Aras11: Advantage Fianna Fail?

The Irish Times has what looks like a fairly definitive take on the race for the Aras:

The big news from the poll is the continued surge in support for Mr Gallagher. He has doubled his level of support despite the media focus over the past week on his role in Fianna Fáil and, potentially more damaging, the controversy surrounding some of his business dealings. Mr Gallagher is now the favoured choice of Fianna Fáil voters and that has given him a solid base on which to build. More surprisingly, he is also in the lead among Fine Gael voters. Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is entitled to a quiet smile at the turn of events. He was widely castigated within his own party and outside it for the decision not to nomin
ate a candidate for the presidency. Now an Independent candidate with very close links to the party is on the verge of becoming the ninth president of Ireland, something an official party candidate could not have hoped to do. It goes to show that the Fianna Fáil brand may not be nearly as toxic as some of the party’s opponents have assumed. With the right candidates and the right policies the party may still have an important contribution to make to the country’s political future. It will be fascinating to see how the Fianna Fáil candidate in the Dublin West byelection, David McGuinness, performs on Thursday.

There’s little doubt that SF’s decision to put Martin McGuinness in that brought #Aras11 to life. Who knew that the main beneficiviary may turn out to be Fianna Fail, without even lifting a nominating finger.

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  • Alias

    Sorry, war generation, not post-war.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Munsterview

    Old habits die hard ? You’ve not said a truer thing for a very long time.

    Certain things happen because they happen, many more things happen because people make free – albeit sometimes within a limited range of – choices, some of which are spot on, some of which suck; some of the quality of and the consequences of the choices made are obvious at the time to many or shortly afterwards, some only reveal their wisdom or folly…morality etc much later. Adams and McGuinness interestingly disagree on precisely this point. McG says that had exercised an informed and conscious choice when he joined the ‘Ra, Adams was of the view that he and others had none when he/they ‘became involved’. McG’s choice can be argued to be wrong – not by you, obviously – but at least he has the dignity to accept that he had other options and that alternative courses of action were available. Adams on the other hand has a clear and substantial problem with the very basic foundational ethical principle of accepting personal moral responsibility for one’s own actions.

  • Brian

    Anyone who dares call out of the PIRA for what it was -a total failiure, against the wishes of the majority of the people they claimed to be fighting for, completely counterproductive, a disgrace in many instances to the history of Irish freedom fighters, etc is apparently with “the establishment” and a hypocrit to boot.

    Thanks for that, Munsterview. Say hi to your friends for me as they administer British rule in Ireland….hell half of your leaders were working for the British even before the ceasefire, nothing new really they just got around to coming out in the open a little more.

    Is it possible for you to comment on any blog post on Slugger without eventually referencing the men of 98, or Cromwellian slavery, or other history? Do you do that to deflect attention from your friends’ failed, idiotic, vaingloroius, and hopeless campaign of terror? Or do you do that in attempt to give their efforts a cloak of legitimacy? Probably a combination of both.

    what you regard as a “war”:
    FWIW at the United States War College it is not regarded as a war. From 72-74 it is classified and viewed as being a “Low level Insurgency” but from 74 on it was listed as a Counter-Terrorism effort.

    Killing on average 4 soldiers, 5 off duty UDR men, and 4 hapless RUC men a year (along with the requisite civilian ‘collateral damage”, straight up civilian murder, kneecappings, and vicious punishment of minor criminal offenders) hardly constitues a very successful ‘war’ effort, does it? Pretty pathetic.

  • Munsterview

    Brian, : Passage West a harbor town in Co. Cork have Town Commission Local Government Administration. The usual make up was a couple of Fianna Fail, a couple of Fine Gael, one Labour and one Sinn Fein.

    In the early seventies the Town Commission unanimously and unopposed, selected Jimmy Mee, a quite mild mannered easygoing man and one of natures gentlemen to be their representative at the annual Local Government Conference. He was allocated a full four minutes speaking time.

    When democratically elected Town Commissioner Jimmy Mee was called and got to his feet in the body of the hall the Fianna Fail orchestrated members there went into full cry, joined by almost all the Fine Gael delegates and to their shame, some labor also. This shouting, foot stomping, slow hand-clapping and heckling continued right through Jimmy’s walk to the platform, right through his speech which of course was drowned out and accompanied him all the way back to his seat when he left the podium.

