Lab + SF + GP = FF + FG – 2%

There had been rumours that tomorrows Red C opinion poll for the Sun would produce a surprise (partly because it is a party poll rather than leader poll). It will be tomorrow before we get the details (date of polling, methodology etc). But Matt Cooper (TodayFM) leaked the figures earlier on his radio show – FG 32%, Lab 24%, SF 16%, FF 13%, Greens 3%, others 11%. Many will spin that, post-Donegal SW, SF are merely getting a positive bounce, while ignoring the potential disruption in the standard political formula of FF + variables versus FG + variables. If you add up the result here and place FF and FG against the leftish parties of Labour, SF and the Greens, the lead is only 2%.

It’s only an opinion poll, but, the dynamics of public debate could shift markedly if it appears that a government could be formed without Fianna Fail or Fine Gael. Such a thing has been unthinkable in the past, but we are living in very very interesting times at the moment.

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  • joeCanuck

    It’s only an opinion poll

    Indeed. There’s only one poll that counts. Although as more polls come out in the run up to the soon to come election, we might see a trend.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    As someone mentioned somewhere recently the lack of enough good candidates for Labour and SF may be na issue with many potential votes being lost.

    Now if only Grizzly (or perhaps Pearce) could do as Multi-seat Bob McCartney did then the insurgents could be in with a shout.

    ..and it is a pity Marty couldn’t join in as well.

  • ben

    It’s pretty comical to describe FF Junior as a “leftish party”.

  • Here is a bit of light entertainment

    Hitler gets on the phone to Brian Cowen

  • PaddyReilly

    Opinion polls of this sort are only slightly useful as a predictive instrument because they are measuring only 1st pref voting intentions. How this translates into TDs is a completely different matter. However there is reason to believe that the final results may be even more favourable to the Left Alliance, as voters are now beginning to transfer to SF, something that was unheard of before.

  • medillen

    On David Cochrane analysis and others are talking about 26 SF seats at the General Election, whether this turns out to be sustained or not a massive political corner has been turned in the 26 counties. By the way remember Fianna Fail is on an amazing low of 13% and that’s before the budget next week.

  • John Ó Néill

    Medillen – Paddy Power stopped quoting odds for the number of SF seats earlier today (their lowest odds had been 13 seats plus). If in doubt, check with the bookies, they do money not spin…

  • Jean Meslier

    What we are seeing evolve in front of us a new configuration in southern politics.
    The old order is melting in front of our eyes.
    For almost four generations they have administered a conservative-Catholic/nod and a wink/back scratching agenda which created a new free state ascendancy, every bit as arrogant as the Anglo-Irish aristocracy who ruled before them.
    Some people might be amazed by the rapidity of this collapse.
    They shouldn’t be.
    History from the French Revolution through to the collapse of the Communist dictatorships in eastern Europe have proven how quickly fortresses built on sand can crumble.
    Not since the 1930’s has an opportunity of a large broad left shift emerged.
    This is a true wind of opportunity which, if it leads to a proper consensus, could change the landscape, for the better, for generations to come.

    Imagine a society not just built on greed!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    John O Neill,

    “If in doubt, check with the bookies, they do money not spin…”

    It is my observation that SF for some reason tend to attract money which may be more to do with wishful thinking than reality. (Prehaps Yankee money has to go somewhere post ceasefire)

    ..and talking of money and betting we had a little wager regarding the interest rate to Ireland being less than 6% with the non-winner (i.e. you) having to give £20 to Slugger.

  • John Ó Néill

    Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit – already donated it – a couple of days ago – you can ask Mick to verify (and I’m not even quibbling over whether 5.8% equates to the real overall average rate if you include the pension fund etc!).
    As to the bookies and political predictions – they have a financial interest in making sure they don’t get their predictions wrong – their published odds are always worth a look as a proxy measure of reality (like me, they lose money unlike pollsters who only lose face when they are wrong).

  • Valenciano

    The Greens are unlikely to be much of a player, they’ll win one seat max and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them wiped out entirely.

    John, the only published bookies odds that are worth a look are the first ones. After that they’ll adjust according to the money. England were 3-1 on Tuesday to host the world cup but shortened today to 1/3 as patriotic punters piled on to improve Willy Hills bank balance.

  • Munsterview

    I could see FF dip under 20%, but 13% ?

    I would love to believe it, as this site can verify I am no friend of Fianna Failure but that % just do not feel right to me.

    I have a healthy respect for the Red C polls, they have been fairly close to the mark to date. The ‘shared ethos’ between grass roots FF and SF have always stopped short of a vote transfer with the FF hard core, they were not going to give SF a leg up at their own expense.

    It should be noted however that such small scale transfers do take place in either direction and in doing so the bridges are burned. If a significant section of the decent FF grass roots come home to Sinn Fein with fire in their collective bellies about ‘the great betrayal’, then we could be looking at a 1918 situation with a Nationalist party rank and file cross over with as transformative result on the whole national scene.

    The PD experience have shown just how quickly this could happen. Perhaps Gerry did not get it so wrong after all.

    This will be dirty, one has only to recall wee Willie’s brothel allegations at the last election to see the dirt dished out at top level of Fianna failure by ‘National Figures’ and that was nothing unique, just what on this occasion came into the public media.

    There will be some very worried people in the permanent Government and in the Phoenix Park. They have failed to seriously thwart the rise of SF and the sight of their Minister throwing the towel to Gerry cannot have gone much for the Specials moral.

    Gerry and Gilmore winning and the smoke from burning files billowing over the park ? Not while they have a hand or two to play !

