It’s Micheál!

As widely expected, Micheál Martin T.D. has been elected as the 8th Leader of Fianna Fáil. The Finance Bill Committee Stage continues in the Dáil.

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  • will be live tweeting from Micheal Martin address at 4.30pm.

  • Greenflag

    the nitty gritty for anyone interested.

    It is understood that Mr Martin was elected after three counts and that the runner up was Mr Ó Cuív.
    Mr Martin is understood to have received 33 votes after the first count, Mr Ó Cuív received 15, Brian Lenihan had 14 and Mary Hanafin was on ten.
    After Ms Hanafin’s elimination and the distribution of her votes, Mr Lenihan and Mr Ó Cuív were level, but the Minister for Finance was eliminated on the basis of having had a lower first-count figure

  • Munsterview

    Heartiest congratulations to Micheal, a well played and well deserved win.

    Good news for Fianna Fail, a bad one for Sinn Fein, the FF drift is over, SF will now earn every vote it will take from the FF core and supporter vote.

    ” Micheal is where he wants to be, when the smoke clears he will be seen to be in a better place”!

    I have been saying that consistently, no brownie points claimed however, anyone who knew Micheal and had any appreciation of his political career to date could have predicted this. I did say a week back that one insider in his camp I spoke with claimed support in the low thirties and that is what he apparently got.

    No surprise about Dev Og either, for true grass roots outside The Pale, Fianna Fail, it was Sinn Fein or back to the future to some earlier and mythical pure party origins. Dev represented that. One thing is sure, Rural Ireland have had enough of the ‘Dublin Gliceens’ what both Lenihans typified and they have done to the party.

    Too little too late for Fianna Fail for the election ?

    I would certainly hope so but he will lift FF out of single % points anyway that is for sure and I think FF now has a floor and it is 12% and rising. He learned from O’Mahoney a man that could teach Jackie Healy Rae a trick or two. Expect his hands on the election macinery immediately and effective action taken.

    Thats a few thousand soft votes for Sinn Fein in Munster gone west and they will have to be fought for all over again !

    RTE comment, “FF is now gone from laying in the gutter to sitting in the gutter, but they still have a long way to go “!……. Brilliant summary that.

  • Munsterview

    RTE : Cowens supporters backed Dev Og to give the Lenihans a bloody nose into a humilating third place ! Magic that.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    This was not the leadership election you really want to win.

    FF will have their arses kicked and non one can prove it it was less (or more) of a kicking becaus of the leader.

    His CV will simply read fought 1 lost 1 havig led the party to their biggest ever defeat.

    He should have ducked.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Munster, can you give us a bit more of his CV? how dirty are his hands with the economic mess?

    Saw an hilarious post on “how sounds is Martin on the National Question?” it was laughed out of town, a United Ireland seems very far down the agenda atm.

  • MV, I can think of some folks in West Cork who might have pushed Ó Cuív off the quay 🙂

  • Fionn

    MV, you called it right, I had a feeling the jackeens would prevale and get Lenihan in, you’re right possibly bad new for SF, BUT, just just starting to notice how many senior politicos are from Cork, is he Sherlocks neighbour?

    And Cork was never going to be a biggy for SF, its West and North and a bit in Dublin,

  • Fionn

    prevail …even

  • Munsterview

    Itwas’ : “This was not the leadership election you really want to win.”

    Maybe not but it was the only one there to win ! If he did not speak up now it would be a case of ‘forever hold his peace’

    I have my objective hat on here : Michaels roots are in working class Fianna Fail and public service as the reminded the press conference. He pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, Tom McCarthy and Theo Dorgan have written of this Fianna Fail ethos.

    There is a big difference between what happens at Cumann level and Cabinett table. Micheal has alteady in this conference claimed and staked out a ‘middle way’ and unlike Cowen with the odd good day performance, his will be consistent and persisent. His election will have elated most of Fianna Fail and will have brought the ‘merdie’ comment from all other political leaders as well as Gerry.

    He is attending a meeting of the National Exectuive this evening and investigating the election machine.

    The goal is stop the slide, consodiolate and build up the core vote. The floating vote is gone this election. This will be damage limitations all the way to the election count for Fianna Fail. MicheaI is not beyond stroke politics however and he is just about to pull off a big one.

    Attack is the best form of defense, he will become the leader of the opposition with immediate effect and start taking down the policies of FG and Labour, highlighting the differences. In this election he is playing mainly to the FF grass roots, the floating voters are lost this time round and he knows it. Martin have not fought the election but already in his mind he is in the post election mode.

