We, and democracy, need a rejuvenated Fianna Fail
At some point, we must start seeing the party as a potential future government, writes Eamon Delaney
THE presidential contest may suddenly seem like a distant memory, but there are two very important conclusions to be drawn from it. One is that the big vote for Sean Gallagher shows there are still lots of unspecified Fianna Fail voters out there, who will drift towards a candidate who shares their political DNA. There are also lots of other voters out there who are not tied down to any brand, but that's another story.
However, the support for Gallagher -- regular guy, taciturn and former FF operative -- shows there are still many who do not associate FF exclusively with the mythical Galway tent.
And this is the second conclusion of the presidential contest. We also have to get over the idea that having been a member of FF is like having been part of the Ku Klux Klan. It flies in the face of the reality of the former dominance of the party and its role in Irish life and society. Who do we think voted for FF in three successive elections? The vote for Gallagher is a sign that there are still a lot of regular people out there -- (former) breakfast roll men, small entrepreneurs, struggling mothers and the coping classes -- whose voices are not being heard and whom a rejuvenated and detoxified FF could ably represent.