    I never forgot that event and every time Cosgrave, Lynch, Fitzerald or Haughey preached at the likes of me on the merits of democracy this is what was in my mind.

    In the winter of 70 on a moonlight evening a group of young men carefully made their way in pairs in a from different directions towards the outskirts of a certain City. Two men were talking on a bridge and as the pairs passed, they were told their destination, a derelict two story house fifteen minutes out of town with a sound roof but without any windows or doors.

    By eight 8.30pm all were gathered down stairs, two there were second level students, two were craftsmen, and two general workers. It was a freezing cold but a beautiful night. The six, and the additional constituted an IRA Unit.

    After a bit of drilling a small arms class started and there was silence except for the instructor. A small noise came from up stairs, there was only one big room and the first man in had popped his head above the floor earlier and seen nothing. Hand signals were exchanged the T/O continued quietly talking while the 2/IC cocked his 38 tip-towed up the stairs and sprang into the room. He spoke quietly to someone and then asked the O/C to bring up the unit and fall them in on what had been the landing.

    This was done, they were shocked, all had come from comfortable homes, yet here lying together on the floor were three men and two women covered in coats, cardboard or whatever. The hoar frost had turned all white like a light sprinkle of snow and and with caps and scarfes covering their faces and heads only eye slits were showing through the white covering, The first man had not seen the prone, huddled bodies. Both groups were equally taken aback.

    The O’C again brought all to attention, his words were brief and to the point ” If you continue with this craic, sooner or later you will find yourself looking down the sights of a gun and your finger on the trigger. In that moment you will do as you are trained to do or maybe not. It has happened many a good Vol before you and if so there is still plenty of work you can do. If you do squeeze that trigger this is the Ireland that you are shooting to end because if we do not do it no one else will” !

    They were then given the order to fall out and disperse. The unfortunate homeless five were asked for their silence and they gave it and there after they were the five extra pairs of eyes and ear for that Republicans could rely on despite their personal problems.

    Two of those young men died in active service, a third did a hunger-strike that left him semi-invalided, two others dropped out and if the last one had not been out of the country at a certain time, his story could have been that of his two young dead comrades also.

    Very easy, very easy indeed Brian to ‘Condemn Violence’ and ‘sleep on another man’s wound’ but let us not forget for one moment the other State inflected violence that made concerned young idealistic IRA volunteers motivated enough to risk their lives and some to give their all like these two, Volunteer Tony Ahern and Volunteer Dermot Crowley RIP, did.

    But then again you personally have nothing to be guilty about Brian, have you ? Like all those legions of White South Africans that came to light after Apartite fell, you were another of those working for change from within the system, were you not?

  • lamhdearg

    welcome back munster,
    what % (first pref) for martin would you think a success and what a failure, i have it at 17+ 12-. ps catch your answer later, i am of to bed.

  • Munsterview

    Thanks Lamh, but only visiting, just visiting I am afraid! ( I have visons of Mick looking South waving a black spot and muttering ‘make my day Munsterview’, make my day)

    Lamh, I would not imagine the back room people are too hung up on % on this one, Sinn Fein had several objectives in contesting this election and I would imagine most of those boxes have been ticked off. Fianna Failed could not have got in the front door but they almost made it by the back door and Martin, it would appear at this stage, stopped that.

    If so that also de facto decided who will emerge as the main Republican Party in the South from the next general election. What Sean Gallaher’s candidacy have proven is that Fianna Fail will have to go to the under thirty age group to find clean hands and that would mean all the Old War horses stepping aside.

    Sean could have given Gerry a good run for the Louth seat but Dermot Ahern the Former Minister For Justice spiked Seans selection as a general election candidate, Ahern came first and the party second. The country is full of ‘Aherns’ and that situation will not be sorted out before the next election.

  • Jimmy Sands

    If you do squeeze that trigger this is the Ireland that you are shooting to end because if we do not do it no one else will

    So you were fighting poverty really?

    That’s adorable. Who knew?

  • Munsterview

    Yes Jimmy always with the glib comment or jibe where Republicans are concerned!

    Comment on the threatment your and Brian’s Ireland gave to elected Town Comissioner, Jimmy Mee and justify that example of Twenty Six County democracy in action if you can.