    Captain Mick Fitzerald of the Irish Defense Forces rallied the Irish Rurby team facing a wipeout with a ” Wheres yer F’ing pride”. Micheal will have one message for every FF Cumman in the country behind closed doors, he will appeal to hiostory and ask them ” Do you want those Free State Bastards sitting in the reviewing plathform outside the GPO for the 1916 commerations, well do you?”

    That will get the grandchildren of the soldiers of the rearguard marching again!

    He know what is facing the incoming government, give them the next budget measures and by the one after they the incoming government will have lost their lusture and the public will also have forgotten much of what.

    However one glaring problem with these predictions; they are based on Old Politics. We will have to see the make up of the New Dail and the number of alternatives to the four main parties elected before any realistic comment cam be made in future Irish Politics. This aspect of the discussion is five or six weeks premature.

    Remember at the start of this year he spoke about the role of Fianna Fail in opposition and their attitude to the financial cutbacks. When Fine Gael were devastated the climb

  • Munsterview

    DromlinR : your wish is my command ! I was quitely confident on this and had this prepared earlier, since the first heave in fact.

    Born Cork, August 1960. Married to Mary O’Shea, two sons, two daughters. Educated Colaiste Chriost Rí, Cork and UCC (BA, HDipED, MA). Minister for Education and former Secondary School Teacher. First elected 1989 and at each subsequent election.

    Re-elected to the 30th Dáil, May 2007. Appointed Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment on the 29th September 2004. Minister for Health and Children 2000-04. Minister for Education 1997-2000. Fianna Fáil Front Bench spokesperson on Education and the Gaeltacht 1995-97.

    Micheál is a former Chairman of the Oireachtas All Party Committee on the Irish Language. Former member of the Dáil Committee on Crime. Member of the Dáil Committee on Finance and General Affairs. He was first elected to Cork Corporation in 1985 (Lord Mayor of Cork 1992-93). Former member of the Governing Body, UCC and of the Governing Body RTC. Former member of the ASTI.

  • Munsterview

    Drumlin : “how dirty are his hands with the economic mess?”

    The short answer to that is all of it, he was a the cabinet table for all of the Celtic Tiger period. However inside FF in Education, Health, etc he was in the main dealing with the services sector, so he is not one those associated with the ‘Flash Harrys’ and loose monies of the Celtic Tiger, brown era.

    In fact behind closed doors he opposed this trend sufficiently to be able to say ‘told you so’ when the scandals broke but as usual, not enough to get up anyones nose about it. He had nothing to do with the O’Donoghue McGreevy Cheltnam racing set.

    I will not detail this, but as it is a factor it must be mentioned, his children had a rare genetic disorder, he and his wife lost two in tragic circumstances. The eldest died last year after a long period of regular serious illness. Every moment free of politics was spend with family and anyone knowing his personal circumstances, could not but have sympathy for the man and appreciation for his sincerity of involvement in politics per se.

    ( Just heard that he has warned his home base that there is to be no celebrations or party until after the election : ‘Minding mice at cross roads etc’ Not too many public perception gaffs from out Micheal !)

    Overall he is a ‘steady as she goes’ type. and if the ship is heading for the iceberg, you will find Micheal in the lifeboat shaking his head sadly while looking after the departing vessel !

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    If he did not speak up now it would be a case of ‘forever hold his peace’

    Eh. No – he could have waited and put himself forward as a ‘new’ , ‘fresh’ candidate after the election.

    Regarding “Captain Mick Fitzerald of the Irish Defense Forces “- are you referrring to Ciaran Fitzerald* whose bluster (speeches) could not stop a really poor team taking repeatedly dreadful hidings – probably worse than that about to he handed out to the new leader of FF and his party.

    *probably the worst ever captain (Leader) of the Lions.

  • ThomasMourne

    Noticed from the live broadcast that 4 TDs were attending afternoon session of Dail. I assume the other 98% were just at the loo or out for a quick smoke.

  • Munsterview

    Correct, that is the man !

    I am not a sportsfan so I am not qualified to pass a verdic on Ciarans performance on the field of play, I just remember that particular incident.

    I believe Micheal when he said that he see this as a ten year project with his election as the first stage of that, the second is election damage limitation. The third is rebuilding the party afterwards.

