If Carlsberg did weekends

What a weekend – a hugely successful Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis coupled with Ireland leaving Paris undefeated.

The energy and enthusiasm at the Ard Fheis was palpable, not to mention the great feeling from being surrounded by thousands of real Republicans, without a single balaclava or cartridge in sight.

The passing of One Member One Vote (OMOV) was a key outcome, as not only does it give all grassroots members a real involvement with the party, it also ensures the phenomenon of paper cumainn being consigned to history.  There were 17 motions on renewal and all were passed.

Another key moment was the comparison between the enthusiastic applause leader Micheál Martin TD received with the short, polite applause given to former deputy leader Eamon O’Cuiv TD.   The message was clear, Fianna Fáil will remain a pro Europe party.

The hall was already full over an hour before Micheál Martin was due to deliver his keynote speech, expectations and spirits amongst us all were high, and boy did Martin deliver.  The past was dealt with, and the future for Fianna Fáil was bright, people want a new politics, and under Micheál’s leadership Fianna Fáil will be trail blazers.

Fianna Fáil will reclaim Republicanism from those who have sullied the word with blood, semtex and ink.  Ireland needs a vibrant Republican Party that will support small businesses, education and new industries; one that will help people and not exploit their fears; one that is open to new ideas and one that will get this country back on track.

The fight back has begun.


  • babarino

    Happy you had a good weekend with your cronies. It’ll take more than a few jibes at the Shinners about ink to erase the general perception of FF as incompotent stroke politicians.

  • changeisneeded

    Mick where did you find this joker..

  • Obelisk

    Is it ok to post such naked political propaganda here on a political discussion site? I’m finding it difficult to engage with this piece, it reads more like a press release than a topic of discussion.

    Long story short though, ‘Fianna Fail is back. Please don’t mention how we bankrupted the country.’

  • Turgon

    What do you mean. The blog was brilliant: self deprecating wit directed at the contributor’s own party; style; nuance. All that in only a few short paragraphs: only one word can describe this blog and that is the same one which clearly also describes the conference: incredible.

  • latcheeco

    Classic! One for the ages

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon, I’m not so sure that the guy is being sarcastic. Why would he lampoon his own party ?

    I fear, sadly, Slugger has earned another hit and run blogger who posts his missive and then buggers off without coming back to debate with the commentariat.

  • PaulT

    It was also the first time Bertie has been seen in public for a long old time, some would believe it shows the weakness of Martins leadership that he was unable to keep him away, esp with the Mahon Tribunal publication looming, I’d imagine Martin had hoped for a bit of a bounce in the polls as well, which didn’t happen.

    But fair play for looking on the brightside of things, what with the 1,700,000 euro debt, down to 1010 Cumanns registered, deputy leader resigned.

    No, I cannot fault this kid for trying. If FF is to become a creditable party again, they need keenness like this, I only hope he is young enough to live to see it, yet a peek at P.ie sadly says it’s unrealistic unless he’s 12yo or under

  • PaulT

    ““We were in government and we should have acted differently. We made mistakes. We got things wrong. And we are sorry for that. No equivocation. No half-apology. Just the plain, unvarnished truth.”

    The passage, which was greeted by a standing ovation and sustained applause, formed the highpoint of Mr Martin’s first address as party leader to an ardfheis, the party’s first since 2009.

    Key strategists believed that what they described as a very comprehensive apology – which was widely anticipated – was necessary both in terms of the party’s own internal efforts at renewal, and also in reassuring the wider public that it fully accepts responsibility for its role.”

    Question is, has FF reached the bottom yet?

  • wee buns

    ”Fianna Fáil will reclaim Republicanism from those who have sullied the word with blood, semtex and ink.”

    Jezus loves a tryer – best laugh I had all day.

  • Zig70

    Can anyone tell me what FF have done in the last ten years that would identify them as republican? What happened to them organising in the North?

  • socaire

    Does he not know the difference between a republican and a free stater? This boy is going to go far.

  • weidm7

    Maybe we might restrict posts to those over 18 who aren’t party propagandists?

  • Mac

    Didn’t Bertie look well?

  • Alias

    “We were in government and we should have acted differently. We made mistakes. We got things wrong. And we are sorry for that. No equivocation. No half-apology. Just the plain, unvarnished truth.”

