Tuesday 6 December 2016

Martin's solo run left his party open to ridicule

Fianna Fail needs to get its act together if it is to have any future as a political entity, writes Celia Larkin

Published 28/08/2011 | 05:00

HIS face bears no resemblance. His style of oratory is in complete contrast. His nocturnal socialising habits are the polar opposite to Brian Cowen's, yet Micheal Martin seems to have caught the malaise of his predecessor. His apparent lack of consultation with the parliamentary party on the issue of presidential nominations and support shows a remarkable similarity to the behaviour of Mr Cowen and his lack of communication with party and public alike in the dying days of the last government.

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Mr Martin would do well to remember that President of Ireland is not a political party position; it is a position that can be supported by a political party. As leader of Fianna Fail, pledging party support to an independent without first consulting with the elected members of the party displayed an arrogant disregard for his parliamentary party and elected members of the national organisation.

If there is one thing the Fianna Fail organisation needs at present, it is good channels of communication with the leader. Given the level of speculation surrounding the presidential nominations, to leave the membership in the dark with regard to the official party line only contributed further to the image of disarray projected by its leadership prior to the last election. A definitive decision should have been taken weeks ago.

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