Opinion John Downing

Monday 24 July 2017

Strategist who rebuilt Fine Gael at centre of Rehab controversy

Former Rehab Group chief executive Frank Flannery
Former Rehab Group chief executive Frank Flannery
John Downing

John Downing

WHEN TDs and senators arrived at Knockranny Hotel in Westport on November 4, 2002, Enda Kenny presented them with what amounted to their new survival manual.

The 70-page document was called '21st Century Fine Gael' and had been written by Frank Flannery with input from up to a dozen people with different types of expertise.

Enda Kenny had been leader of Fine Gael for barely five months and the party had suffered an electoral meltdown under Michael Noonan the previous May. For the next nine years, Flannery was central among a small group of people who helped plot the slow but inexorable resurrection of Fine Gael – and Enda Kenny listened and eventually prospered politically.

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