Fianna Fail eyeing Northern Ireland…

Here’s a thing. Former SDLP Mayor of Belfast Martin Morgan and an ex vice chair Eddie Espie are talking to the Dún Laoghaire Fianna Fáil tomorrow night as part of a discussion of the party’s future role in Northern Ireland. There was some considerable speculation on the possibility of Fianna Fail moving north, just prior to a better than expected SDLP performance in the last Westminster election. It’s thought that there are up to about 100 private members already in Northern Ireland. Is this just a toe in the waters? Or is the party considering establishing a 32 county presence? And, indeed, are Martin and Eddie to be the first Northern Irish FF converts?

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  • Nic

    Well if you click the link you get this “..meeting to discuss the party’s future role with regard to Northern Ireland..”
    Note “with regard to”, not “in”.
    Which I think can be optimistically interpreted as:
    1. Partition is here to stay as far as FF is concerned. Time to move on and deal with Norniron in those terms.
    2. SDLP is the nationalist party that FF recognise and defer to for direction (SF are isolationists and democratically unsound and therefore not suitable for partnership).
    3. SDLP is in the lead in NI nationalist issues and FF wish to take their cue from them (“how can we help?”), not the other way round.

    Regarding the geeking of the poll numbers. IMHO, rather than dissing an “hysterical commentariat”, I believe SF peaked out once the “commentariat” belatedly stirred themselves and started to protest about the way no-principles Bertie was selling our sovereignty to a bunch of thugs. It made it very uncomfortable to continue to do under the counter deals with former and present subversives and spotlighted the dangers to Joe Public, Middle Ireland who then backed off from his flirtations with the bearded one. Major respect due for a brave editorial policy in the Sindo for doing the right thing and getting it spot on. Major respect due also to Michael McDowell, who decided to act on principle and against the zeitgeist by in particular raising the question of IRA criminality when everyone was trying to blame “a few photos” as the only reason the talks collapsed in 2004.
    Thus softened up, the northern bank robbery and the McCartney murder delivered the coup de grace for soft armchair republicans, and the Donaldson revelations finished them with the hardchaws.

    Regarding economic policy. There’s no doubt FF have benefitted enormously from their association with the PDs. Remembering that the PDs are ex FF’ers anyway, making them more palatable to old civil-war FF traditionalists as coalition partners, regardless what faux-socialist protestations those traditional FFers blather on about.
    Any sense of drifting back to 1970s-1980s Labour policies of high tax and high spending will send Joe Public, Middle Ireland rushing into Enda Kenny’s arms. Not only that, but small farmer FF can’t stand giving dole handouts to layabout druggies living in cities so it’s not a runner at all at all.
    Bertie has started to flirt with it, by declaring himself a socialist and what not, and look where it’s got him.
    Watch all that mystic caring blahdiblah disappear as the election approaches and it’s all about who you want to continue to manage this splendid economy.

  • Nic election’s all about who you want to continue to manage this splendid economy.
    And what about the 50 m pools in every county, and the Bertie Bowl, and the failure to make the World Cup. What will Sinn Fein/FF/DUP do about that?

  • DMcM

    Its about time the island of Ireland had a 32 County Political party that isnt riddled with informers.

  • Nathan


    Who’s to say that Fianna Fail or Labour isn’t riddled with informers either?

    There have been ‘suggestions’ emanating from certain quarters, that a certain Fianna Fail senator and advisor to the Taoiseach, is a British spy. And moreover, that a deviant Labour minister of the distant past, and a current member of the LP was/is one as well.

    None of the major political parties in the south are immune from infiltrators and informers, masquerading as throw-away canvessors or as politicians, I’m afraid.

  • Harry

    It is, surely, certain that the british have penetrated the government, army, police and civil service of the republic? I would think so. It would be important from the point of view of the ‘security’ of northern ireland for them to have the ability to understand what’s going on in the south and to be able to influence events. The degree to which crypto-unionist voices dominate the media in the south is out of all proportion to what one would find among the general public – I’d say the brits have a hand in that too. The spinelessness of the south in not defending its people in the north – where does that level of extreme disengagement come from and how are those who practice it related to british agents in ireland who also share their aims?

    It is certain the british have penetrated and corrupted the political processes as well as the state security and media of this country. In any other country they’d be exposed and turfed out. In Ireland they are aided by the establishment and considered as ‘partners’.

  • Nathan


    Of course it is a certainty e.g. Sir John Betjeman, Nicholas Mansergh and Elizabeth Bowen CBE – the latter two related to each other by marriage.

  • Ciaran Irvine

    On agents: there are persistent rumours that someone sitting round the Cabinet table in 1969 was working for the British, and had a role in stirring up certain events within Fianna Fáil in 1970; and that a Labour minister in the 1973-77 administration was a fully-signed-up agent of the Crown (the chief suspect should be obvious).

    Of course the British had, and have, agents and sympathisers actively pushing their agenda in politics and the media in the Republic. To think otherwise would be amazingly naive and show a childlike appreciation of how the world works.

    [spooky coincidence: the security text for this post is “control26”. Eeek!]

  • Jo

    As the thread is about FF I thought it appropriate that perhaps I should post that its former leader CJ Haughey has just died.