    Soooo…….., if Gerry cannot be stopped, the next thing that suggest is turning the ‘Gilmore Gale’ into a breeze. Do not be at all surprised to hear some very strange rumors circulating that may prove to be a bit sticky as far as Gilmore & Co are concerned !

    It looks like that old Chines curse of ‘May you live in interesting times’ is about to come to pass. I do not know what we did to piss off the Chines big time, but we must have for we do indeed live in interesting times !

  • pippakin

    Come on! SF won one by election. It would be unwise to see that as a major break through however great the shift.

    Some of us have been paying attention to the changes on Belfast council etc and so far are not too impressed.

    If the best SF can do to bring their party up to date is put in more ‘suspects’ in their heartlands what are they going to foist on the rest of us.

    I think SF will get between seven and ten seats, which considering the indifference they have shown to the south is quite a lot.

  • redhugh78

    Where have all the anti SF brigade gone since last Thursday? it.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    John Ó Néill,

    You are indeed an upright chap, no defaulting on your loss – I hear it is all the rage.

    Regarding bookies, the odds reflect the amount that has been wagered not the views of the bookies themselves, and I have observed that the shortness of SF odds is sometimes not a reflection of their actual likleyhood of winning.

  • anonymous

    I have no idea whether the poll results shown are accurate, but bookmakers are not actually in the business of determining “true” odds. A bookie tries to find odds that will attract bets in such a way that the outcome of the event doesn’t matter to the bookie. They’re not a bunch of degenerate gamblers.

  • There’s a nice post on The People’s Republic of Cork about how – in a crisis – people still revert back to the people who they think will act cynicially in their own interests (“at least we know what they’ll do and we can buy them off”) – a really good read.

  • Munsterview


    If this figure of 16% is real, then it will go over 20% of that I am sure. Remember I said that it would not surprised me if SF in Donegal was 40% or over ? Pearse was near enough to it.

    Meanwhile you may be interested in this, even if the site as a whole may not be your cup of tea.

    I may have given a few hostages to fortune by drawing the attention of the usual suspects to it, but by now objective posters and readers should know what I am, and more important what I am not, so the knockers do not matter any more.

  • Alias

    Paddy noted the transfers from mainstream parties to PSF so it’s nonsense to dismiss those transfers as folks voting for PSF because they’re not FF or FG (since, rather obviously, their first preference is for FG or FF). I suspect that those transfers are from eurosceptic FF/FG voters. Remember that the Irish voted against the Nice Treaty in 2002 and also voted against the Lisbon Treaty in 2008, so this country is not as europhile as the propagandists in the media protray it as being. In regard to the Lisbon Treaty, the slogans from FG and FF promised jobs and a vibrant economy if the trety was passed after the actual verdict of the people was rejected by the EU and the europhile establishment in Ireland. Folks will note that unemployment has more than doubled and that the economy is in ruins and they will realise that they were lied to and act accordingly. PSF, therefore, need to focus on that in order to fully capitalise on why those transfers are coming to them.

  • pippakin


    Interesting site, however I know your political views well enough! The thing is SF have just won one election not a dozen.

    It is also now screamingly obvious why GA thought it was time to pay some attention to the south: If SF can’t win in this climate, they can’t win.

    All of that is perfectly understandable. A pity he put himself forward as saviour of the south, that was a bit of arrogant nonsense he must be regretting now. If he is not he will certainly be made to rue the words during the election campaign.

    This GE is likely to be very dirty and whilst some FFers and others may have financial skeletons rattling in the closet, none, as far as I know, have allegations of actual rape, child abuse and murder to continually deny. I actually have some empathy for the bank robbers (whoever they are) and my share can be left in a large bin liner at a place to be agreed.

    It may be that the rape and child abuse allegations are wrong but how much would you bet against the gory details leaping out of the newspapers etc, they don’t need to accuse they just need to remind! and they will.

    It is almost one GE too soon for SF, they will win seats but there are many who like me would rather go broke than give a nod and wink to such crimes.

  • Archie Noble

    “If he is not he will certainly be made to rue the words during the election campaign.”

    Possibly, but by whom? Most of SF’s opponents are mired in the economic mess. They created it or cheered it on and now its gone badly wrong. No one cares what they say about SF, and worse they have said it all before.

    SF it transpires were not the economic illiterates we were led to believe. In fact they have been vindicated. We all remember the Clinton quote.

    A very interesting poll, lets see what the next one says.

  • pippakin

    Archie Noble

    Do you think FF, FG and Labour are the only problems SF face here?

    I think Pearse Doherty was a good choice and a deserving winner, but there is not a snow flake in hells chance that I would have voted for him. If I met him the first question I would want answered would be about the disappeared, I would then move on to the outstanding allegations and the pending trial and whatever his answer I would then have told him frankly that I could not support a person who supported such actions. As for compulsive liars, I think most of us have had enough of them…

    The media are not entirely in SFs pocket either, little ‘snippets’ can be expected to make front page news.

    SF are not economic illiterates? I would say SF are not the only economic illiterates.

    You say no one cares. I disagree.

    Its a toughie because although I would love to see an actual socialist government in the south. I don’t want to see someone in power who could in the not too distant future cause further embarrassment and humiliation to this country. Ireland deserves better.

  • Neil

    It is also now screamingly obvious why GA thought it was time to pay some attention to the south: If SF can’t win in this climate, they can’t win.

    Well, duh. That’s what every shinner on this board has been telling you since the idea was mooted. That and the fact that he would win.

    All of that is perfectly understandable. A pity he put himself forward as saviour of the south, that was a bit of arrogant nonsense he must be regretting now.

    I’m sure he received the news of this poll with tears rolling down his cheeks. Of joy. We shall see what transpires, but I would imagine you being 100% wrong on that point.

