Sunday 24 September 2017


John Downing

John Downing

PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS 1985-2009: Founded by former Fianna Fáil members Des O'Malley and Mary Harney. Deeply opposed to Charlie Haughey but shared government with him from 1989 in FF's first ever coalition. Did huge damage to Fine Gael. Had many highs and lows. But spent over half its existence in government and left a mark on Irish life.

CLANN NA TALMHAN 1939-1965: Founded by Michael Donnellan to defend rural people's interests and was strongest in Mayo, Galway and Roscommon where it damaged Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Leaders served in inter-party governments 1948-51 and 1954-57.

CLANN NA POBLACHTA 1946-1965: Founded by Seán MacBride and other ex-IRA activists to tackle partition and pursue social reform. MacBride was external affairs minister in 1948-51 inter-party government. Noel Browne was controversial health minister who ran into controversy over the Mother and Child Scheme.

Irish Independent

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