Monday 19 March 2018

Revealed: The two 'secret' reports into FG's election disaster

Enda Kenny with Danny Healy Rae. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Enda Kenny with Danny Healy Rae. Picture; Gerry Mooney

Niall O'Connor and Kevin Doyle

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has signed off on Fine Gael’s two ‘secret’ reports into its General Election disaster – over seven months since the polls themselves.

The two reports have been obtained by and can be seen here:

There has been much controversy surrounding the reports amid claims they were kept "secret" for too long.

The first report, carried out by Dr Marion Coy, found Fine Gael struggled with everything from timekeeping to communications.

She suggests that the party had a lack vision going into the election and a lack of internal debate allowed “some self-appointed source of authority” control events.

Fine Gael was not able to quickly respond to national sentiment, Ms Coy says, while recommending the “urgent” appointment of a new Director of Policy.

She also advises that the party should set up a new Steering Group led by the Taoiseach to oversee a major overhaul of their organisation.

“Future electoral strategy and planning must be conducted in a more inclusive manner and take into account the failures in vision, empathy, planning, tactical positioning, communication, campaigning and responsiveness identified in the 2016 campaign,” her report says.

The second report was conducted by an internal group of TDs and senators including Kate O’Connell, Alan Farrell, Maria Bailey, Peter Burke, Patrick O’Donovan and Maura Hopkins.

It calls for the establishment of a “Pool of Knowledge” network that members and ex-members to “contribute pertinent information and serve as a resource to the party.”

The document also says all meetings by the Taoiseach and ministers should be well-publicised in advance.

The report by TDs says FINE Gael should “avoid negative campaigning” and focus on its own “strengths” rather than the weaknesses of other parties.

The report also calls for a different approach to dealing with the media.

And it also recommended that speakers appearing on behalf of the party should be “well enough briefed so they can be “more relaxed and appear less stage managed.”

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