    This GE is likely to be very dirty and whilst some FFers and others may have financial skeletons rattling in the closet, none, as far as I know, have allegations of actual rape, child abuse and murder to continually deny.

    Referring to Laim Adams again I take it? Again I sak you, do you think Adams was correct in sending his neice to the RUC? Or would you have preferred some of the back alley justice you apparantly deplore?

    Having gone to the RUC do you think their actions of attempting to recruit the most vulnerable of people in the most vulnerable of situations as an informer? And failing to get the victim to agree to that, to then take no action whatsoever? Or is it all an excuse to smear as much shit as possible in the general SF direction?

    I actually have some empathy for the bank robbers (whoever they are) and my share can be left in a large bin liner at a place to be agreed.

    It may be that the rape and child abuse allegations are wrong but how much would you bet against the gory details leaping out of the newspapers etc, they don’t need to accuse they just need to remind! and they will.

    They probably will, after all they have done little so far but attempt to hobble SF at every opportunity. Though people do seem to be getting fed up being spoon fed shit, they’ve had quite a lot of that and where did it get them?

    The other thing the newspapers might have to take slightly more care about is your kak handed and clumsy attempts to level the accusations of child abuse, not at the perpetrator, but rather his family. And some people of a more reasonable and open disposition (rather than a pavlovian, uncontrolable hatred of SF) may actually decide some blame should be apportioned in the RUC’s direction.

    I think Pearse Doherty was a good choice and a deserving winner, but there is not a snow flake in hells chance that I would have voted for him.

    Thereby underlining the fact that you are unrepresentative of reality in general, regardless of how much you wish to be an accurate moral compas for Ireland at large.

  • drumlins rock

    surely the big story here is the government party has dropped to 13%? virtual wipeout teritorry.

  • John Ó Néill

    DR – I don’t even know if the opinion poll is catching the full chill wind of the EU-IMF story. FF are actually managing announcement of retirements among both their TDs and ministers. A number of junior ministers are hanging up their spurs but have yet to go public and there appears to be another retirement being announced every few days. The problem with clientist politics is that, for FF, they will not have any sort of baubles to deal out for the forseeable future and their underlying methodology for drawing together disparate social forces has come apart at the seams.
    I know you’ll choke on it – but the analogy with the UUP is worth playing out a bit – both [in]famously harnessed an eclectic and disparate constituency from industrialists down to the poorest of the working class. The introduction of direct rule and ending of the conservative link similarly saw a slow collapse in the UUP vote with the ‘unionist’ dimension meaning it has enough of a platform to still hang in there. I think FF are seeing this accelerated into a much shorter timeframe although no-one knows where the floor will be for their vote.
    They are very different in one respect – the leader of one doesn’t think he can be seen to go to a GAA match, the leader of the other couldn’t be seen to not go…

  • pippakin


    Actually I was not referring to Liam Adams at all. I didn’t want or need to. Liam is not the only outstanding case and the allegations of rape have not been withdrawn so they are still pending too..

    I have been saying for more than a year that SF need to clean house if they want to be a major party in the south. P Doherty has all the makings of a successful politician. He is going to need better answers than those you have not given. Do you really think I am going to be the only one asking questions? I cannot see that in any but the most SF friendly areas.

    I have no wish to be a moral compass. If I wanted that I would be far more discreet than I am and nor do I hate SF or PIRA. I just don’t like being expected to overlook murder etc just because SF, having ignored all calls to rid itself of such connections, now want it all to ‘go away’. Spoon fed shite indeed!

    Many political parties are born in violence its how they extricate themselves from the past that shows their maturity. I have yet to see any sign of that from SF.

  • james

    Neil, thanks for posting the reply I couldn’t be arse to write. Now on to the ‘Stickie’ background of the Labour Party, at least Adams can remember what political organisation he was a member off, I also look forward to Pip posting the Labour candidates response to their lack of decommissioning and apparent fondness for dollars.

    Fine Gael candidate might like to explain previous relationship with AIB (and the whereabouts of Enda)

    FF, hell Pip go for gun running and rendition flights

  • pippakin


    I know of the connections but, see my response to Neil above, it is not SF I object to it is it’s apparent unwillingness to expunge the worst elements of the past. As I said I think this GE may be one too early for SF. I have not said and I don’t want SF to ‘go away’. I want them to grow up! that means being absolutely ruthless when allegations are made. No matter how sympathetic they may be privately, actually regarding Liam Adams I initially took GAs side and I might add before any of the big guns came out in support!

    The little blog aint much but it gave my opinion of the reaction of many families to child abuse. I mention it not to draw attention to the blog but because the post is dated!

  • Jean Meslier

    In Newry/Armagh the local Protestant group Altnaveigh House still look upon Frank Aiken as the devil incarnate. Any views on that?

    Do you still think GA is “attempting to grab an opportunity” and “be safely ensconced on the back benches”?

  • Séamus Rua

    When Labour come to my door you can be sure as hell I am going to ask them where the hell are “Group B’s” “weaps”.

    The ORM in Newry handed in some gear but have the Sticks in Dublin or Belfast?

    They have more than Lee Enfields (a very deadly weapon) they are believed to have AR15s.

    Hey! Eamon, where did you think the money was coming from?

  • Jean Meslier


    “..Fine Gael candidate might like to explain previous relationship with AIB (and the whereabouts of Enda)..”

    Do you remember the where’s Artur Morgan media campaign? lol
    Never mind “where’s Enda”
    Where’s peteb?

  • Archie Noble

    “Do you think FF, FG and Labour are the only problems SF face here?”

    No, Pip I don’t think that. The people who have run the Republic by and large for their own benefit and who no doubt comprise the main backing for the ‘political class’ are all terrified of SF. My point is they are discredited.

