Opinion Columnists

Wednesday 14 November 2018

TDs within Martin's own party represent the greatest threat

Disillusioned TDs on the backbenches feel excluded and isolated from decision-making, writes Philip Ryan

Shuffled pack: Dara Calleary is deputy leader and policy director
Shuffled pack: Dara Calleary is deputy leader and policy director
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin's reshuffle has done nothing to quell dissent among disillusioned backbenchers who feel isolated by the party's senior ranks.

First-time TDs and longstanding critics of Martin's top-down management style are growing increasingly frustrated at being excluded from the decision-making process.

The damaging split in Fianna Fail over the forthcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution for many underpins deeper problems in the party. For others it is seen as a springboard for the next leader of the party, whoever that may be. Martin's reshuffle gave the impression of a new dawn, but all is not well in Fianna Fail. One Fianna Fail TD last week said he had not seen such internal tension since the dying days of Taoiseach Brian Cowen's administration.

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