“Utter fucking chaos” (Fianna Fáil)

Those were the words used by one witness in describing last night’s six hour meeting of the Fianna Fáil Oireachtas members, as reported by Ivan Yates on Newstalk (comments are passim through the podcast, but check out Parts 3 and 4 in particular).

The Oireachtas group were discussing policy regarding the Presidential election, which Fianna Fáil had already decided not to contest. It appeared that the party had already squeezed sufficient and significant negative mileage out of not contesting the Presidential election by trying to recruit Gay Byrne whilst ignoring internal candidates like Brian Crowley and Eamonn Ó Cuiv.

Ó Cuiv, the deputy party leader, has been very reluctant to concede that the party wouldn’t stand a candidate, and, according to Mary O’Rourke, he at one stage declared he no longer wished to be deputy leader at last night’s meeting. A Fianna Fáil senator, Labhrás Ó Murchú (Director-General of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann) has now decided that he wants to run, with Mary O’Rourke suggesting that, as he is a right-wing conservative, his main intention is to block David Norris (or even a candidate backed by Sinn Féin) getting any nominations from members of Fianna Fáil.

Where all this leaves party leader Micheal Martin is unclear, since he has been desparately trying to put any Fianna Fáil aspirations to the Áras to bed for some time now. What is even odder is the minimal return the presidency offers as it is a non-political role and offers little tangible benefit to a winning party. 

But, to paraphrase Kissinger, presidential politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.

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  • Eddie (Eamonn) Mac Bhloscaidh

    I thought Micheál Martin could do a job for Fianna Fáil, clearly wrong.

    Will Ó Cuív make a run at the leadership of Fianna Fáil?

  • Henry94

    It’s comedy and well deserved. They had a presentable candidate in Brian Crowley but didn’t have the guts to run him and now are in danger of stumbling into the nomination of a complete disaster of a candidate. Micheál Martin seems to have nothing to offer and his reputation for chronic indecisiveness as a Minister looks well deserved.

  • Charminator

    Agree Henry94 – well deserved comedy indeed.

    I cannot at all understand why they didn’t run with Crowley, a very credible candidate in an election that the dogs and the cats on the street know FF could never win anyway.

    Ó Cuív, if he has sense, will heave. My big fear regarding Micheál Martin was that he was a Blair-Cameron style waffler with little real political principles, but a heavy dose of media-savvy pragmatism. Increasingly, I feel convinced this caricature is revealing itself to the public at precisely the time that the party needs a reassuring, sincere, and straight-talking leader. Ó Cuív is the obvious person – over time – to show a real face of FF, one of values (if any remain).

    For the good of his party, indeed even the future of his party, if he has sense and a set of liathróidi, he’ll push. We’re all about to find out just how deep the Führerprinzip runs through FF.

  • sherdy

    Both SDLP and Fianna Fail well down their respective slippery slopes. Would now be a good time for a merger? They might manage to get one half-decent leader between them. But they can forget about a presidential candidate.

  • If MMcG took the average industrial wage but drew the 300k salary and gave SF the rest, that would be a tidy sum over a seven year term…

    Is the gardening a bit much for him lately and he fancies a well paid rest home?

  • oh fiddlers – comment on wrong thread. Ho hum.