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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.

‘Remembrance Wall’ At Glasnevin April 3, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

The Great and The Good were out in force again today in Glasnevin at the unveiling of the ‘Remembrance Wall’ in Glasnevin

The memorial wall bears the names of all those who died in the rebellion 100 years ago, Irish and British, military and civilian, attracting some controversy.

The names are displayed chronologically without distinction between the different categories.

I won’t be out taking a pick axe to it but I do feel uncomfortable at the lack of distinction between victims and how that can be interpreted. To me it’s that those who died fighting for Irish Independence are the same as those who fought against it.
Then the next question is if there are going to be additions to mark the dead in the War of Independence?

Adding insult to injury the Irish title is spelt incorrectly

The wall is titled Éirí Amach na Cásca but the word Éirí meaning Rising appears with a fada on the first i, instead of on the E.

Then we also have Volunteer Andrew Cunningham listed as a civilian.

This Week At Irish Election Literature April 1, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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A Thank You Leaflet from John Lyons of PBP in Dublin Bay North

The Association of Irish Local Government Spring 2016 Newsletter giving details of an interesting survey of Elected Members as well as proposals “for improved terms, conditions and supports for Local Authority Members”

The ever expanding Index of Seanad Election leaflets

The Public Meeting posters haven’t appeared yet ….but we’re heading for another election ! March 31, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

Michael Healy Rae said recently that we’d be heading back to the polls on the 20th of May. I’ve no doubt now that he’s correct, his date may be out by a week or two but we’re heading for another election.
The fuss over a phone call between Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin indicates that no matter what, we are not looking at any cooperation between FF and FG this side of another election.
“I rang You”
“I Texted you first”
“Lets meet tomorrow”
“No Lets meet next week” and on and on……
All this after the whole country wondering why they hadn’t started talking the Monday after the election! Instead they talked to almost everyone they could despite knowing that numbers wise each would need the support or at least the agreement of the other.
There will of course be lengthy talks which will eventually break down, more than likely over Irish Water. It’s all now about optics of who is to blame for the two parties not going in with each other.
I may be wrong but at present there is no way the FF membership will vote for any arrangement with Fine Gael. Whatever happens there is no way FF will let a deal come before the membership otherwise it will be defeated.
They will take their chances of another election and hope to come back with more seats than Fine Gael.
A quick election will of course mean that Fine Gael won’t have a chance to change leader , which given his performance in the media during the previous campaign won’t do Fine Gael any good at all and of course Martin will come out looking even better. Where Martin (on 20 seats) was not really an option as Taoiseach in the recent election, he is now. So we get the added bonus of a campaign asking “Enda Kenny or Micheál Martin for Taoiseach?”.
In a quick election Fianna Fail could continue with their ‘Ireland for All’ fairer Ireland mantra whilst Fine Gael will have to come up with new slogans and a new campaign theme.
Both parties will be targeting the seats of Independents as well as the ones they missed out narrowly on.

1916 and Family History March 30, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

Wbs covered a bit regarding the 1916 relatives here….. On a tangent from that….
I found myself in the pub last Saturday night with three friends. Naturally 1916 was a topic of conversation. Soon two of the lads had phones out comparing the medals that were in their family. One had pictures of his great grandfathers 1916 medal and his grandfathers War of Independence one. The other a War of Independence and another medal which I can’t recall. The gas thing is that I’ve known these two gents thirty plus years and never knew of their families involvement.
Over the evening I heard the family tales of the Rising, a spell in Frongoch, of being interned in Gormanstown during the Civil War. Indeed one of the lads Grandfathers was arrested by a neighbour as he made his way to the Four Courts and by doing so probably saved his life. I’m told there’s a diary/autograph book from Gormanstown in his family which I’m hoping to see in the future and will take a few pics when I do. The same lad is related to Kevin Barry on his mothers side and his parents were at the ceremonies when he and 9 others were reinterred to Glasnevin. It’s funny the legacy some of us are born with. Yet it was really only something he became aware of in recent years. I suppose like the 1916 veteran I knew growing up (It was another friends Grandad and we wondered at the funeral why it was so formal with the tricolour on the coffin etc), it was something generally not talked about. That is what is great about the witness statements and other records available to the public now.
My friend read his relatives Witness statement and said they sounded terribly bitter. Turns out that there was some dispute over the IRA pension he had received.
Regarding 1916 relatives and the current celebrations , my friends uncle was due to arrange tickets for the family for the various events, however despite being relatives they were too late with their applications as all the tickets to the various events had already gone. So they missed out which was an awful pity.
What the centenary has done is got people talking about the Rising and I’m sure my own children aren’t alone in asking if there were any relatives involved in The Rising. It has also led to an interest in the history of the family on both my own and my wifes side. There were Kinsella’s involved in the Rising and some came from where I know relatives were, but with my fathers generation all passed on it would take some study and a decent family tree to find out more. For the moment the only facts we have is Michael Collins being a regular at the Sunday Night card school in my Grandparents house and a Priest relative being wounded in Ferns during the War of Independence.
On a side note , on the day the school had the National Flag was raised and the Proclamation read the daughter of one of my friends bought the 1916 medal to school. It was treated with reverence and brought around and shown in every classroom in the school…. when she arrived home my friend realised that his daughter had taken his medal to celebrate 10 years service in the FCA rather than the 1916 one to school!

This Week At Irish Election Literature March 25, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

The Index of Seanad Election Leaflets

Clann Na Gael 1950’s funds appeal


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