Saturday 24 March 2018

John Drennan: Funeral of Fianna Fail's lost leader mirrors party's demise

The tragedy for Fianna Fail, and possibly the nation, is that Lenihan was its brightest hope, says John Drennan

There was something Mediterranean about the intense light that filtered through the blossom-adorned lanes that led to the quiet, almost lost, St Mochta's church last Monday. As swallows flitted out of the balmy sky the sensation of being in some distant Italian village which would be perfect for The Godfather was accelerated by the Fianna Fail guard of honour.

Looking at the weather-beaten, dusty figures it was eerily similar to the sort of scenes we associate with the funeral of a once powerful Mafia Don. Fianna Fail may once have been the Irish equivalent of the enclosed world of the Corleones but on Monday, as its legion of the rearguard shuffled towards the tricolour-covered coffin, it resembled a Mafia famiglia whose strength has been attenuated by time, the cruelty of fate and the debilitating consequences of old sins.

The party and the people may once have been mirror images, but the marriage has been irrevocably annulled by our infamous bailout.

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