Ógra Fianna Fáil to hit NI Universities

Interesting strategy from Fianna Fáil. A full open political assault on Northern Ireland will wait a while longer. A canny way of feeling its way will be establishing campus societies first, and measuring the local appetite amongst young nationalists, without committing huge resources.


  • na

    No link? Slugger’s should lead the way on this kind of story as those former SDLP members that argue for this move are often contributors here. (Admittedly like most of their kind only active at election time)

    Ask Mr K and other disillusioned Derry SDLP members about his FF whist drive? Or did you?

    We should remember the last SDLP dissident from Derry, still typing away, that ended adding numbers from names on this site to prove the SDLP were the 3rd tribe of Israel or something and Gerry Adams name added up to Satan (is John Mc Connelll institutionalised yet or has he got balanced medication?)

  • Mick Fealty

    Your note on the (former) absence of a link is appreciated, your man playing is decidedly not!

  • Happy to ablige. Tty this link. http://www.ogra.ie/page.php4?id=784&nav=News. Press release will be issued later – so I’m told

  • Sinner


  • harpo

    “We in Ógra are very much in favour of expanding Fianna Fáil into the North. We are a real Republican Party, which can offer all the people of Northern Ireland a real political alternative”, stated Kelly. “Indeed Ógra has been pushing this issue since the Ard Fheis in 1999 and I am pleased that this Youth Committee will be delivering on this”.

    Lordy, lordy.

    They move as fast as the peace process. They’ve been thinking about this for 7 years and all they can come up with is campus societies in NI?

    When do you think they will start fighting elections? 2090?

    They are ‘real Republicans’ all right. They can’t bring themselves to say the words ‘Northern Ireland’.

    Chickens. Get on with splitting the nationalist vote if you mean it.

  • Sinner: I have repeatedly used my real persona and stand by my opinion. Now if you would care to do likewise I would be very happy to persue the matter in the courts.

  • They tried this last year in QUB, 3 people turned up and two of us were shinners.

  • harpo

    ‘They tried this last year in QUB, 3 people turned up and two of us were shinners.’


    Were you thinking of transferring to a real republican party?

  • harpo

    ‘Ógra Fianna Fáil to hit NI Universities’


    When you say ‘hit’ I assume you don’t mean in the way that PSF/PIRA used to ‘hit’ the NI universities.

  • Were you thinking of transferring to a real republican party?

    I prefer being a member of an actual Republican party. Fianna Fail are a partionist party like the SDLP, their Republicanism stops at the British imposed border.

    I was just checking out to see if anyone would turn up

  • Crow

    I wonder does Ogra toe the party line on Dail representation for Northern MPs?

  • Dec

    They can’t bring themselves to say the words ‘Northern Ireland’.


    Can you get anything right?

  • Prince Eoghan


    Must be hard, what with the permanent frothing of the mouth, and one eye permanently shut. Oh and let’s not forget the recurring dreams glorifying the iconic hunger-strikers. All in all it’s a wonder we get any sense at all;¬)

  • Gum

    Why are disgruntled SDLP members so attracted by FF? The SDLP and FF are political opposites ideologically, at least on paper. Are these former members abandoning their socialist/ “social democrat” stance to join Ireland’s greatest cheerleaders for neo-liberal economics?

  • páid


    it is impossible to be ideologically opposed to Fianna Fáil; as they do not have any ideology. 🙂

  • Gum

    Good point pid!!

  • slug

    FF are to me an unattractive aspect of the Republc.

  • “Are these former members abandoning their socialist/ “social democrat” stance to join Ireland’s greatest cheerleaders for neo-liberal economics?”

    Well Gum, obviously the attraction of being led by the last socialist in Ireland is proving too tempting for them… 🙂

  • harpo

    ‘I prefer being a member of an actual Republican party.’

    So why are you still in Provo SF then?

    ‘Fianna Fail are a partionist party like the SDLP, their Republicanism stops at the British imposed border.’

    And the Provos have joined that bunch. PSF now accepts the border, doesn’t it?

  • So many questions so many unanswered. Probably if people wanted us all to know these things they would have told us already. However this comment is rich, “I prefer being a member of an actual Republican party. Fianna Fail are a partionist party like the SDLP, their Republicanism stops at the British imposed border”. Signalling the intention to establish campus societies first would dispel that myth. Richer still, all this coming from a supporter of a party who only recently contested elections on a 32 county basis and the party supported is organized in only a dozen or so really takes the biscuit. Sour grapes anyone?

  • páid

    Slug says

    FF are to me an unattractive aspect of the Republc.


    Sweaty doubletalking Farah slacks-wearing planningpermission-fiddling backscratching arselicking…..

    You don’t know what you’re missing!

