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One big happy family . . . but not for much longer


NOW you see them, soon you won't. It was the Last Picture Show on the plinth of Leinster House yesterday when the Fianna Fail parliamentary party gathered for the traditional 'family photo' with new leader Micheal Martin.

Kerry TD John O'Donoghue surveyed the rows of troops and wisecracked: "It's a bit like 'Waltzing Matilda'," referring to the song about the ill-fated Battle of Gallipoli in World War One.

However, not all of the Soldiers of Destiny massed around their new general for the photocall are readying themselves for the bloody battle of the general election.

For so far, a total of 17 of Fianna Fail's sitting deputies have raised the white flag of retirement. And there is continuing speculation over the future of the Taoiseach.

But they put on a brave face for the cameras. Former party leader Brian Cowen sat between his new leader Micheal and Eamon O Cuiv.

The message was clear -- they're one big happy family. But they'll be a far smaller clan after the votes are counted.

Irish Independent