    More lies. They didn’t make mistakes in bailing-out the eurosystem: they told deliberate lies to the people to get them on the hook for private debts that belonged to eurosystem banks. First they told them that the banks were solvent and that the problem was related to liquidity in global markets and would be temporary. Then they issued a bank guarantee that they climed was to cover depositors and prevent a run on the banks, but they used that pretext cover all bondholders. They said the guarantee would be “the cheapest in history” and we all know now they lied about that. Then they said banks would only need small sums, and we know now they lied about that. There are a whole litany of sequenced lies that were designed from Day One to contain eurosystem debts in the borrowing state rather than allow them to default to the lending state. This was the ECB/EU policy from Day One, and FF were simply the quislings who were used by their masters in the EU to implement this policy.

  • Mick Fealty

    Well, it’s a point of view and a new one for us on Slugger. So Welcome Stephen. (The door is always open for new talent).

    The AF was also notable for what didn’t happen as what did. No heave, and Dev Og’s breaking of ranks just beforehand is still an event looking for a credible explanation.

    A lot of people in other parties think Mahon is going to give Martin a rough ride. But in fact it’s one of his opportunities to put clear green water between themselves and the past.

    The sheer numbers were very impressive… somewhere between three and four thousand… That’s big currency in anyone’s language…

    The speech was okay. But nothing to write home about. The soft focus of the apology meant that Martin had to keep explaining what it meant and what it didn’t mean.

    They have not yet got a narrative focus for the ‘fight back’ Stephen suggests. Re-organisation is not a bad start, and I buy the line from the leadership team that you cannot come back before people are ready.

    According to the polls, the party is still where it was at the election a year ago. The up side to that is that it’s not slipping. The voters who left them for Labour have drifted on to Sinn Fein and Independents. The bigger chunk went to FG.

    They lost seats everywhere. They have to get some life back into that grassroots whilst there is still a strong memory of local party Dail representation, and assets to draw upon at local council level.

    This gig, I have no doubt, was aimed at giving those local activists a boost and put some fire in their belly to get out and knock doors in time for the next there are 43 by-elections.

    The lack of narrative is reflective, perhaps, of the fact that Martin came in at almost the last moment (i.e. without a plan or a vision for what he wanted). And the fact that they have had to prioritise reconnecting with the grass roots over almost anything else.

    The referendum will be the very first test of this ‘positive opposition’ meme. They won’t differentiate themselves from Government so much as from Sinn Fein as the pro European opposition party.

    I don’t know where that takes them in the longer run. But after the referendum, the next big test is the 2014 locals still two years and for which this Ard Fheis was undoubtedly a starter pistol.

    By then we ought to be able to judge whether Stephen’s partisan optimism was well founded or misplaced.

  • New Yorker

    If they truly accept responsibility they would fold up their tent and go away. Since they will hang around, they really don’t accept responsibility. They are part of the past and should not muddy the present and future.

  • changeisneeded

    Well, it’s a point of view and a new one for us on Slugger. So Welcome Stephen. (The door is always open for new talent).

    It’s a jaundiced imature point of view . And talent, Mick you joking?
    Would you give SF such a grandstand and warm welcome. Would you f**k
    Biased in the ways of the MSM Mick , poor show…

  • Reader

    Socaire: Does he not know the difference between a republican and a free stater?
    I thought it was something to do with inherited 90 year old grudges. But I’m guessing there’s an attempt to re-purpose the term for the 21st Century to refer to bombs and bullets.

  • Mick Fealty


    Are you saying it is not acceptable to give anyone from FF a voice on Slugger?

    We have two regular pro SF bloggers on the Slugger books, and about five others who are/have been on the roster. I am more than willing to give a platform to anyone, within reasonable standards. And to be fair SF people have always been willing, even eager at times, to put their head above the parapet.

    I’m a little nervous of people thinking that partisanship is enough. Slugger is a mixed community; ie a place to talk to people who do not safe your world view. It’s a good place to test ideas and fly some kites. It’s not great for sloganising and simple protest.


    Stephen is not generally known for fleeing the field. The Ard Fheis ran into voting last night, let’s see what today brings?

  • Dec

    ‘Stephen is not generally known for fleeing the field. ‘

    Don’t know about that but he’s certainly known for charging €3250 for a year’s hosting of Dick Roche’s website. (Perhaps he can confirm whether or not Dick claimed that fee on expenses.) That should place Stephen’s remark about a ‘vibrant Republican party supporting small businesses…and new industries’ in its proper context.

  • PaulT

    “Stephen is not generally known for fleeing the field”

    So how come the Irish taxpayer is still trying to find out why the annual hosting cost of a FF ministers website cost over €3000 a year?