    Labour are likely to lose votes on social and economic issues to SF. You may think that be countered by pointing and shouting terrorist. I don’t, as others will point back and shout terrorist yourself Group B. That particular dog cannot run in these circumstances.

    This GE is about the economy and, if you like, the national stewardship as exercised by the Irish elite.

    James, interesting points there. I think the party most likely to put Group B in the spotlight are FG. All it takes is a slip of a couple of points and suddenly there will be a focus on who knew who and who did what. Followed up by why Labour supporters should consider the untainted FG.

    Strange days indeed.

  • pippakin

    Jean Meslier

    I’m not a bit surprised. I’m also not a unionist!

    I did say many political parties are born in violence. My goodness think America, think Israel, excuse me while I pause to spit…

    Getting back to relative sanity: I think GA knows this is the best chance any small party has of becoming a big party in the south, especially a socialist party.

    I think he will be in Leinster House by April, so he should tell Sinner supporters there is no need to break the doors down – they are wide open.

    I also think it is not a stroll to victory but a hard climb and I’m not convinced that the core FF vote will sink as far as the poll suggests, or that voters will not be asking very searching questions. This GE is possibly the most important since independence and I think the electorate will want more than revenge, they will want to get it right.

  • Jean Meslier


    You do know why the unionists of the Altnaveigh group have the opinion they do of Mr. Aiken who acquired every cabinet position within government except Taoiseach?

  • Mick Fealty


    I’ve been working on a piece for Comment is Free which I hope will be up this pm. Briefly, my thoughts are:

    – The most reliable thing we can take from this is that the national coalition that FF was is close to being destroyed.

    – The other thing to note (and I think we get a flavour of this in this thread) is that Shinners hate Labour more than they hate FF, which I think raises structural questions of your elegant equation above. That’s where the scrap is going to be, and FF and SF are more likely to share sides in that argument than being at logger heads. They are also likely to share opposition benches too.

    – Fine Gael is the other winner in all of this. They have maintained that 10% rise on the 2007 election result for about 18 months now, whilst Labour is bobbing between mid 20s early 30s. If there is a surge in SF support in the election then I’d expect Labour to suffer, not FG.

    The other thing (and I would say this wouldn’t I), but this is getting close to the poll itself. the Lib Dems rode high in the polls during the last British campaign. Turning a surge into seats is quite another question.

  • pippakin

    Jean Meslier


    What do you want me to say?

    It was the north. It was horrific. It was also almost a hundred years ago. I wouldn’t have voted for such a man, but I wouldn’t have been ‘me’ then!

  • John Ó Néill

    Mick – I think the pre-election contours aren’t going to sharpen until after the budget next week – if Labour see any possibility of leading a government, it won’t be in partnership with FG on those figures as they will be the junior partner. A lot depends on how the budget is passed.
    We are also getting outside the box in terms of transfers etc (e.g. will anyone transfer to FF, will SF attract significant transfers?) in a way that doesn’t translate to first-past-the-post.
    I think we are ten days away from the seeing the real run in to the election.

  • Arty Renny

    Joan Burton was just asked by Sean O’Rourke on the RTÉ’s news at one would she rule out government with SF. She clammed up , thrashing about for the preprepared line , and finally said stutteringly ” We have no proposals for going into government with SF.”

    It’s certainly an ongoing debate in Labour and by the sounds of Joan, they’re clearly nervous about it.

  • Mick Fealty

    Neil, Liam Adams? Off topic for this thread. But happy to open some old ones if you really want to get into that in more detail.

  • Jean Meslier

    Pip, don’t be vexed.
    Re: FF founder Frank Aiken; I am not being flippant, just stating a fact.
    Violent death has been a way of life on this small island long before and after Strongbow landed all those centuries ago.

    You can continue playing your small part blogging on Slugger. However, I think I read somewhere that you talked about perhaps voting SF in the forthcoming GE.
    If so and you do, then welcome to the struggle my friend.

    Don’t get angry with the b*st*rds, – get even!

  • james

    I’d disagree that SF-ers’ hate Labour, they compete for the same votes, but, its amazing to see what is effectively OIRA and PIRA affiliated parties holding 40% of a poll. With another 13% going to the “old IRA” over 50% in total. Republicans should be happy regardless of hue.

    I’d also disagree with FG being winners, is a 10% gain winning, is beating FF by a 120 votesin DSW winning. Whatever ‘winning’ they’ve done as the election looms they seem to be struggling to hold it, Enda’s been locked away somewhere and SF are doing a decent job of making them look like the otherside of the FF coin, they are struggling to put clear water between themselves and FF and are (sorry Mick & Pete) beginning to look like the actual ‘Protest Vote’ ie were ok with what FF want to do but we’ll let FG do it as a protest to FF.

    the recent boost for SF is coming from the core FF vote, the shallow jumped to FG early, the committed to Labour later, can SF hold that core FF voter, maybe, maybe not, the big thing from this poll and DSW is that SF are looking as if they are becoming transfer friendly.

    The other thing to watch is Labour, will they stay centralist or lurch back to the left to shore up support leaking to SF.

    Will FG do ‘something big’ to look like a real alternative to FF.

  • james

    “Neil, Liam Adams? Off topic for this thread. But happy to open some old ones if you really want to get into that in more detail.”

    I’d guess that they and several others will be opened from now until the assembly elections, I can hear Rusty Nail sharpening her pencil too

  • Mick Fealty

    James, I ruled it off topic. It was Neil who brought it up.

  • pippakin

    Jean Meslier

    I’m not angry, just wary.! I can see me voting for SF one day. If SF get rid of the more parasitical elements. Time was I voted FF so no I’m not so naive. I just have an unfortunate knack of sounding as though I was born yesterday!