    Having taken up the burden now instead of waiting until post the election, he will have moral authority and what is more his post election leadership is most unlikely to be challanged. He will have the support of new and old alike.

    His deft attempt to sideline Sinn Fein by having a ‘Three main party’ debate will get a ready response from the others, is part of this. The need for this scorched earth budget will not be questioned by the other two large parties, merely the causes for it. Micheal can handle that efortless.

    For F sake has everyone forgotten one of Labours main soundbite slogans for the last election was ” But are you happy ?” From their market reasearch they knew most people were tolerant of the Celtic Tiger Madness. They determined where the thinking of the mob was and placed themselve at the head of it.

  • Munsterview

    Thomas : you should not have seen that, some RTE producer will get their knuckles rapped to-night.

    The Dail committee controoling press and tv have an agreement with RTE tv that they do not pan the empty chamber. I kid you not whoever is speaking usually bring in a few to sit around them listening intently and looking absorbed.

    Some chance of the public knowing what is going on there with these ‘wizard of oz’ antics.

    However what you see was the usual, in routine business a dail sitting means that there is less than 10% of the elected TD present in the chamber. Of course the full circus is seen for the leaders questions to be shown on the evening news and that is how most people think it usually is.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    “I believe Micheal when he said that he see this as a ten year project with his election as the first stage of that, the second is election damage limitation. The third is rebuilding the party afterwards.”

    That can be translated into : There should be no atttempts to get rid of me for at least a decade irrespective of how I’m getting on.

  • Munsterview

    Itwas : may be and that is the way with Michael….. it is always first a ‘may be’ with options well considered and carefully undertaken when he do move.

    There is no doubt that the last generation of Ogra FF are flexing their muscles and with so many retiring and loosing their seats, these could be to the fore after the next election. Had Micheal waited he could have found himself blamed for the debacle with the rest of the Old Guard.

    The same as he did just enough in the run for leader to achieve his objectives, he will do enough in this election to consolidate his position unless there is a total wipe out. 42% under Bertie and 8% under Brian : I personally believe that Martins election as leader will bring a lift; whether or not this is but a ‘dead cat bounce’ remains to be seen.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    Where are you getting ” 42% under Bertie and 8% under Brian ”

    Is one a poll result and the other an opinion poll?

    If so, apples and oranges.

  • Munsterview

    Itwas : walked into that one, Bertie said it himself just now on RTE TV and I took it without checking !

    The 8% is from Sundays Indo ( yes, I held my nose and bought it) and the 42% was a direct quote from Bertie.

    Finishing research, listening to TV and responding to computer ‘pings’ for mail. Still excuses, excuses, I should not have taken anything Bertie said as fact.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    10 hail marys and a couple of up-and-downers of Croagh Pat and I’ll wipe the slate.

  • New political leaders do have “honeymoon” periods and this Guy is a heavyweight.

    I dont see FF winning the election but this move may have prevented meltdown.

  • Munsterview

    Seymour : Got it on one ! ( well, to be pedantic, in two )

  • pippakin

    Was anyone on the planet surprised, I really doubt it. Micheal Martin put his head above the parapet and deserves his win. It may be enough to invigorate the grass roots and will almost certainly persuade some waverers to give FF a chance. Not enough to make a big difference but perhaps enough to avoid annihilation.

  • Munsterview

    This is Micheal Martin’s first message to the party’s members and supporters as emailed to all.

    Fianna Fail


    Last night, the Fianna Fáil Árd Chomhairle did me the honour of electing me Úachtarán Fhianna Fáil.

    This Party has a unique and positive role to play in our country’s future. Under my leadership, Fianna Fáil will be clear in its approach to the urgent issues of today and in the path it proposes for the future. With the right policies Ireland can and will come through this crisis.

    At these difficult times, our country needs an election which is as serious as the issues we must tackle. This can only happen if the leaders of the parties show a real commitment to moving away from political business as usual.

    I will be initiating a full national tour in order to take our message to every part of the country. To you, our supporters, I ask you to work to ensure that Fianna Fáil candidates are elected in this, one of the most important election campaigns in our nation’s history.

    I know the task ahead will not be easy.

    But I have never shrunk from difficult decisions before, and I promise you that we will meet this challenge with a campaign as vigorous and full of ideas as any Fianna Fáil has ever waged.

    Ar aghaidh le Fianna Fáil.


    Micheál Martin TD.
    Úachtarán Fhianna Fáil