Saturday 24 June 2017

Expect a lot of ire from Fianna Fail grassroots about leaks from the top echelons

Ahead of next week's Fianna Fail ard fheis, Willie O'Dea says the party faithful want to see less infighting and more confronting of opponents

Enda Kenny promised the people back in 2011 that his election as Taoiseach would herald an era of New Politics. It hasn't.
Enda Kenny promised the people back in 2011 that his election as Taoiseach would herald an era of New Politics. It hasn't.

Willie O'Dea

Next weekend, thousands of Fianna Fail delegates from across the country will gather together in the RDS for what is still one of the biggest political events on the island. While there is always a major social side to these gatherings, I strongly suspect next weekend's assembly will be one of the most serious and intensely purposeful ard fheiseanna of my political career.

The party has had to go through a lot of political buffeting in recent weeks, though none of it, mercifully, on the scale of the battering we endured back in 2010/2011. Regrettably, much of it has been self-inflicted, courtesy of some unhelpful and frequently ill-informed comments from unattributed "senior sources".

Though I don't expect we will have a "you can have Boland, but you can't have Fianna Fail" moment, I do expect to see a lot of grassroots members expressing their anger at the recent leaks from the upper echelons of the party. They want us - all of us - taking the battle to the Government and Sinn Fein, not to each other. They want to see us talking to the country about how we can build future prosperity and a fairer society, not talking to political correspondents about personal gripes and rivalries.

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