Monday 18 December 2017

Lenihan's coup predicament echoes through history

There is a long tradition of finance ministers being too busy for leadership battles, says John-Paul McCarthy

SUCH was the political tumult last week that some commentators saw fit to invoke the 1918 General Election as the nearest precedent for what is about to happen to Fianna Fail.

This was the epochal general election that swept John Redmond's Home Rule Party into electoral oblivion.

The hard men amongst the Irish Volunteers used that election as a pretext for starting a shooting war against their neighbours -- James Joyce referred to them in Ulysses as "the genial giants of the Royal Irish Constabulary"-- even though Desmond FitzGerald said that a vote for him was a vote for Parnell.

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