Tuesday 25 September 2018

Martin needs TDs to back his right to a sincere position on the Eighth

Leader of Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin
Leader of Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin
John Downing

John Downing

Local political wars were often Fianna Fáil's greatest stock in trade and made elections fizz. But for all the party's history, its loyal members have avoided national rows and tried to make loyalty to the leader an immutable core value.

Epic battles between constituency rivals, centred on gutsy rows about packed conventions and would-be dastardly efforts to keep one or other potential runner off the ticket, were often less than edifying.

But these "auld rows" also got people talking about politics and often got lethargic voters out to polling stations. They were another part of the reason why Fianna Fáil succeeded so hugely since Éamon de Valera led his supporters into Leinster House back in 1926.

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