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'The Bull' John O'Donoghue considers another Dail run

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Former Taoisigh, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen shake hands before the All-Ireland Football Final in Croke Park yesterday.

Former Taoisigh, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen shake hands before the All-Ireland Football Final in Croke Park yesterday.

John O'Donoghue

John O'Donoghue

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Former Taoisigh, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen shake hands before the All-Ireland Football Final in Croke Park yesterday.

FORMER Ceann Comhairle John O'Donoghue has become the latest member of the Fianna Fail 'old guard' to criticise the party's performance in Opposition.

And the former Cabinet minister has put party chiefs on alert by indicating a potential desire to run in the next general election.

Mr O'Donoghue spoke at length at an internal meeting in his native Kerry about how Fianna Fail needs to be doing better in the opinion polls.

Several of the party's TDs were already left reeling following the intervention earlier this month by Mary Hanafin who said she believes voters are "absolutely not" ready to return Fianna Fail to power.

Now Mr O'Donoghue has moved to remind the party of its continued failure to make inroads in the opinion polls.

His former colleagues Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen were all smiles as they were pictured at Croke Park yesterday.

But sources said that Mr O'Donoghue made an "impassioned address" at a meeting of the constituency organisation in Killarney earlier this month.

The ex-TD specifically cited Fianna Fail's performance in the opinion polls - which has been the source of major discomfort for leader Micheal Martin and senior party figures.

"John gave a frank assessment of how the party is doing.

"He pulled no punches and said the party needs to do better," said one source.

Irish Independent