  • slug

    pid: as I am not from the Irish Republic, it would not be too diplomatic for me to get into those details 🙂

  • I think that this is a welcome move. What is wrong with choice? Clearly people are not happy with the SDLP (losing votes all over the place) and most of these voters will not vote SF. What is wrong with giving them a new type of representation.

    Are all the people on this site who are hostile to FF moving North happy to deny the people representation??

    Ar aghaidh le Fianna Fáil!!

  • slug

    My only concern is if they are highly corrupt, they could corrupt politics in Northern Ireland.

  • Donnacha Maguire

    I know where you are coming from but the FF of today is not the same as the 80’s. Ógra FF in particular is deeply opposed to corruption

  • Fianna Fáil is the largest and most successful political party on the island of Ireland. It has brought about great social and economic change over the past 80 years. Its membership is a cross section of society and herein there lies its strength. Over its 80 years, its policies have changed to represent the needs of the Irish people. However, at the core of the party is the deeply held desire to achieve a United Ireland. An Ireland where both the island and its people live in peace. Since its foundation in 1926, Fianna Fáil has rejected violence as a means to achieving a United Ireland. It has never waived from this and at the very core of its ideology are the twin ideals of Democracy and Republicanisn.

  • Chris Donnelly

    I’m with Donnacha and Eddie on this one. This move is to be welcomed by all genuine nationalists and republicans, regardless of political affiliation.

    As a member of Sinn Fein, I am not foolish enough to believe that republicans on our own can attain Irish unity. It is for us to create the dynamic for unity, and part of that entails compelling other political parties to follow our lead into all-Ireland politics.

    Labour have made similar tentative moves, albeit driven by the ever inspired former Independent councillor,Mark Langhammer, and suspicions remain as to whether they will make the leap into electoral politics in the north.

    That Fianna Fail are dipping their feet into northern waters through this move is to be welcomed, but until they go the whole nine yards on this one, organising and contesting elections across the north, then republicans will rightly remain sceptical of the republican credentials of Fianna Fail.

  • Nathan

    I hope Fianna Fáil (and others) do dip their feet in northern territory in due course.

    A viable refuge needs to be provided to those northern Protestant voters who have broad Republican and/or Socialist sympathies, but who vow never to vote for Sinn Fein under any circumstances. Considering that Fianna Fáil and others are proportionately over-represented by Protestants in the south, they could easily provide a natural home for those northern Protestants who don’t necessarily warm to the virtual Protestant free-zone that Provisional Sinn Fein has to offer.

    As Chris rightly points out, Shinners are not miracle workers, and without northern Protestant support (which is dismal at present) a United Ireland will never materialise. Thats why there needs to be another outlet for Republican minded individuals other than the skin-deep republicanism that Provisional Sinn Fein has on offer.

  • Garibaldy


    Isn’t The Workers’ Party usually who such people (in so far as such voters exist) vote for?

  • Nathan


    Do they still run candidates in the north?

    I don’t think theres any appetite amongst northern voters for a party which leads a reclusive life. Like the SDLP, its merely a political shadow of what it once was.

  • na

    I hear on TalkBalk that Eddie Espie has joined Fianna Fail it seems hey are taking senior members from the SDLP before they are even properly organised in the north.

    Kevin Downey, Tom Kelly, Eddie Espie can anyone add to the list of former senior members of the SDLP already jumped ship to FF?

  • Garibaldy


    They do indeed. All 4 Belfast constituency, plus several rural areas for Westminster, and then more in the various NI elections.

    The WP is indeed a shadow of what it was, but still puts up more candidates than any other small party save Alliance. Compare it to other groups like the now-defunct Women’s Coalition, Labour Coalition and UDP. Could be a lot worse.

    On the issue of who people who reject sectarian politics can vote for, clearly there is a limited number. So you either plump for Alliance, which has maintained its seats in the Assembly despite being in organisational and leadership chaos for years on, I think, a reduced vote. Or you go for somebody else if Alliance is too middle class.

    Fianna Fáil is nationalist but no socialist can ever vote for it, north or south. The joke that did the rounds after the ceasefires about the difference between the sticks and the provos being 20 years missed the point. When you look at the social forces PSF represents, its policies, and the way it exercises power in numerous organs, its quite clear the proper comparison was always with FF.

    Besides, the leadership of PSF are panting at the chance to return to an alliance with those who helped found them. So a vote for PSF is in many respects a vote for FF anyway. The people represented by FF down below have an effective represtantive here already. I don’t see what FF can offer. We’ve seen where SDLP attempts to outgreen PSF have led. The same would be true for FF.

    OFF might prove attractive to people who wish to get on in NUS/USI, but seeing how they’ve wrecked USI, there’s not much there to get on with.

