Monday 23 January 2017

Maybe it's time for Fine Fáil - or Fianna Gael

Published 09/04/2016 | 02:30

Micheál Martin and Enda Kenny
Micheál Martin and Enda Kenny
Irish politics has for too long revolved around the opposing views that backed Éamon de Valera (pictured) and Michael Collins
Michael Collins Photo: Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI collection

Here's one difference between a Fine Gael minister and a Fianna Fáil minister. The Fianna Fáiler generally sat in the front seat of the State car beside the driver - the Fine Gaeler more usually sat behind the chauffeur.

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That was among the plethora of half-joking pieces of advice given the Green Party politicians when they coalesced with Fianna Fáil back in summer 2007.

Trying to identify differences between the two big beasts of Irish politics - with us since the State's foundation - is as elusive as it is old. Back in 2002 then Fianna Fáil Arts and Tourism Minister John O'Donoghue, offered this writer the following summation: "Them that know don't need to ask - and them that ask will never know."

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