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A Map of Irish Election Leaflets May 27, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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Have been working on this for a little while and it’s still a work in progress. There’s a few places to add yet .
In time I’m going to see if I can figure out a way of doing a map of material for a variety of Left Wing Parties.

The Mother, Baby and Abortion Related Political Ephemera May 19, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Abortion, Irish Politics.
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One of the side effects of having the Political Ephemera site and collection is regular contacts from students looking for material, examples of something or simply asking questions about a certain Election or Referendum. One recent one was to do with the image of the Mother and Baby in Abortion related material. It got me thinking about how the Mother wasn’t initially a central part of the Debate……..

Prior to the 1983 Referendum, there was huge pressure from Pro-Life groups to have a Referendum. Here for example is a question about abortion from a 1981 Fianna Fail canvassers guide. Not a word about the Mother ..
A simplistic motion from the 1981 Fine Gael Ard Fheis (which was like many political events of the time picketed by Pro Life campaigners with hand made signs), again showing the less than sophisticated level of debate around the issue at the time….
Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 12.02.18
A picture from a rally prior to the 1983 Abortion Referendum …note the collection boxes in the picture too.
When the 1983 Referendum took place the Mother wasn’t mentioned at all, certainly in Political leaflets and posters that I saw at the time. Indeed here’s a letter comparing support for Abortion to support for the IRA.

The Referendum was focused mainly on the baby and foetus.Little or nothing about the Mother. Like the below sticker.
That said , The No Campaign saw it as a far wider issue as this “Men Can’t Get Pregnant, Let Women Decide” poster shows.

Indeed during the 1983 debate and beyond I heard many people wondering why ‘girls’ didn’t just give the baby up for Adoption.
It was really only the X-Case that led to the Mother being part of the Abortion debate.For the first time the health of a pregnant Mother entered the debate. The only Pro Choice leaflet I have from that with a picture of a Mother and Child is one from Democratic Left. Given the Referendum was on Information, The Right to Travel and Abortion, It’s a Mother and her teenage daughter rather than an image of a mother and baby or a a pregnant mother.


A Labour Leadership contest May 10, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

With Joan Burton expected to step down today…What a choice they have!
It appears to be Sean Sherlock or Alan Kelly. With the Parliamentary Party shorn of any real Left Wing choices (like Labour in the UK had with Corbyn) it really is a tough job for whoever gets it.
Where do you start? They will be almost irrelevant in the Dail and surely next time around we won’t see Joan Burton (67), Jan O’Sullivan (65) and possibly Brendan Howlin (60) , Brendan Ryan (63) and even Willie Penrose (59). They should get a number of new Councillors elected in 2019 but if there is a General Election before that then they could end up with even less than the current 7 that they hold. There will be retirements and Penrose could struggle, indeed Sherlock is probably the safest of the lot.
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin , Ged Nash, Kevin Humphreys would be in with a chance but hard to see too many other places that you could currently say Labour are in with a decent shout of a seat.
There is a possibility too that a change in leadership in Sinn Fein and Fine Gael will dampen any prospects of a Labour recovery.
As an aside I was watching the Assembly Election coverage and most of the Northern Sinn Fein names were unfamiliar to me. Adams and McGuinness were household names all over the Island and beyond. It’s going to be very difficult for them to chose a new leader that resonates in both parts of the Island. Mary Lou is probably the only one that would be able to carry it off. A Sinn Fein led by Mary Lou would be a slightly different beast than one led by Adams. I’m sure the media could dig up different lines of attack but I think she has the potential to further damage Labour.

The Croke Park Hours Threat May 6, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

According to this on the RTE site

Secondary teachers could face compulsory redundancy, an increment freeze and lose out on up to €31,000 by 2020 if they vote to cease performing an extra 33 hours a year introduced under the Croke Park Agreement, according to the Department of Education and Skills.

You can find the details on the Department of Education and Skills site here

The Croke Park agreement was made post crash and any teacher will tell you that the extra 33 hours are the most wasteful use of time imaginable. There’s a guide to what they can be used for here.