    Your Ireland tried to bribe the one half and intimidate the other half : we now have a wreckage of a Nation and future because all senior decision makers in Public Service were either bribed or intemidated from doing their jobs to give buliders, bankers and assorted wankers a free hand to plunder the country and plunge society back to where it was when I left Second Level education in the early sixties when between two thirds and three quarters of school leavers had to emigrate.

    As a Paralegal I spend six months assisting one particular family that were victims of George Redmonds corruption when he had the entire resources of Dublin Corporation at his disposal. Sneer all you like, I actually worked as a part time volunteer with the Simon Community in one of their locations in both the soup run and hostel and did many other things as a young person to assist people like I described. I could go on but why bother, it is just not against me, this was your rant long before I came on slugger and will be long after I am gone.

    Would Brian or yourself care to give a brief outline of what you did between late teens and late twenties to help the marginalized and the impoverished ?

    If you can consistently stack up any worthwhile voluntary activity that made Ireland a better place for people and community, then you may have something to say that I would consider worth listening to and respecting, but until you do I cannot take you say as having any merit other than your usual Republican knocking.

  • Jimmy Sands

    MV, if you want to describe the murder of 1800 men women and children as a form of social work then don’t be surprised if it’s not taken seriously. Jimmy Mee was treated discourteously by his political opponents. Your political opponents got a bullet. I find a sense of perspective can be helpful.

    As for your voluntary work fair play to you. Seriously. If you want to demean it by making it a willy measuring contest however then you’re on your own. I concede. And I’m not going to argue with you about corruption or in what bizarro make believe world I’ve become a spokesman for George Redmond. I would just ask how you think car bombs helped.

  • Munsterview

    No Jimmy, not demeaning,

    I put both my personal effort and occasionally my personal funds doing what others of my extended family have always done. One distant cousin in the UK in the mid nineties made in excess of sixty million by his mid thirties at which stage he cashed in most of his shares. One of his first acts was to set up a charity to give away millions, even as he began other enterprise that have seen him go from financial success to success.

    So Jimmy just as I thought with you, nothing to do with ‘a willie measuring contest’ I merely wanted to see if you measured up as a committed person and concerned human being where those less fortunate than yourself were involved, no more, no less.

    Talk is cheap, sneering and jibing is even cheaper, but your reference to a ‘willie measuring contest’ is something I cannot comment on as it deserves to be commented on, without incurring Mick’s waiting and final card. Not quite ready for that just yet.

    While there may still be some limited merit in attempting to explain and share with Northerners, it is a complete waste of time and effort to do so with people such as yourself. As to George Redmond, when I opposed him, just like Bertie when he was riding high, he had no shortage of friends or influence.

    I just do not get it, if there were so, so many good folk out there such as Brian and yourself, why did not anybody shout stop ? How come we are left with this financial wreckage ?

    With this post I am stopping and unilaterally ending our exchange, the field is all yours and very soon slugger will be too to make all the anti-Republican polemics you can as it will be, catering in the main for only for ‘kick the Provos’ posters, the same sort of ethos that have made the Independent Newspaper Media the sort of irrelevant, unathorative, laughing stock it is to those of Politics.ie or anyone who takes politics in Ireland seriously.

    I will be dealing with Micks comment posting re myself later today time permitting, he did say among other things that ” Dozens of Republicans had no difficulty commenting on slugger”

    Perhaps so, but because of the same unchanged and unchanging anti-Sinn Fein diatribes here from the same ten to fifteen strident, dominant and dominating voices, not alone thousands but tens of thousands of other Northern Republicans equally have no difficulty what so ever in also ignoring slugger as of no relevance to real politics or of its openions having worthwhile value.

  • Brian

    MV

    It’s a nice story. I’m sure a few young volunteers and a few sprinklers of true believers really thought their efforts had anything to do with combating poverty. It hardly changes the fact that was not the case.

    “Very easy, very easy indeed Brian to ‘Condemn Violence’ and ‘sleep on another man’s wound’ but let us not forget for one moment the other State inflected violence that made concerned young idealistic IRA volunteers motivated enough to risk their lives and some to give their all like these two, Volunteer Tony Ahern and Volunteer Dermot Crowley RIP, did.”

    I am not condemning violence in general. I am condemning a small group of self selected elites deciding that they had the right to wage an OFFENSIVE campaign of terror and violence that had no chance to succeed and never had the backing of the majority of the people they claimed to be fighting for. A campaign that went on way too long even when it’s failure was a foregone conclusion the whole time, when the objective of the population (civil rights) was assured and when power sharing was on the table.

