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Fianna Failers keep asking same old question: where did it all go wrong?

Breandan MacSuibhne


After 50 years of hoping for a brighter future, can the party faithful expect anything better under Micheal Martin

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WHO TAKES OVER WHEN THE BIG CHIEF DIES: Eamon de Valera wearing a Native American headdress. In 1919 he was made an honorary chief of the Ojibwe-Chippewa people

WHO TAKES OVER WHEN THE BIG CHIEF DIES: Eamon de Valera wearing a Native American headdress. In 1919 he was made an honorary chief of the Ojibwe-Chippewa people

WHO TAKES OVER WHEN THE BIG CHIEF DIES: Eamon de Valera wearing a Native American headdress. In 1919 he was made an honorary chief of the Ojibwe-Chippewa people

Where did it all go wrong? Over the last half century, supporters of Fianna Fail have had more occasions to ask themselves that question than adherents of other parties.

Some stalwarts asked it in the 1970s, after Jack Lynch had announced, in 1969, that he could no longer stand by and watch nationalists being burned out of their homes by B Specials - and then stood by and watched.

Others asked that same question in the 1980s after Charlie Haughey put the likes of Sean Doherty, Ray Burke and Padraig Flynn into State cars and still others asked it in the 1990s when Albert Reynolds, a brave and brilliant man, squandered everything in an unnecessary row over his attorney general's handling of the extradition of a child-abusing priest.