The new politics is about to be put to the test
The Fianna Fail think-in won't involve party members plotting the demise of the Government, writes Willie O'Dea
Over the next two days, members of the Fianna Fail parliamentary party will gather together in Carlow for their post-summer 'think-in'.
For most Dail parties, the think-in has become an opportunity for TDs and senators to meet in an informal and semi-remote setting and prepare for the upcoming Dail term.
When they started, these think-ins were useful exercises, especially for parties in government. They provided an opportunity for ministers to prepare for the September-December Dail session, with a focus on the Budget, and a venue to hear views and opinions from outside experts. For backbenchers, the absence of advisers and civil servants allowed unfiltered access to ministers.