Sunday 26 February 2017

If you turn a charity into a business don't be surprised if it acts like one

Frank Flannery is not the problem with the charitable sector, he's just a symptom of a much larger malaise

Gene Kerrigan

Gene Kerrigan

Phil Hogan and Frank Flannery in July 2012
Phil Hogan and Frank Flannery in July 2012

There are few more well-connected or highly respected people in this country than Frank Flannery. From the late Seventies he was at Garret FitzGerald's side, seeking to modernise Fine Gael. FitzGerald's liberal rhetoric attracted women and the young, promising a new Fine Gael that championed change.

It didn't last long, but it briefly offered an alternative to Haugheyite duplicity.

Fine Gael back then was not so much a party as a collection of old TDs. Barons with local fiefdoms, they protected their turf and obliterated any rival with the cheek to suggest newfangled notions of change. Flannery and his backroom team isolated and undermined such dinosaurs, and eventually they were replaced by people more in tune with the times.

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