    The coming election gives socialists the first real opportunity to get ahead. The arguments must not be sidetracked. The problem for SF is that they are as wide open to attack in some areas as FF are in others. Labour too have their skeletons but they appear to me to be less dangerous. As for FG they will do well, some FF supporters will totally reject the idea of radical change and simply swap the ‘F’ for a ‘G’ this time.

  • JJ Malloy

    i hope SF is in government. I would like to see what they do, how they act.

  • james

    It was tongue in cheek Mick………..mostly

  • Jean Meslier

    You’re right pippakin
    Thisis a real chance for socialist principles to come to the fore.
    Where we differ, I think, is the timing .
    I am saying the time is upon us pip.
    The time is now.

    Isn’t it amazing, as james said above, that perhaps 40% of opinion in the south of Ireland is now with parties connected to pre-1969 IRA?

  • pippakin

    Jean Meslier

    I like the idea of the 40% being a socialist vote. Not so happy with the pre 1969 tag. I like to think we have moved forward…

  • Jean Meslier

    All the major “nationalist” parties in Ireland with the exception of SDLP trace their roots back to revolutionary 1798.
    Labour, since the stickie cuckoo arrived in the nest, now also sits in the above mentioned grouping.

    Of course we have moved forward. But pleae note
    SF was the mother party of them all. Now she may be coming to claim what was always rightfully hers.

  • Munsterview

    Pip, (& co, net down since last night, just catching up)

    I have been continually saying before, during and after Donegal that the Sinn Fein situation there and indeed the constituency as a whole was a one off and that one election win up there did not a Sinn Fein victory make.

    Come to that so is every election constituency, Kerry North for example, I do not think young Mac will be as effected by the National FF downslide as in other areas. There is a good republican segment of East Limerick now added in to that constituency, Jimmy Denihan FG is home and dry.

    Given that this area of Limerick traditionally looked to and co-operated with Kerry Command, rather than the rest of their own city and county, Ferris has no shortage of supporters, friends and voters there. That also makes North Kerry unique this time around. It should be Spring Lab and FF for the last seat and the Anglo Irish Bank card could make the difference.

    The bold Arthur seems to have forgotten that he had a few years of a career with Anglo Irish Banks, before becoming a business man. Who financed his business loan for him?
    He may have forgotten these things but I am sure come election time there will be plenty to remind him of it !

    Across the border in North West Cork, Michael Moynihan FF.TD is also uniquely placed. Some years back the late Peter Daly and the young under thirty progressives staged a palace coup and stole the seat from under the nose of the old FF stroke politicians like Jackie Roche. Friendships and loyalties of a young generation forged in the football fields and IFA, ICMSA, etc were networked.

    They had to run a conventional FF support election for the main candidate, while running their own real one through networks and piling up the votes without coming into the FF establishment radar.They pulled it off !

    Lets just say I am not totally unfamiliar as to how this was done! His seat is safe irrespective of FF nationally. Batt O’Keeffe FF is from nearby local village, although now based in the other end of the counstituency. Batts elevation was initially welcomed but he is now seen to be ‘one of them’ that have disgraced FF.

    Batt’s father was what used to be quaintly known as the ‘Relieving Officer’ There was a system whereby these people received a bonus in unspend relief funds as a way of curbing generosity. Old Keeffe apparently did not need too much curbing!

    In these hard times old memories of past hardships are being relived and talked about at card games and other community events. People who know are not at all surprised that Batt can ignore the misery, unemployment and hardship, he had a good apprenticeship in doing just that from childhood. Aside from direct relations there will not be too many votes for Batt in Cork North West this time around. These are the things the Dublin 4 political pundits do not know of, much less factor in!

    The Northern Region of the constituency also had a radical IRB base, organized Irish Labour started in Kanturk and ( Google DD Sheehan ) and Labour traditionally had a seat there held by Paddy McAuliffe against National names of the Freedom Struggle. This ‘social dimension’ is part of what Moynihan is tapping into, he was, among other such things, involved in building a cluster of retirement homes in his village that are community owned. Such things are noted !

    Every other non Dublin and Greater Area constituency will be likewise, local units slugging out and primarily influenced by local factors in a way never before. For FF candidates, as the party is a negative, it is people like Michael Moynihan and Mac in Kerry that will stand scrutiny.

    The Douoghues may have had South Kerry sown up previously, but a lot of FF on the ground have Kerry Republican pride : Donoghue deliveries in the context of his own and his parties excesses, came at too high a price. Most of FF on the ground are thoroughly ashamed of the stroke practices that brought us to this point.

    In the current mood Ms Ferris would probably take South Kerry Seat without too many problems.

    We are in a situation that is changing not alone week by week, but day by day and sometimes hour by hour. If Healy Rae vote to pass this budget he may as well not return to Kerry and Michel will pay the price for that vote so Jackie is out unless they give him a second Kerry Airport for South Kerry or something of that magnitude !

    Likewise Lowrey : he also may as well stay in Dublin and for him also, if he brought home the infamous casino, in the current climate it would cost him the election, not win it for him.

    I had an em from a regional newspaper editor at the start of the week. I was briefly thanked for research material I had been asked for in a one line reply.

    The second line simply said…. ” my heart is broken for Ireland and its people”

    No more said or, no more needed to be said !

    This election will be about those who share in that sentiment and are prepared to do something about it and against the ‘ we can fix this’ proven political establishment failures that caused the mess to begin with and then sold out ! Every day there are increasingly uncanny echos of the 1914 / 18 Nationalist party and what then happened!

