Sunday 22 January 2017

History frowns on new parties, but it does give lessons

Published 12/06/2015 | 02:30

Lucinda Creighton
Lucinda Creighton

History frowns on new Irish political parties. Ever since the foundation of the independent Irish State they have sprung up like mushrooms and quickly disappeared, usually without anything in the way of "achievements" to mark their passage.

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Some served for short periods in governments of various hues. Most are now forgotten. The Progressive Democrats, who once seemed genuinely promising, are as dead as Clann na Poblachta.

Throughout, Ireland lacked something more or less taken for granted in post-World War Two Western Europe: a large, strong and cohesive social democratic party.

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