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Lesser spotted anniversaries July 28, 2013

Posted by Oireachtas Retort in Uncategorized.

Today marks 80 years since Eoin O’Duffy became leader of the Army Comrades Association. Addressing matters sartorial on his elevation, the General announced


This new Blueshirt constitution.


Patriotic realism is probably not something we associate with the 1930s.

And the pledge


We are almost lead to believe it never went away with some most of hyperbole around the Seanad, abortion and the “ruthless” despotism of  “dictatorial” Enda.  Still, only opposition Parties have a past these days.

Much appraisal of the Blueshirt legacy has sought to present them as a bit harmless. Local response away from the worst excesses of the continent. Indeed we could argue much of the agenda was redundant and well catered for in the Free State and long after, in one way or another, but as pointed out by Brian Hanley on – the excellent – Near FM History Show, the popular image of photos like below hold far too much potential in hindsight and are set to outlive any revision.

Though contemporary efforts hold their own weight


But it is interesting to look back on the seductive echoes from one crisis to another.


In 2013 we have, so far, avoided the organised far-right politics gaining legs elsewhere. Certainly in it’s more familiar clothes but business as usual is hardly looking much better, terrifying in a lot of ways and the crisis isn’t going anywhere soon. European elections next year should be a useful barometer and there is much happening at national level across the continent.

Across the Irish Sea there was an interesting conference  last month. Many seasoned watchers put the British Far Right at a bit of a watershed and wonder if UKIP is the vehicle. It’s quite amazing when you see the weekly horror stories that still so many are convinced the Tories aren’t going far enough.

At home. Despite everything, I would still be sceptical of the chances for Ganley and whatever circus he cobbles together next year.

Change is coming… and going July 8, 2013

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Still a bit of life in my cursed photograph it seems.

Enda proved too tough a nut but the clock is ticking for you Leo.

That Gay Mitchell vote October 30, 2011

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

From the General Election Campaign I give you …… July 20, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Ireland, Irish Politics.
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Will their Special Needs Assistants be cut?

This Week At The Irish Election Literature Blog July 8, 2011

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Starting off this week with The Letter sent by Dr James Reilly to the “People of Roscommon” with assurances over Roscommon Hospital.

Continuing the Fine Gael theme with some of their slogans from this years election.

also from this years election, Fine Gael weren’t the only ones with a ‘Five Point Plan’ Independent Michael Ryan had one too

On then to last weekend and a leaflet from the Rally for Choice which took place at the same time as The Rally for Life

Finally from 2010 a leaflet from the Communist Party of Ireland that “There is an alternative” to  “A failed system and a failed strategy by a bankrupt Government”.

Garret Fitzgerald … May 19, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Fine Gael.
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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

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