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meanwhile…over at Fine Gael August 2, 2014

Posted by Oireachtas Retort in Crazed nonsense..., Fine Gael, Irish Politics.

– Scene opens in a smokey backroom at Fine Gael HQ. A couple of Young Fine Gael interns joke about booking Phil Hogan’s flight to Papua New Guinea instead of Brussels when two of the party’s senior strategists enter the room –

Well Sean Faughnan, you’ve worked for Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, drafted Fine Gael’s health privatisation plan along side IBRC bagman Alan Dukes, planted the seed of Seanad abolition, worked as James Reilly’s chief adviser during some of the most blatant strokes and political blackguardry in Irish history, fell out with half the health service in the process and now live in an actual 14th century castle. Any other plans?

Terry Prone has suggested we set up a think tank to cover Michael Noonan’s arse. Those stooges at the Sindo have been falling over themselves for Creighton so we might as well head for the source and see what policies Dennis needs doing.

The Reform Alliance published some document didn’t they?

Was only reported as them not forming a party though

Politics is personalities as far as the press is concerned

Dáil canteen ran out of teabags on Mattie McGrath, hilarity ensues

Well even the Irish Times is jaded with MacGill at this stage but Burton has been briefing hacks for three years and I don’t see why we shouldn’t cash in on some of this cuddly shite ahead of the election. Haven’t we been running rings round Labour so far?

And they will continue to blame Sinn Fein of course.


A just society

Just for whom?

Get up the website there

The Collins Institute is a Fine Gael initiative which has been established as an autonomous organisation with its own Board and Director. It is a policy think tank which has been tasked with examining the long-term challenges facing Ireland and suggesting possible policy responses.

“autonomous organisation” ? Has Boyd Barrett taken over or something?

Registered address is still the same as Fine Gael HQ, no sweat.

The building they remortgaged for Gay Mitchell’s presidential campaign?

We don’t talk about that

He lost his deposit!

We don’t talk about that. No one does.

All this think tank stuff does sound a bit New Labour though?

Good enough for the Tories isn’t it?

Fair enough

A truly Just Republic might be established in Ireland in the run-up to 2022,

might? We might launch a space shuttle too like


the centenary of both the founding of the Irish state and the death of Michael Collins

The death of Collins? Seriously? Didn’t the queen bow her head with golden threads and all that. Clinky glasses and the Cork fishmonger.  You can’t be talking about 1922 in 2022.

aye,  but it’s towards the end of a second term.

Varadkar’s Just Republic. Sounds plausible.


That’s what they’re saying now. He is some sort of straight talker.

These are the standards we’re reduced to now.

He is being feted for not lying directly to your face,

Well, he’s good for a quote more than anything else

But really, this Collins thing?

The Institute’s name recognises the crucial role which Collins played in the creation of the Irish state

What, shooting policemen? We can’t be seen to be taking this Sinn Féin threat seriously you know?

and the special position which he occupies in both the history and affections of many in the Fine Gael party.

And I thought we are against these centenaries being “hijacked”?

A key goal of the Institute is to work closely with like-minded institutes and think tanks in other countries, particularly those which are associated with the European People’s Party. All papers published by the Institute are intended for discussion purposes only and do not represent Fine Gael policy.

Discussion purposes.

So we discuss it, write it and then discuss it again in public?

It will be sort of choreographed in the media.

And the EPP? What about yerman in Hungary wanting rid of democracy and Ukraine, or whatever it is now? Didn’t it turn out to be our side behind those snipers?

Bertie is over there on the case I hear

Shot down the wrong plane?

Ah cop on

And fascists in Spain. What about Berlusconi. Is that lecherous old toad still on our team?

Alleged lecherous old toad, he has been cleared now I think. Anyway, we are looking to stay under the arse of our northern allies. Those periphery days are behind us. A bad dream.


Exactly. We have Six Key Principles. Capitalised.

Like a five point plan?

Sort of.

The Collins Institute has identified Six Key Principles which we believe can help support the creation of a truly Just Republic in Ireland. We will issue a series of detailed working papers over the next 12 to 18 months looking at how these principles can best be reflected in public policy in a number of important areas.

12 to 18 months?

We don’t know if Labour will stay the distance yet

Hardly worth their while

Well when you see how easily we can talk their language it’s a wonder they exist at all.

Our starting point is Fine Gael’s Just Society document of 1965 and the three fundamental principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity – or in more modern language Freedom, Equality and Solidarity – which it enshrined.

Shades of Tone here too. Amazing the old stuff you find to taunt Micheál Martin with.

He will hardly be around long enough to see it.

