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Those new Dáil groups… February 26, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

As noted in comments by Paul Culloty, the latest group to emerge in the current Dáil is one composed of Independent TDs Marian Harkin, Michael Fitzmaurice, Michael McNamara, Catherine Connolly, Thomas Pringle and Joan Collins. Six in total, and that’s a diverse crew and no mistake.

So we’ve now three groups of Independent/Others.

Meanwhile we have the Denis Naughten Regional TDs group which comprises Cathal Berry, Seán Canney, Peter Fitzpatrick, Noel Grealish, Michael Lowry, Verona Murphy, Denis Naughten himself, Matt Shanahan and Peadar Tóibín. Two former cabinet ministers in there and nine members in total.

And we have the group with Mattie McGrath in it which presumably is the 32nd Dáil’s Rural Independents Group reborn, albeit without Grealish and Lowry. Somewhat diminished that includes Michael Collins, Danny Healy-Rae, Michael Healy Rae, McGrath and Carol Nolan. Five in total.

The only one unaccounted for at this point is Richard O’Donoghue. Where’s he going to wind up?

To me the Regional group is the one most clearly positioned to enter some sort of arrangement for government with the larger parties – if only on the numbers. Then again this is a world turned upside down!


1. Jim Monaghan - February 26, 2020

A pity Pringle, Connolly and Collins could not join the PbP/Solidarity group. If the all support a SF led Left government, what is the problem, on both sides. The ideologue in me is reminded of O’Bradaigh’s warning about the Leinster House game. Or maybe, gombeens to the left of me, gombeens to the right of me, sort of stuff.Or a play on Enid Blyton, lashings of clientilism and patronage all round.


Colm B - February 26, 2020

That struck me as well. Why would Collins Pringle and Connolly join an opportunist lash- up with centre right localists rather than creating a larger Left group with SPBP? It’s notable that Paul Murphy has stayed with the SPBP group despite his differences with the SP and SWP.
As someone who was once an ind left councillor, I know it’s easy to drift become consumed with local issues and loose sight of big picture, which is why having a political org around you rather than local support group is important.


WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2020

It’s tricky, on paper they should be a logical group, in practice… perhaps not. And of course it’s not as if there aren’t contentious histories there. Also, and I think is key, Pringle, Collins et al strike me as sitting on somewhat different terrain to the further left (as well as being much more independent voices even between themselves). That’s my read of it anyhow.


Jim Monaghan - February 26, 2020

Pringle, Collins, Connolly would for all practical purposes support the same agenda for a Left government led by SF. Similar demands.Indeed I suspect that they would hardly be any further removed than the components parts of Solidaiity/Pbp/RISE are form each other.At least a conversation should be had. Such is the complexity of government (no matter who is in) that making principled argument which are strong on detail woudl necessitate a biggish group, division of labour and all that.


2. Jim Monaghan - February 26, 2020

On another note. Could it be that what binds these groups together is not that much different, in principle or in strength, than what binds the TDs of FF or FG? Ask not hat you can do for the party or indeed country but what they can do for you.

Liked by 2 people

3. entdinglichung - February 27, 2020

any idea what Carol Nolan’s agenda (apart from being anti-choice) is and why she didn’t join Aontu?


WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2020

I’ve puzzled over that myself. On paper she should be a perfect fit. But I think she’s actually economically some way away from PT’s crew and perhaps more socially conservative in other ways. But not sure.


4. sonofstan - February 27, 2020

‘The new groups are/ not concerned/ with what there is to be learnt….’?


5. entdinglichung - February 27, 2020

with all those rural/regional independents, would there be space for a party in Ireland representing rural/farming petty-bourgeois interests or is the agenda of all those people too localist for that?


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