    There is no middle ground. Personally I have never been Gerry’s greatest fan but I do not doubt his sincerity or patriotism in this regard. Joyce Kilmer died under arms with his beloved NY 69th, Fighting Irish in the last week of WW1. He said that a poet must always go where the greatest songs are singing !

    Gerry is still in the old Northern Command area and he is also now in the front line in the South. The fact that the spineless Minister for Justice showed him a clean pair of heels , rather than be humiliated into second place, or may be not even elected, says all there is to say about the vanity and service ethic of current establishment politicians.

    Think what you may of the man, Gerry has put his head and political reputation on the line, he knew the ‘brown stuff’ that will come his way but he also had a duty as president of Sinn Fein and he had to honor and fulfill that.

    I had a long chat with him in Donegal on election evening, like the rest of us Old Guard, he is feeling his years, but all of us will be out for one last push and this one just may do it! I personally will give him a few days up there in the door to door slog and will have no hesitation in doing so.

    This election in general is going to be nothing like anything gone before : it will be every constituency slugging out and looking inwards in their own area. The big picture will figure, but ‘wrap the greenflag round me boys’ will not work unless those holding the flag have served it and not betrayed that honor!

    That of course will be a matter of perception and for one where Sinn Fein came from or what members may have done collectivly or individually in other capacities will not matter as much as where they now stand and what they are pleged to do.

  • james

    “I like the idea of the 40% being a socialist vote. Not so happy with the pre 1969 tag. I like to think we have moved forward…”

    Pip, one needs to be careful of those advocate ‘moving on’ while its sensible to be pragmatic its not good to forget your roots.

    Do you imagine that if Labour in the UK had stayed in touch with its founding fathers people like Blair would have been so popular, it was because Labour moved on that they suddenly decided it was a middleclass centralist road to thread.

    Anyway, don’t worry about 1969, the protest last week was to the GPO thats 1916, it was a shock to FF,FG and Labour that people didn’t want to move on and be sold to the EU and Bankers they actually to be independent and free and relate back to the reasons why Ireland is what it is.

    Sinn Fein is a one goal party, it wants a 32 county republic, it can’t move on from that because if it does it just becomes like FF,FG or Labour, trying to court everyone and living for the here and now.

    As 5,000,000 people have recently found out, living for the here and now condemns your children to a hard life.

  • pippakin

    Jean Meslier and MV

    I do understand but are not both of you looking back rather than forward.

    Ireland has always looked back. I hope before anyone votes they will stop and think for a moment of the future and who they want to lead us, not to the past and who is owed what allegiance or what vengeance is long overdue. In some ways that negative thinking is what got us into this mess. Sure they may be crooks but they’re our crooks? Not any more, please.

  • pippakin


    The march on the post office was typical! they should have been marching on the Dail but no they had to look back and take their supporters back.

    As for TB (amazing how apt those initials are) Labour were desperate for power and he was pure show biz, they got what they paid for. Today some of those ex supporters would happily see him tried for war crimes. A pity they didn’t look beneath the show when they had the chance.

  • Munsterview


    old ex-stick here and one who always had a warm word and ready handshake for old comrades too . That included Eamonn himself in the recent election when I met him in Donegal !

    When McBride and his comrades of that vintage sat around the table in 48 to form a government and conclude IRB business to make as much of Ireland as they could a Republic, they did so with battle enemies and both parties had friends blood on their hands.

    In accordance with the wishes of the people as expressed in the last election of the whole people of this island to make Ireland a Republic, these former IRB comrades put their duty to the Republic first, declared a Republic of the part of Ireland they controlled and closed the files in 1950 leaving everything for another generation to conclude !

    They remembered what they were when the dream was still bright and while not forgetting their past, they were only concerned with the present and future. The younger generation of Sinn Fein may have to make a few adjustments about the Sticks, and likewise some labour people about the Shinners, for others too many adjustments will not have to be made for those that shared, protests, camps, meetings and other things that have not been forgotten.

    We who are a bit older are hopefully a bit wiser for the experience do not see things that black and white ! If the opportunities arise just like those of McBride generation, all of those who in earlier life took the flag in their hand and pledged to a Republic will have more uniting them than dividing !

    If this situation arise will our generation be less than McBride ? At this time of peril for the Republic, in the words of JFK it should be about what we can do for our country and as McBride’s generation has shown, patriotism and common purpose comes before fueds and ideologies!

    Based on the poll ( RTE News) FF 22 seats, FG 62 and Lab. 27. Lab has 31% of the vote, other left a combined 21% making 52% for a combined left alliance.

    Looking good, firing squads for bankers anyone?

  • becky

    firing squads for bankers…maybe gerry could do 1 of his disappearing tricks with them.hes good at this kind of thing nobody down there want this man about the place.hes already left w/belfast in some state

  • Munsterview


    should you have bothered to post, this is about the future, you would apparently prefer to live in the past!

    There is nothing in Gerrys West Belfast area regarding housing, public spaces and facilities that cannot be seen replicated much worse in Limerick and in other such neglected estates in in these Islands.

    This is not Gerrys fault, it is the fault of central planning, funding and central Government neglect. And it will all continue while you and people like you remain more committed to point scoring about the past rather than working with those who will for a better future.

    If Gerry was that easy to expose or deny, then the spineless Minister For Justice, a man who has had plenty to say about Republicans in his day, would not have shown a clean pair of heels rather than been humiliated in the polls.

    You Becky have a simple choice in the coming weeks and months like all in this island, live in the old past or work for a new future. You are either making the latter possible or standing in the way of it, so make your choice and pay the price.

  • Alias

    I doubt the public are stupid enough to vote for an instable alliance of fringe parties. Most will go with the only credible option of a Lab/FG coalition.