  • Gum

    I really cant see them denting SF – if they float Espie and Morgan test ballons in elections in the north they will get eaten alive by SF. I really cant see how these two are being taken seriously as the duo to bring FF up north. No disrespect to either – I always liked Morgan enough too, but unless FF enter with political heavyweights they wont make any real inroads any time soon.

  • Border Observation post


    From the looks of it Espie and Morgan have acquired great respect within the FF organisation for their position to come out in favour of FF organising on a 32 county basis, and for putting likeminded present and past SDLP members interested in FF in contact with each other. I understand that Espie and Morgan recently attended a FF cumann meeting in Dun Leary in Dublin that was solely dedicated to speaking about this issue; reports have that it was heavily attended. Apparently Morgan and Espie have forged links within the FF organisation in that neck of the woods.

    The fact that Espie and Morgan and others are being taken seriously is a good sign to other SDLPers wishing to jump ship to FF; though the powers that be in FF, it being the conservative bunch they are, are stubborn and seem to need some solid base to expand onto before considering 32 county organisation. Therefore Id say more rests upon the success of this FF Youth campaign in Queens etc that meets the eye…. Its in FF’s interests to expand sooner or later into the north; otherwise SF will run the show completely up there and FF will have no hope in the future of organising there. This will destroy their image as a Republican Party.

  • Garibaldy


    I don’t think the self-image as a republican party means a great deal to very many of the senior FF people, though it might well do to a lot of those in the bog.

    As for Espie and Morgan, two self-prcolaimed socialists disgracing themselves by jumping into bed with FF for what seem to be reasons of disappointed ambition and vanity. Mixed, I suspect, with a desire to weaken PSF’s position within northern nationalism.

    OFF is a huge organisation in the south due to the fact that it offers access to power. What similar incentive is there to join in the north? A few careerists might join, but they’re more likely to join PSF, though I agree that without a success for OFF there will be much movement towards full FF organisation in the north

  • gg

    If I were to become a nationalist at some point in the future, I would not vote for the SDLP or SF. The former are too weak, the latter too ‘nasty’ – tainted by terrorism and criminality and run by characters I’m glad I don’t know in person. FF might be a goer, though. But I see no need for such action in the present circumstances. Maybe some day…

  • Rory Fee

    Although not a particular fan of Fianna Fail i believe their entry into the north should be welcomed. The Nationalist people of the North are forced to choose between various types of “socialism”. For those of us who are politically right-wing yet committed republicans Fianna Fail would provide an alternative (if somewhat limited). Perhaps its too much to hope that we could have a political party which isn’t prepared to sign up to a partitionist agreement and recognises the futility of violence.

  • Feargal Dalton

    I joined FF earlier this year. I look forward to being able to vote FF soon. They allow me as an Irish Republican to express my Republicanism without some of the more distasteful aspects of provisionalism and the political journeymen of the SDLP. Whenever Declan O’Loan and co. talk about the republican movement, they forget the fundamental fact that the Republican movement IS the Irish people NOT Gerry Adams and co! Best of luck to Ogra FF and here’s to taking on SF on a 32 county basis!!!

  • Brian Boru

    “”Are these former members abandoning their socialist/ “social democrat” stance to join Ireland’s greatest cheerleaders for neo-liberal economics?””

    I don’t think FF fit that categorisation. It’s the PDs you’re thinking of and I am not aware they intend going up North. FF are a centrist party forced into neoliberal economics by Coalition with the PDs. Which reminds me:

    Poll out tonight for Irish Times tommorrow TNS/MRBI. Findings:

    FF: 39% (+8)
    FG: 26% (-1)
    Labour 11% (-4)
    PD 4% (+1)
    SF: 8%
    Green: 6%
    Ind: 6%

    Conclusions: FF-PD: 43% FG-Lab: 37% FG-Lab-Greens: 43%

    Likely outcome: FF-PDs will have seat advantage on this because transfers between FF candidates are far tighter than between FG and Labour and between both and the Greens. Return of govt either FF-PD propped up by Independents or else with a tiny overall-majority. The problem in being sure about this is that roughly half the Independents would lose their seats on these figures. The question then is how many of the FF ‘gene-pool’ survive. Mildred Fox only barely held on last time against Labour’s Nicky Kelly. James Breen (former FF) seems safe enough on 12% in a Clare poll some time ago when the govt was much less popular. Paudge Connolly might survive as he is a hospitals candidate but a second such candidate is possible such are the passions surrounding the downgrading of Monaghan Hospital. Healy-Rae unclear I think he will hold in Kerry-South. Jerry Cowley and Michael Lowry (anti-FF, Lowry the former FG minister) may hold – Lowry certainly will he has taken the FG vote of Tipperary North with him.

  • Brian Boru

    Actually thats a 2% fall for FG. Boo hoo!