Monday 23 January 2017

Our four pivotal institutions are badly in need of a revamp

Published 04/07/2015 | 02:30

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin

One of the greatest pieces of writing dealing with the decline and the end of glory days is Lord Tennyson’s ‘Ulysses’.

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In it, an old king sitting on his throne reminisces about times past and speculates about making one last voyage, rather than rusting unburnished before the end. There are four institutions in Ireland at the moment who are in the sphere of decline – Fianna Fáil, the Catholic Church, Gaelic football and the Irish language – who each, like Tennyson’s poem, are not entirely without hope.

Fianna Fáil, the great catch-all party, lost its soul along the way, forgot its roots, and is now just a shadow. It needs to do two things urgently: bring more women into the party and win back Dublin. Without addressing both of these issues they will fade away.

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