Monday 20 January 2020

Ideal time for FF to clean up its act

Madam -- For me Fianna Fail was a way I could continue my national service after I left the Defence Forces. I knew nothing of politics, but read that FF was a party that supposedly represented everyone on this island, not just the working classes, or the rich, or only the middle classes, but everyone.

The idea being that if you could unite all the people of Ireland, regardless of background, behind a common purpose of creating a strong nation built on solid social principles such as equality, liberty and opportunity, that not only would the economic benefits flow from that, but so too would the success of Ireland and its people. I liked that idea. There are only four and a half million of us after all, but for that idea to succeed you need to promote values, not just policy. The minute we could no longer speak credibly about values, that's when that vision was lost and that rot began in the Eighties.

For those who say FF cannot change, honestly, if I felt that I would leave myself. The hammering FF got in last year's election showed what kind of politics people do not want and FF came to represent all of it. That, coupled with the publication of the Mahon report, has given a remarkable opportunity for FF to clean up its act and reorganise based on sound principles, high moral standards, new radical but constructive ideas, new blood and, most importantly, a chance to begin to put country before party.

I don't subscribe to the idea that the Mahon report will blow over, or that it will be forgotten about in time. In all honesty I hope the last 14 years of FF government will never be forgotten, and I expect they won't, and rightly so. Whatever it achieved was made null and void as far as the Irish people were concerned by the bad ethical and economic practices and policies that were driven purely by the desire to win elections through the promotion of auction politics and that needs to be remembered always.

Does the past of FF bother me, yes, absolutely. It always will, unfortunately. Although I had no part in decisions that were made, as a member of three years standing and 25 years of age, I am still a member of a party that made those decisions and so will always be associated with them. All I can do as a member is remember those mistakes and understand why and how those mistakes were made -- to hopefully prevent them from happening again. But I believe in what FF originally stood for and have faith it can start back out again in trying to bring about an Ireland that is built on cooperation and selflessness that every Irish man, woman and child can be proud of.

James McCann,

Chairperson,

Ogra Dun Laoghaire Fianna Fail

Sunday Independent

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