    As for the two deceased young men, I don’t doubt they were idealistic and brave young men, but then again so are suicide bombers. The glory and romance of being so called “freedom fighters” was probably too much for them to resist at their young age. A cousin of mine gave into those sirens too…some good it did him. The experience left him scarred and with an intense hatred for a leadership that used him up and fed him lies as they sold out the cause they had built up in his head as sacred.

    Anyway, I wonder how the adult who put Tony and Dermot to work for the “cause” felt when they blew themselves up at the ripe old ages of 17 and 18. Who knows, he may be so busy enjoying the prestige and salary that goes along with administering British rule that he long ago forgot about them.

    As for your charity work, good for you. It’s completely irrelevant to the Provos and their campaign.

  • Brian

    MV

    “I just do not get it, if there were so, so many good folk out there such as Brian and yourself, why did not anybody shout stop ? How come we are left with this financial wreckage ?”

    Somehow I doubt that Gerry and co. would have handled the mess any better than those in charge, but who knows. As for myself, I left the emerald isle years ago, as many of our brothers and sisters have done before and since.

    Alas, my adopted country is also suffering the long after effects of greed, corruption, and collective madness. At least Erin isn’t suffering alone this time….

  • Jimmy Sands

    I’m sure a few young volunteers and a few sprinklers of true believers really thought their efforts had anything to do with combating poverty.

    Frequently their own, but still…

  • Alias

    If there is anything worse than a drama queen, it’s surely a drama queen with a victim complex…

  • Munsterview

    Brian : “..As for your charity work, good for you. It’s completely irrelevant to the Provos and their campaign…..”

    Charity work my arse !

    As a young trade union officer, the first time I sat in at a employer negotiation, my branch committee mentor was actually better dressed than some of those across the table and I took the piss out of him for it after the meeting. Later that evening when we returned to base he took me out to tea and asked me to estimate the cost of what he was wearing. Bear in mind this was the late sixties when money was tight and good clothes were much more expensive than now.

    His outfit was the equivalent value of several weeks wages. He was middle aged, he then told me that every spring he went around the local gents better shops and priced what he would spend to dress as he would like new. On his next union business in Dublin he then went to charity shops, bought himself good used clothes as reasonable as he could, and he gave the monies he saved to The Simon Community. That same thing I have done to this day and many others are quietly doing the same thing.

    Our enemies, ‘domestic and foreign’ with their own skilled propaganda have painted Republicans as one dimension ‘men of violence’ during the Conflict and post Conflict, as ‘failed men of violence’ In the little time that is open to me in this forum all I am doing is as I have always done, taken Republicans out of the box and presented the bigger picture of where many of them are coming from.

    This man got me involved in Simon for the very same reason that I have spend time and effort getting good young people into such concerns down the years. he did it to make sure that as I progressed materially in life as I did, I would also stay on the right side of the track and fight for those who could not fight for themselves.

    As an old Republican friend of mine was in the habit of saying, ” The same brain that can empty a bank can fill one too” and many have in changed circumstances. One successful Republican business man described his new situation to me as ‘ taking only half the effort with none of the risk’ when compared to his Republican activity.

    Only those who have walked that walk can know what it is like to stand briefly at a door, look at a wife and family and then go out on activity and function in the knowledge that it could be five, seven or ten years before they stood in their family sitting room again. Such people, their partners and their extended families know more courage and dedication in one week of life than many of their well paid, compromised critics know in a whole lifetime.

    My union The National Engineering and Electrical Trade Union, like many other trade unions, broke from our brother English union post the Rising in the lead up to the War Of Independence. Terence McSweeney presided over the first meeting and there was always a good supportive Republican ethos in the Union.

    Through out the country in Trade Unions, Credit Unions, Community associations, the GAA, Comhtals etc, hundreds of thousands of people know Republicans for what they really are, committed, dedicated people who put in their time and effort for the benefit of their community.

    So Brian it is not completely irrelevant to the Provos, it is very relevant and part of what we are.

  • Munsterview

    Alias : ” If there is anything worse than a drama queen, it’s surely a drama queen with a victim complex…”

    The first rule of combat a guerilla learns is, where possible, choose your battle ground rather than engage the enemy in his!