Fraternity has its expiry date with that crowd

While the political right has traditionally championed the idea of freedom and the merits of the market, and the political left the goal of equality and the power of the state,

Hang on now..

We don’t have time

the Just Society insisted on the vital importance of both “freedom and equality” in creating a fairer, more dynamic Ireland. It saw no inherent “conflict between the public and private sectors, for both can stimulate and aid the other.”

Pat Kenny wont like this


The title of Fine Gael’s document – by focusing on the idea of society – also emphasised the importance it attached to the role of social solidarity in a modern democracy. We are also of the view that any Just Republic should build into its architecture the three more modern principles of Sustainability, Accountability and Subsidiarity. The rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger was driven by a range of factors. Some were clearly outside the control of this country. However, the failure of the Tiger was also rooted in a series of domestic social, economic and fiscal policies which were simply unsustainable. A series of policies that were conceived of and implemented by a range of overly centralised and largely unaccountable institutions. It seems clear that a truly Just Republic cannot be established in Ireland unless we learn from the many mistakes of the Celtic Tiger.

This isn’t the reality at all actually but all this learning lessons is  rich when it was us who didn’t bother with the original document. This is more or less opposite of all we stand for.

It’s complicated

But surely we can do better than dragging up something from half a century ago?

RTÉ will love it. And the Unions

Always the unions. I can see O’Connor now.


And most of the approved academics are blueshirts

Are they?

Historians, geographers, political scientists. There is a lot RTÉ fail to disclose

Dangle this Electoral Commission in front of them for another few years

Seal of approval guaranteed

A few shots from the archives on Primetime.  This is Ireland before the Troubles too don’t forget

A chance to start again

Potentially heads off any talk of the proclamation too


A bit of aspiration, vision and fairness will steady the ship against the shinners

Especially in Dublin

Especially in Dublin

Look, even IBEC are calling for an end to austerity these days. How hard can it be

A just society

Just enough to stop people talking about  water charges.

“Remember Spain and Mexico” Take no risks April 17, 2013

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Fine Gael, History.

From Cumann na nGaedhael in 1932 “Mr De Valera’s Policy All along has been Un-Irish and Un-Catholic…”


Which Side Are You On ? February 11, 2013

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Fine Gael.

Found this from 1979, an ad from the Fine Gael Trade Union Group urging Trade Union members all over Ireland to Vote Fine Gael.
Does such a group still exist? … …………….. Are many of the Trade Union Leadership members?


Is there a Socially Liberal wing left in Fine Gael ? November 26, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Fine Gael, Irish Politics.

Was talking to a very unhappy FGer today … unhappy with Austerity? No ….. but unhappy with they way Fine Gael have managed over the last few weeks to portray themselves as one of the last bastions of social conservatism in Ireland.
I may be wrong but in the last few weeks since the Savita tragedy, the supposed ‘Liberal’ wing of Fine Gael has been very thin on the ground in their media appearances and statements. Indeed TCD YFG got short shrift from the party when

they backed a call for the government to bring forward legislation for the X Case and voted for full abortion up to 10 weeks to be allowed in Ireland.

Michelle Mulherin, John Bannon and others have been wheeled out to emphasise Fine Gaels Pro-Life values, yet there doesn’t appear to be many Fine Gael TDs willing to step above the parapet in support of ‘Choice’ or anything remotely divergent from legislating for X. It’s all ‘wait for the expert report’.
In the eighties Fine Gael had a good number of TDs that could have been classed as socially ‘Liberal’, of course it had Alice Glenn and Oliver J Flanagan too but there were a good deal of Socially Liberal TDs.
Are the new generation of Fine Gael TDs almost all economically and Socially to the right?
Over its lifetime, did the PDs gather those economically to the Right and socially liberal, whose previous home would have been Fine Gael?

Fianna Fail the big winners from the Constituency Commission Report June 22, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Irish Politics.

A lot of the initial media reaction to the Constituency Commission report naturally focused on the massive changes in Dublin and focused on individual TDs votes and areas of support being moved. It didn’t really focus on what parties would benefit from it. I did a small piece on the Left TDs and now a bit on the rest.
Looking at the Constituency Commission report the big winners are Fianna Fail. Not neccessarily in the nuances of population shifts from Constituency to Constituency but in the reduction of the number of 3 seaters and unification of the likes of Kerry and Tipperary where they have no seats at all.
Were an election to be held on the figures from 2011 with the new boundaries Fianna Fail could expect to easily pick up seats in the new five seat Kerry and Tipperary constituencies and the new four seat Sligo Leitrim. Its even concieveable that the new five seat Dublin Fingal and Dublin Bay North would return Fianna Fail candidates. The addition of some of the leafier parts of Dublin Central should help to regain a seat in Dublin West. Indeed the addition of a good deal of Foxrock and Cabinteely to Dun Laoghaire may well help Mary Hanafin there.
Where seats have been reduced there is danger of a seat loss in Cork South Central but other reductions such as Cavan-Monaghan, Mayo and Galway East should have no impact on their seat numbers (although the partys TDs may be different)