  • Mark

    Alias – really what you are trying to say is that you hope the stupid ( your word ) public don’t vote republicans into power. You can’t even bring yourself to type Sinn Fein on your keyboard . Your description ” instable alliance …………… ” is insulting and it’s pretty obvious you can’t empathise with the irish electorate . Sinn Fein are part of the country’s dna like it or not.

  • Munsterview


    As Old Abe said “You can fool some of the people all of the time……. you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time ”

    Guess which of the three groups Southern Irish People now conform to ?

    As Padraig Pearse put it “beware the risen people” !

    Meanwhile to show that there is no hard feelings and that we can be magnimanous even in pending victory, you may be interested in this from welath daily on the Dollar. Have you been following the Rare Earth situation in the East ? Any thought on the subject : there is a bloody big world out there; and a volatile one!

    Perhaps you will be kind enough to read the entrails on the dollar for us and give the implications for Ireland and Europe? Thanks.


    Much of my investing decisions over the past ten years have been
    guided by watching the U.S. governments abuse the dollar into its
    current near-worthless state.

    This has brought me to one basic conclusion…

    Politicians, on both sides of the aisle, are not trustworthy or
    credible individuals.

    They are power seekers, liars, hoodwinkers, and bamboozlers.

    They’ll do and say anything to get you to hand your power over to them
    — i.e. vote them into office. And until a majority of Americans come
    to this understanding, nothing can fundamentally change within the

    Unfortunately, it may be too late to save the U.S. dollar.

    The truth is the unsustainable economic course that has been pursued
    (and continues to be pursued) by the politicos in the United States
    may have financially doomed the country.

    The two-party system of republican and democratic criminals that has
    been put in charge of running the U.S. the past 40 years has failed

    Whether they did it on purpose or not, the system is dying on the vine.

    The problems that stem from four decades of out-of-control spending on
    the part of the Congress are cleverly being covered up. Their methods
    for keeping the public in the dark while promising unsuspecting voters
    lavish gifts from the public treasury are three-fold:

    Increasing deficits.

    Increasing monetary expansion of the fiat currency.

    Lying about and falsifying the real economic numbers.

    Because the voters don’t keep the politicians accountable, a false
    sense of prosperity reigns over the country as this fiat money pulses
    through the economy.

    Meanwhile, government officials are given accolades instead of being
    punished for their transgression. Hell, they gave Obama the Nobel
    Peace Prize!

    The problem, in a nutshell, was outlined with surprising clarity a few
    weeks ago by none other than Fed bankster Ben Bernanke himself as he
    addressed Congress…

    He spoke on the looming fiscal crisis of the Federal government;
    basically, there will be no easy way to avoid it. Congress has to
    decide what spending to cut.

    This means Congress must decide which special interest groups to
    alienate. Then they must decide which taxes to raise.

    Economic reality is standing on our doorstep

    Congress has been deferring this two-part decision ever since the
    Johnson Administration.

    One republican and democratic administration after another have played
    kick the can, opting in every case to push the problem into the future
    for others to deal with by simply creating more money out of thin air
    and pumping it into the system.

    Unfortunately, the time has come for the United States to pay for the
    consequences of this abuse.

    The national debt in the U.S. is now approaching $14 trillion — if you
    believe in trusting the government’s numbers. The unfunded debts of
    the U.S. are over $50 trillion.

    In reality, both of these numbers are grossly understated through
    government shenanigans, but you get the point.

    There’s no way either of these debts will ever be paid off. They’ll
    have to be reneged (defaulted) on or inflated away.

    Since default is out of the question, the Fed will try to inflate the
    debts away, even though they will say otherwise.

    Our creditors will eventually panic out of dollars, and the dollar
    will be destroyed.

    This is the big picture

    Bernanke warned Congress in his speech the Federal Reserve will not
    tolerate out of control spending any longer. The Fed will not take the
    fall in order to bail out Congress.

    In other words, the rats are beginning to turn on one another.

    Bernanke made it clear that Congress cannot maintain its present
    course. The markets will not allow this.

    He said that there will be a day of reckoning: rising interest rates.
    At some point, lenders will decide that the United States government
    is no longer a reliable borrower.

    Congress is now caught between a rock and a hard place. They have no way out.

    Bernanke commented, “Meeting these challenges will require
    policymakers and the public to make some very difficult decisions and
    to accept some sacrifices.”

    That’s Fed-speak for “we are at the end of the line.”

    Defaulting on the debt would be the honest thing to do, but it will
    never happen. In other words, those who invested their money in a
    corrupt government should lose their investments, but again it won’t

    So we know that the only other choice for the politicians to pursue,
    given the current set of circumstances, is hyper-inflating the
    currency until it implodes and the dollar’s value descends to rock

  • james

    Pip, really can’t disagree with you, apart from the GPO, I think it hurt all the parties (except SF) to see the people go to the heart of Irishness, I think a lesson was learned – don’t forget Berties stunt of a march past some years ago to counter SF

    What many forget is that alot of people died and killed (poss you say murdered) to create this state, it was lovely that days after FF watch on by FG and Labour signed it over to the IMF people marched to the GPO, “rats” they thought “can’t they move on and leave our patriotic dead behind, we need to keep the bankers happy”

    But Pip, its likely there’s an election brewing, doubtless they’ll knock on your door, I’m sure you’ll give em hell including/esp SF, treat em fairly and post the replies

  • JJ Malloy


    I seem to remember reading MacBride quit the IRA after the 1937 Constitution, saying it was no longer necessary as they already had their Republic for all intents and purposes.

