported a different grouping last week I doubted it


dublinstreams - May 27, 2016

those left are Maureen O’Sullivan, Michael Lowry, Seamus Healy (who ran as non party, not WUAG, he signed up to right2change 2016 btw) and Michael Fitzmaurice who may join the ‘Rural Alliance’ not enough Independents left to form a mere techinical group the rest are ministers.


8. Ed - May 27, 2016

Wasn’t the whole point of a ‘Technical Group’ in the old sense that it was non-ideological; there could only be one and it had to be open to everyone, from Joe Higgins to Michael Lowry? This is something different: they’ve had to lower the threshold for a Dáil party group to 6 seats to keep Labour’s head above the water, so people are forming groups of political co-thinkers.


WorldbyStorm - May 27, 2016

Interesting you say about size of Technical Groups and parties, the LP could lose Kelly and still retain its status.


Liberius - May 27, 2016

It sort of makes these groups more akin to the political groupings in the EU parliament and the French National Assembly than the old technical group. One thing I’d like to know up can’t seem to find an answer for is whether these groups are going to have bespoke names, or be numbered, or whatever? If they can be named according to the wishes of their members then they would really be akin to those EU and French style groups.

Seamus Healy does seem a bit trapped by these developments, will be fascinating to see where he lands. On a related note, though one I suspect Paddy Healy will ignore, what do others think of the long-term future of WUAG, it strikes me with their vote having gone backwards at a time when others were ‘making hay’ and given that Seamus isn’t a spring chicken, that their long-term future is oblivion.


Tomboktu - May 27, 2016

they’ve had to lower the threshold for a Dáil party group to 6 seats to keep Labour’s head above the water

It looked like that for a while, but in the end, Labour got over the previous threshold and don’t need the new rule to form a group. The first beneficiary of the reduction to 6 is AAAPBP.


Dr. X - May 27, 2016

Isn’t the likely motive to be to queer the pitch for the Shinners, so that they won’t be able to claim that they are the only real opposition to the political platypus that is the present arrangement?

Liked by 1 person

gendjinn - May 27, 2016

Interesting. Could eat into their speaking time. But the optics of FF being the “official opposition” while in effect propping up an FG coalition might benefit from a prominent SF.

Interesting times.


9. dublinstreams - May 27, 2016

if they don’t come up with names themselves, we’ll have to come up with them, one could call the GP and SD group, the Progressive Democrats,a Dail group is now 5, the standing orders changes http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/thisweek/motions-2016/m250516a.pdf Calre Daly tried to press the first amendment it was lost, Catherine Connnolly is already referring herself and Pringle part of the Independents 4 Change group in the Dail.

Liked by 1 person

10. dublinstreams - May 28, 2016

Labour in talks with Greens to form alliance http://www.rte.ie/news/2016/0528/791650-labour-howlin-talks/# not already an SD+GP group forming, Im sure that GP wld have no problem going in with Labour but to leave the SDs groupless ? makes more sense of SD+GP and then Labour by itself


paulculloty82 - May 28, 2016

Indeed, appears to be little politically separating SDs and Greens – would imagine the earlier proposed tie-up with Inds4Change will be the Soc Dems back-up plan if Ryan & Martin defect.

Liked by 1 person

Liberius - May 28, 2016

(3) The order in which the right under paragraph (2) may be exercised by the various groups
shall be determined on the basis of the numbers of members in the groups, a larger group
having precedence over a smaller one. In the case of an equality of numbers, precedence shall
be determined by lot. Provided that a group which consists only of a single party shall have
precedence over a technical group.’

From the Dáil motion linked by DS in comment #9. That last line would mean surely that if Labour joined with the Greens to form a technical group they would be ceding priority to the AAA-PBP group. I think they might mean something a bit less formal that a parliamentary group.


11. paulculloty82 - May 30, 2016

SD/Green group confirmed – somewhat of a blow for Howlin.



WorldbyStorm - May 30, 2016

Wow. I was a bit concerned when I heard the LP + lash up idea. Seems cooler heads have prevailed.


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