For Labour outside of Dublin the only TD in peril from the changes would be Colm Keaveney, who in the reduced Galway East will have lost a good bit of his vote. Ciaran Lynch in the reduced Cork South Central is being mentioned as a loser but on 2011 figures he’d be fine. Ditto Alan Kelly in Tipperary who loses some of his base to Offaly but again on 2011 figures he should be okay. That’s not to say that they are safe come the next election.

Its in Dublin though where Labour could suffer badly and again based on 2011 figures and the boundary changes a number will be in trouble. Alex Whites area in Dublin South is now in Dublin South West which already has two Labour TDs. Then in the reduced Dublin South Central Eric Byrne or Michael Conagahan could be in danger and possibly two out of Sean Kenny, Tommy Broughan and Aodhan O’Riordan in the new Dublin Bay North. Even Joe Costello in Dublin Central may have lost a good deal of his vote. Again that’s all before we even get to the next election where Constituency Commission or No Constituency Commission Labour will lose seats.

For Fine Gael the report doesn’t make great reading either.  On 2011 figures the changes would result in seat losses in Cavan-Monaghan, Mayo with a number of places like Kerry, Tipperary, Cork South Central, Galway East, Roscommon-Galway also likely to have reduced numbers of Fine Gael TDs.

In Dublin the changes in Dublin Central would put Paschal Donohoe in danger , they probably would have held the two seats they currently hold in Dublin NC and Dublin NE in the new Dublin Bay North but Catherine Byrne may have been in trouble in a reduced Dublin South Central and at least one of the three TDs elected for Dublin South would be gone.

As for Sinn Fein, well on the 2011 results it makes little impact on the seats they actually won. The only real difference being that Larry O’Toole may have been elected in the five seat Dublin Bay North.

The Greens wont be thrilled with Dublin South butchered and with Dun Laoghaire in effect down to 3 their chances in those places of a seat are all but gone. Dublin Bay South could be an outside bet with the new Dublin Fingal a decent bet were Trevor Sargent to run.

As for the other Independent TDs not covered already. Stephen Donnelly and Mick Wallaces Wicklow and Wexford are pretty much the same. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan should be okay, and oddly enough was downprotesting with Turf Cutters in the part of East Galway that is now in his constituency the night before the report came out.
Shane Ross should be OK in a 3 seat Dublin Rathdown although you never know. Noel Grealish seems to get in no matter what he does. In Kerry Michael Healy Rae at the very South of the constituency and Tom Fleming may well struggle. With surely 1 FF, 1 SF , 1 Labour and at least 1 FG seat its hard to see either getting in.
In Tipperary Michael Lowry will surely sail home but Mattie McGrath (Like Seamus Healy) will be vulnerable.

The Donnybrook Consensus (or: “April Fool”?) April 1, 2012

Posted by Tomboktu in Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Ireland, media, Media and Journalism.

I switched off Marian Funincane’s programme on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning. She had four people on her opening panel: a Fine Gael TD, a former Fianna Fáil minister, a business correspondent from Independent Newspapers (semi-retired), and a business man.

I wonder how they are going to get a balanced discussion out of that mix. How does that selection of four get even near the diversity of experience, opinion and situation of the population RTÉ is meant to serve?

It’s not as if there are no choices available to RTÉ:

  • Not one trade unionist;
  • not one unemployed person;
  • not one person from an organisation representing unemployed people;
  • nobody from the campaign against the household charge;
  • nobody — campaigner or academic — opposed to delaying rather than cancelling the promissory notes;
  • nobody from a think tank or research group (like the Nevin Institute or TASC or the UCD School of Social Justice or the Privatisation and PPPs (P4) Research Group at UL …);
  • nobody from any of the community based organistions campaigning against austerity or for an end to poverty — the Ballyhea protest, the Kilbarrick CDP, St Michael’s Estate, Rialto Residents … ;
  • nobody from an NGO working to change Ireland like Barnardos or the EAPN or Social Justice Ireland or Claiming Our Future or the Community Workers Co-operative or Focus Ireland.

There are more than a handful of unemployed people available. Heck, more people are on the live register (439,589 in January 2012) than gave Fianna Fáil a first preference in the general election a year ago (387,358).

I know it’s April 1, but, RTÉ, you’re not being funny when you do that.