    It seemed like, according to what I have read, the 49 Act was just tidying up some loose ends of a confusing constituational situation…or according to others a direct response to a slight from the british ambassador in Canada! Although I will have to defer to you on this one, as usual…Some of us haven’t had the pleasure of meeting or talking to people who knew what was going on behind the scenes.

  • JJ Malloy


    Regarding the US Dollar…this guy wants to shake things up. Looks he may become the chairman of the House panel on monetary policy.

    Ron Paul…longtime Goldbug wants to get US dollar back on gold standard.

    “This is a man, after all, who entered politics because President Richard Nixon bucked the gold standard in 1971, and now wants to make gold and silver legal tender.”

    I’ve met the man at a rally of his, shook his hand. He got my vote in the primaries. Nominally a Republican, that’s about it.

  • Munsterview


    regarding McBride, Thomas Og McCurtain, Jack McCarthy, Tom Barry etc, it is only now as a historian and discussing these things with specialists and filling in details for them, that I realize how privileged I really was back then to know these people politically, socially and otherwise. These have been the yardstick against which I have measured the Northern SF Leadership, they stack up and that is why I have supported them and stayed the course !

    Incidently I recommended this already to-night someone in North America. Look up D D Sheehan MP in Wpedia, his grandson maintains a fine site . DD book ‘Ireland Since Parnell’ is available as a free download and the parallels with the decline of the Nationalist Party and FF are unmistakeable. Enjoy!

  • JJ Malloy

    Will do about the website of Sheehan, thanks.

    Seriously, though, for a post famine to Civil War period history buff like myself it is hard not to wish i had the opportunity to meet some of those figures that loom so large in the studies of that period.

    But, who knows, 2016 is coming up maybe something big will happen.

  • Greenflag

    JJmalloy ,

    Something big IS happening . It’s called the implosion of the world’s financial markets in the wake of 20 years of gouging and looting by the Goldman Sachs of the world . The economists are at each other’s throats looking for economic policies that can work meanwhile the world’s elected politicians are trying to figure out what actually happened and how it might be prevented from happening again.

    Anarchic -trickle down economics means trickle up poverty for ever larger sections of western populations and the political system officially known as ‘democracy’ simply can’t cope .

    The choice will eventually come down to taking on the banks and Wall St 9as in the 1930’s or succumbing to totalitarianism of the left or right .

    When people stop believing that the established politicians don’t have the answers and haven’t a clue they end up putting those who say they have the ‘answer’ in power . That’s how a certain Adolf Hitler and Joe Stalin and Mussolini took power .

    It might be a bit of a stretch to imagine Ireland (ROI) heading the totalitarian route just yet but no country is immune if there is a complete loss of faith in the ‘system ‘.

  • Greenflag

    error above -double negative should read

    ‘When people stop believing that the established politicians have the answers and haven’t a clue they end up etc ‘

  • pippakin

    The Irish Constitution, which is something we have all had faith in because it allows for referendum on ‘important’ issues needs some attention.

    I hope whoever gets in next time will close those loopholes??? that allowed evil doers (greedy, bloodsucking, bastards) to drive the proverbial coach and horses through what passes for our legal system..

    And James, (see somewhere above) the only ‘comments’ I post are my own.

  • JJ Malloy

    yes, something big is happening. But it is not quite as romantic as a bunch of patriots and idealists making a doomed, symbolic gesture and standing up to the British Empire.

    As for democracy, I think it is in the process of failing in a manner it never has before. Liberal democracies can not cope with the strains of today’s world. There very well could be some new totalitarian ideology, or twist on an existing one, that will come to prominence within the next 20 years or so. And many will be ready to embrace it as their deliverance.

  • DeValery had a canary

    SF will crash and burn as soon as the campaign begins. That’s a fact folks.

    Those who care for the the Irish left will be hoping big Eamo has the gas needed to climb the hill – and ironically the SF bubble will help him: because it will dilute the usual Red Scare boillix from FF.

  • Munsterview

    Public Service Announcement

    Will the village missing it’s idiot please check in with slugger o’toole, it seems we have found him !

  • Greenflag

    JJ Malloy,

    ‘I think it is in the process of failing in a manner it never has before. ‘

    We forget that what we call modern democracy -western style has barely had 100 years existence . By that I mean in the sense that the representatives of the have nots as opposed to the haves have had any chance of government in western democracies . Prior to the early 1900’s no ‘socialist’ or left wing party ever came to power in Europe or the USA and it was only in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and both world wars that it became electorally possible for those on the left to gain power .

    The accumulation of capital in the hands of a ruling minority particularly in the USA and it’s aping by the UK among others will mean even more emisseration for western middle and working classes at the expense of rising incomes for their consumer successors in China and India and elsewhere . Authoritarian capitalism Chinese style is seen by many developing countries as a more direct way to economic growth than the the Anglo American anarchic version .

    Modern western democracy seemed to work better when it had a Communist adversary to remind it that if the working and lower middle classes were’nt heeded and or their intersts were cast aside to make way for the rich few then there was an alternative politics -a la the then USSR . IIRC both France and Italy had large Communist parties back in the 1970’s getting 30% plus of the vote nationwide and more than that in some regions .

    ‘There very well could be some new totalitarian ideology, or twist on an existing one, that will come to prominence within the next 20 years or so’

    The current international economic mayhem will not last 20 years -I’d give it three before a new world monetary and currency order and G 20 agreement on international bond holders becomes de riguer or else the world’s financial sectors will implode with disastrous political and social consequences for what we still call ‘democracy’.:(

    In the meantime the Federal Reserve and the IMF and the ECB and the Bank of China can continue to tiddlywink to see which way is most advantageous for their bailiwick .

    They may prefer of course to hang separately just as they did back in the 1930’s 🙁