Wednesday 21 February 2018

Old guard's return forces Fianna Fail to reflect on some uncomfortable home truths

John Downing

John Downing

FIONA O'Loughlin is a very unlikely Fianna Fail rebel. But the usually loyal Kildare Fianna Fail councillor's outspoken comments reflect a lingering annoyance within and outside Fianna Fail – despite the progress made since Micheal Martin took over as leader in January 2011. Ms O'Loughlin's objections to the return of another FF veteran, Sean Power, and the manner in which it was handled by party headquarters, raise uncomfortable truths for the party.

Almost 40 months since the party was given an electoral drubbing even bigger than that given the Irish Parliamentary Party in 1918, Fianna Fail remains largely unforgiven.

Fairly or unfairly, Fianna Fail's 14-year stint in power under Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen is associated with the country's financial disaster, which is still dogging the Irish people.

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