That Gay Mitchell vote October 30, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Fine Gael, Irish Politics, Uncategorized.
Tags: ,

Amidst Sean Gallaghers collapse and Michael Ds victory , it was a very very bad day for Fine Gael. A poor performance in Dublin West was overshadowed by a shocking performance by Gay Mitchell. Finishing by a distance in fourth place, he was even outpolled by Dana and Mary Davis in a number of constituencies.
On a regional level he was outpolled by David Norris in Dublin and the rest of Leinster. The only constituency he polled in double figures was in his native Dublin South Central where he got 12.1% of the vote.
In a dirty campaign Mitchell had few if any skeletons in his closet. Still it was plainly a woeful candidate selection, seen by many as TDs and Senators giving one in the eye to their leader and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
There’s the poor show and possibly more importantly there is the money. No expenses. Not a penny back on whatever Fine Gael spent on the campaign (quoted by one paper as possibly €700,000) , and it must have been a small fortune. Mitchell produced an array of leaflets , Posters, T-Shirts and so on. There were Mitchell buses , Billboards, ads in National and Local media.
I was surprised at one of the main themes of the Mitchell campaign, which was the candidates background. Its rare in election material or in campaigns that candidates will focus on hardship growing up as Mitchell did. So much so that he was lampooned on radio skits along the Monty Pythonesque lines of “We were lucky to have shoes”.
Whilst the final Televised debate pulled the rug from under Sean Gallagher, the first one spelt the end of Mitchells campaign. He appeared angry and confrontational as he attacked Martin McGuinness. In effect he carried on in a most unpresidential manner.
The strange thing is that he didn’t need to attack McGuinness, none of the other candidates really did, the media were going to do that and there were also a number of incidents during the campaign where McGuinness was confronted by his past.
I’ve been amused listening to FG friends giving out about these Parliamentary Party rebels and how they cost the party a fortune by backing Mitchell …. then finding out that these FG friends voted for Michael D. !
We are told that Presidential Elections are different and of course they are , but a Fine Gael candidate finishing on 6.4% shows that party loyalty isn’t once what it was.
I suspect even Avril Doyle never mind Pat Cox or Mairead McGuinness would have fared far better. They would have at least got some money back.

Left Archive: The Just Society [version], Fine Gael, 1965. July 11, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Fine Gael, Irish Left Online Document Archive.

To download the file please click on the following link: Just-Society-1965

Some time back the CLR sent out an appeal for a copy of this document to scan because it wasn’t available on the internet, as far as could be judged. We’re therefore indebted to two people for forwarding documents relating to the above. Firstly PM who forwarded the response in the Irish Times to the program as published. Some of the information from that will be posted up in the near future. Secondly Conor McCabe who last week sent the document above to the Archive.

There is a question as to whether this should be in the archive at all. Fine Gael is not a left wing party as the term is generally understood, and their position – for example in respect of their membership of international political associations – is with European Christian Democracy. And yet this document written by Declan Costello and …. has taken on a rhetorical life as a strongly progressive, even left wing artifact. However it is true that there was a strand within Fine Gael which self-identified with the term ‘social democrat’ and in doing so pointed to the Just Society as the foundation stone of their political approach. So in that sense it seems useful to include it even as and indication of what they considered social democracy to be.

Whether this identification is accurate is left to readers to decide. Conor McCabe makes the following point:

After 16 pages of chest-beating about fairness and equality – a game that is still played today – Fine Gael finally produces its solution regarding social investment:

“We propose to establish, as part of the machinery of planning, a social commission representative of the government, local authorities, voluntary charitable organisations, educational and health authorities whose functions will be to assess the social investment needs for the whole country, and to draw up and integrate plans to meet them.” (p.17)

Voluntary charitable organisations? Educational and health authorities? This is 1965. What Fine Gael is talking about here is the Catholic Church. The plan put forward was one which involved government sitting down with the Catholic church and working out the social investment needs of the State.

There is some further information here on the genesis of the document.

Garret Fitzgerald … May 19, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Fine Gael.
Tags: ,

Sad to hear the death of Garret Fitzgerald. The Garret vs Charlie debate was one the the factors that began my interest in politics and as a twelve year old start to collect political ephemera.
His politics may not have been the most popular in these parts but he was very much part of the political scene in those barren years of the 80’s where many of our political opinions were formed.
The RTE obituary

A selection of pieces about Garret Fitzgerald from the Village and Magill archives

Some leaflets from his years leading Fine Gael.

The February 1982 General Election

The November 1982 General Election

The 1987 General Election

And finally a 1992 letter of retirement to constituents

Lamposts Beware …… January 15, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Fine Gael.

… The above is available on the “Download free poster” link on the FG Website.

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