It should beggar belief that a Government could carry out the threats listed.

This Week At Irish Election Literature May 6, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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The Above is from 1997, interesting how one party in particular forgot about their pledge for group water schemes.

“Time For Our Truth” A Leaflet From The Ballymurphy Massacre Committee

A Piece on the revamped Fine Gael Website from the 1999 Fine Gael Ard Fheis Souvenir booklet. (It was getting “over 400 hits a day” !)

The Fine Gael Leadership Question … May 1, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

Whilst there was severe disquiet in FF at the thought of going into Partnership with FG, the agreed arrangement is causing much joy at the discomfort of FG especially regarding the deal on water.
Leo snipes and FF people are majorly offended! Yet FF demanded what they wanted such is the caretaker Taoiseachs’ desire for a historical second term.
Talking to various FG friends over the past few days and the sense of betrayal they feel from the Party leadership and it’s negotiating team is immense.
I was surprised at the literal hatred that they had for Enda Kenny and anyone associated with him. One described Kenny as ‘a poor man’s Haughey’… Kenny stood for nothing and lacked the intelligence of Haughey.
It’s fairly plain now that once Kenny is back as a real Taoiseach and Ministerial and other posts handed out then a leadership challenge will be mounted. Yet who takes over? All of the leading contenders have baggage one way or another.
Simon Coveney is tainted, it was he who originally mentioned doing a deal on Water.
Frances Fitzgerald might have a chance but she has overseen an out of control gangland feud in Dublin , Garda morale is on the floor, Rural Crime is an issue and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of things that have gone awry in Justice.
Micheal Noonan, Richard Bruton , Charlie Flanagan are all yesterday’s men.
Heather Humphreys is discredited from the McNulty affair.
Paschal Donohoe is overseeing Luas strikes and well I couldn’t see him as leadership material.
Leo Varadkar isn’t exactly setting the world alight in Health and isn’t the most popular of Ministers outside Dublin (although FG grassroots love him).
One name came up as a potential leader a number of times and that was Regina Doherty. In a way for FG to prosper it will have to skip members of the previous cabinet…. and once you skip them there’s precious little left.
We might get a signal as to who is to launch a leadership challenge when the ministerial posts are being dished out. ..if someone refuses to take a Ministry to remain untainted by Kenny. A senior person who can be “The Soul of the Party” from the backbenches.

All the while I think any political advantage FF thought that they had got has been disappated. Their stunt on water has pissed off those in favour of charges and those against charges see through it as a stunt by FF. We’ll see what Indos jump on board and how it all plays out but to many despite protestations of FF it’s seen as an FF/FG Coalition.

Last its The Independents April 22, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

Should a FF/FG deal fall into place (and I actually think it’s unlikely… FG could offer FF the full FF Manifesto and they still would have doubts about supporting them). For many in FF even doing a deal with FG is an anathema to them. It also sets a precedent of agreement between the parties at a National level. I also think that after the next election should FF be larger than FG and no other Government option available it’s likely that FG will look for a coalition/partnership deal rather than the type of deal FF are offering at the moment.

Even were the deal to fall into place, I can’t see Labour , The Greens or any other party wanting to be formally involved. (Were the Greens involved it would leave in effect 3 Gov TDs and one half in half out FFer in Dublin Bay South)…. Yes there will be a lot of ‘responsible’ and ‘constructive’ voices and votes from the opposition benches but I doubt they would involve themselves in Government. Which of course having somehow done a deal with FF leaves FG looking to bag a number of Independents.
The focus on The Independents will suit almost all the parties as the Independents will now be the ones that force an election if they don’t come on board. They can be cast as anti everything and not willing to “Step up to the plate” when needed.
Fine Gael appear to have two already lined up in Michael Lowry and Katherine Zappone. Ideally though they would need another 8. It seems that they will have to get them from this pool.

