Fiach Kelly: An impressive turnaround – but party can't be complacent
LAST year, Fianna Fail was on its knees. The party faced its first Christmas since the 2011 general election plagued by doubt.
An aggressive Sinn Fein was dominating the opposition benches in the Dail, and the destroyed former "natural party of government" had yet to carve out its own distinct identity.
Micheal Martin was widely considered to be a caretaker leader, serving time until after the local elections in 2014, when it was assumed he would hand over to a younger TD. The party had sat out the presidential election, an acknowledgement that it was still electorally toxic.