    As Mick in his wisdom or lack of it as the case may be have insisted in attempting to apply cricket rules to a game of hurling, debate here on this pitch is impossible.

    I have however reactivated Munsterview in Politics.ie and I will take you on there like I did ‘Maksey’ here and we will see who will come out the worst of that encounter. When ready to do so I will inform Slugger readers when it is under way and Boy am I looking forward to it. I have got my ‘refusnic’ friends lined up and this debate will operate with the gloves off and the agendas exposed.

    ‘Your reference to ‘Victim complex’ is a case in point ( nice gambit by the way, but then again I did say that you were good, very good in fact ), you know if I fell for that ploy and explored the ‘victim complex’ in its wider and your specific context, I would have left myself open to ‘man play’ and of course the old hoary chesnut of ‘anti-Semitism’, so I decline here and for now.

    So see you on politics.ie where real political debate takes place these days if you have the guts to engage !

  • Reader

    Munsterview: One successful Republican business man described his new situation to me as ‘ taking only half the effort with none of the risk’ when compared to his Republican activity.
    Hmm, so: developer; banker; commercial fly tipping; border diesel deliveries. Not only did your boys liberate the North, but they helped to make the Celtic Tiger what it is today.

  • Munsterview

    Reader : just like Jimmy and Alias, all coming out of the woodwork now!

    There are thousands of legitimate and successful Business Enterprises on this Island, England and the States run by former Republican activists. To take a particular or even a dozen or two particulars and then seek to elevate these to the general is not fair comment, it is black propaganda and low smear smear tactics against perceived political opponents.

    However as the saying goes ‘all is fair in love and war’ and for a small but vociferous unrepresentative group here, that is what slugger is, a forum where the Conflict can still be fought by other means as per Kitsons dictums as to how the media should be harnessed and used.

    Get a life, most people have and moved on!

    However thanks for your input, it is yet another prime example of the gross unfairness and biast commentatory that Republicans can expect here in slugger as a constant without editorial intervention!

  • Jimmy Sands

    You still here then?

    a small but vociferous unrepresentative group

    If you don’t want the smart alec comebacks you’ll have to stop making it this easy.

  • Munsterview

    Jimmy S : Sinn Fein are the sccond largest party on Northern Ireland and after this election we will see what the % are in the South. Who do you represent ?

  • Jimmy Sands

    Not sure where you’re going with this one, but if it’s important to you, I haven’t been politically active for years and my views are my own. If you’re trying to argue that your views on the war/troubles/unpleasantness/whateveryourehavingyourself are more representative than mine, then I think you’re digging yourself a hole. Besides I thought the whole point of provisionalism was that our views don’t count but that you were the vanguard that were going to save us our lack of national zeal.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Munsterview

    Celebrating being the second largest party only feels – to me, at any rate – worth celebrating in the context of having recognized that in the past you’ve only represented an unelected military elite who felt/feel entitled to tell the rest of us what is good for us and/or what we’re going to get and what rights we’re ‘allowed’ whether we like it or not but now can claim to represent some people – a critical mass but well well short of a national majority. Not much basis for triumumphalism given that so many killed and were killed in the course of killing to claim a silver medal within a sectarian cartel-administered entity within the borders of the UK, is it ? Or do you still feel that the outcomes attained genuinely represent an adequate return on the, so to say, investment ?

  • Reader

    Munsterview: There are thousands of legitimate and successful Business Enterprises on this Island, England and the States run by former Republican activists.
    Your hordes of anecdotal provo businessmen prospered (anecdotally) during a boom. It must have been a help that they didn’t have to worry about seed money or about competition like Paul Quinn. Or would it only be senior provos that get organisational cover for their business dealings?

  • Reader

    Munsterview: I never forgot that event and every time Cosgrave, Lynch, Fitzerald or Haughey preached at the likes of me on the merits of democracy this is what was in my mind.
    Do you have a principled position on “No Platform” politics, and what’s Sinn Fein’s position on the matter?

  • Nunoftheabove

    Munsterview

    “another prime example of the gross unfairness and biast commentatory that Republicans can expect here in slugger”

    Self-pity, self-righteousness, solipsism and grandiosity – think that about sums up some of the key characteristics of the postion you’re holding.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I’ve just done a Lexis search to look at some of his “paralegal” work.

    Charity work my arse !

    He’s not wrong there.