Independents Alliance
Michael Fitzmaurice, Shane Ross, John Halligan, Sean Canney, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran ,Finian McGrath

‘Rural five’
Dr Michael Harty, Denis Naughten ,Michael Collins ,Noel Grealish ,Mattie McGrath

Then we have Maureen O’Sullivan and the Brothers Healy-Rae.

What though will be on offer? In this world of ‘New Politics’ we are told that there won’t be any deals done with the Independents. Will many want to be Ministers (and being away from their constituency more often ). ?
So for all their bluster about Government formation the two Healy-Raes won’t touch Government. John Halligan won’t get the Cardiac unit in Waterford.Another one who was prominent calling for a Government was Mattie McGrath, I can’t see him joining up either.
There is of course going to be a game of political chicken from the Independents. They will surely all want to be the last part of the jigsaw, last in may get the best deal.
Denis Naughten was on Prime Time last night talking generalities re ‘Rural Ireland’ and having no preconditions. He was asked would he demand a Ministerial post?
So who would want a Ministerial position and how many would they get? Shane Ross surely, Denis Naughten, Dr Harty may want a Junior Ministry in Health with responsibility for Rural Doctors, Michael Fitzmaurice will want to be there, Finian McGrath and Maureen O’Sullivan probably would too. Katherine Zappone will be wanting a position also. Any others?
Once Ministries are doled out… what could tie the rest of the Independents to the Government? Reopen a few rural Garda Stations? Flood prevention measures for Bandon, Athlone etc to be fast tracked?
It’s going to be tough to cobble all that together and there will be some amount of brinkmanship. Of the above list of Independents quite a few would be in danger though if another election was called…… I wonder are many hoping that FF/FG can’t agree a deal?..

I wonder too if any arrangement with Independents will have to be passed by Fianna Fail.

This Week At Irish Election Literature April 22, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.


The above is from the 1979 European Elections

A Prisoners Aid Committee Letter for a Day of Solidarity with Irish Political Prisoners to be held on the 26th of November 1978.

From Sinn Fein in The Assembly Elections A “5 Point Pledge” (as opposed to a “5 Point Plan”) leaflet

and finally a 1981 issue of the FF magazine “Iris Fianna Fail” to mark the Partys 50th Ard Fheis

This Week At Irish Election Literature April 8, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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From the 1932 General Election a Fianna Fail poster “We Owe England Nothing” … Vote Fianna Fail

leaflet from The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association “Army and RUC Harassment ..The Answers”

The non university Panel leaflets have started to come in (Seanad Leaflet index here)

among them…..
A Leaflet from Thomas McEllistrim (Young Tommy Mac) of Fianna Fail who is running for the Seanad on the Industrial & Commercial Panel.

A Leaflet from Jonathan Irwin of The Jack & Jill Foundation who is running for the Seanad on The Administrative Panel

An Offer Made …. April 6, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

Enda Kenny offers Micheál Martin full and equal partnership in Government
So an outline of an offer has been made by Fine Gael to Fianna Fail.

The Irish Times understands Mr Kenny proposed a Government compiled of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and a number of Independent TDs.

Clever move by Kenny. Fine Gael are seen to have made a very reasonable offer , certainly one that any party interested in Government should be considering.
By offering a “full and equal partnership” I would assume that a rotating Taoiseach is on the table.
By Including a number of Independent TD’s ,which I assume are the rural five as opposed to the Ross gang, the argument of Independents being only concerned with in local politics can be discounted. I had assumed that those within FF were hoping that the argument of Independents bringing instability would drive voters back into the arms of FF were there to be a second election.
Including Independents also dilutes , if only slightly , going in with FG and the deal could be sold as a National Government.

It’s early days yet and I’m sure a multitude of policy differences will emerge , It could be the best deal ever and it would still be a hard sell for Micheál Martin to have passed at a special Ard Fheis. Surely though, despite their hatred towards Fine Gael, would they really vote against having an FF Taoiseach during the next Government?
….. it all really boils down to the question … Do the Fianna Fail membership hate Fine Gael more than the opportunity to have an FF Taoiseach?

FF are on the back foot now and were there an election… they are now in prime position to get most of the blame.


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