    But back to the topic Mick (wouldn’t want to Troll)

    Its concerning that you think that Martin who has been at the heart of FF for decades didn’t have a vision when he became leader, how was he disadvantaged compared to someone, say, like Blair?

    Considering the weekend was mainly noted for the long expected cringeworthy apology thats been roundly rejected by many (thejournal.ie had a cracker about it) and was also the first time that people like Bertie, Cowen, Coughlan and the rest of the gang were brave enough to go out in public, I fail to see where the rebuilding of the party is coming from.

    I mean, whats your opinion of the Irish people if you think Dick Roche’s ex-SpAd (who has still to explain his web hosting charges to the Irish people) can simply announce a new beginning and all the bad stuff is forgotten.

    FG, if people agree with them or not, are trying to fix the mess and they are maintaining 30% in the polls, the fact that FF cannot move their ratings is evidence that the party is not turning a corner and I’m amazed that you feel the need to wait untill 2014 to decide, don’t you do polls?

    And I’d say its not your mix of bloggers that is the issue, its the rather singleminded approach to subject matter, ie its not a story unless it’s anti-SF (and don’t worry about the facts) so yeah, mixed community, one subject

  • Mick Fealty

    Yeah lads, I’ll take that as inevitable comment, up to point. Then it is pure playing the man. Actually, it’s pure man playing now. Unless you’d like to proffer other reasons for keeping people you don’t like off the site?

  • Dec


    To be fair, ‘‘Stephen is not generally known for fleeing the field‘ is ad-hominen also, no? Plus if Stephen can make remarks about ‘ink’, then some are entitled to make remarks about ‘hosting’?

  • Mick Fealty

    I’m not ruling it out in the context of a new blogger coming in, but I am saying that persistent focus on the person as opposed to the subject will not be treated sympathetically.

    Now, challenge the man, by all means. But there’s a timespan for banter, and a timespan for serious political contention.

    All I am saying is that the time for the former is up.

  • PaulT

    Mick, the man was challenged on his previous (anti-SF) thread and again on this (anti-SF) thread and indeed across several media outlets without much of a reply.

    His posts to date are just ‘sloganising’ indeed as are your posts on FF. Do either of you actually have anything resembling a grownup arguement to defend FF.

    So far all we’ve got from both of you is puff pieces and empty sloganising for FF, frankly its gobsmacking to hear your comments

    “A lot of people in other parties think Mahon is going to give Martin a rough ride. But in fact it’s one of his opportunities to put clear green water between themselves and the past.”

    How, the past was at the AD, I’ve seen more pictures of Bertie this weekend than of Martin, if he can’t even keep his ex-comrades away from the AD how can he distance himself from them. Goodness, last week we heard the old guard are already considering making a comeback in Donegal. Martin has been in the part and in the hot seat long enough to get a grip on the job, yet here I am commenting on a thread started by a FFer old guard about a AD attended by the old guard telling us its all shiny and new. naw! it’s the exact same FF, therefore the revival will only happen when the old guard are gone or forgiven, as Martin is unable to remove them FF has no choice but wait for forgiveness, is that something that Martin has any real controll over?

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Is there a parallel dimension around here somewhere?

    This guy is even out of synch with the general mood re the rugby result. No doubt he’ll be equally keen to give us his thoughts after the Mahon tribunal’s report.

  • claudius

    I’m quite interested in what he had to say. In some ways its an admirable position; damn the past and get on with the future. However, FF have to start somewhere and maybe this is the way to do it or not. Are there any PR strategists in sluggerland? I’d be interested in hearing their professional opinions

  • DiarmDearg

    The Party that wrecked Ireland are now pretending that they are Republican and that they’ll work day and night to unite protestant, catholic and dissenter. What a joke. You wrecked the country, full stop.

  • Roy Walsh

    I’d assume PaulT above means AF rather than ‘AD’ being it was the party’s Ard Fheis, on point though, the poster might be a little too pro-FF to have heard the rousing criticism of the Fianna Fáil party and their Dublin weekend gathering, notably that from people attending the Jobs expo next door on saturday in the hope of work abroad, something of an historic tradition in our country, there can be little doubt FF had some responsibility for the cause of this, though, even nationally, they are not alone in responsibility as little opposition to FF policies, especially when they were tied to the PD’s, from opposition benches.
    The gut feeling of Fianna Fáil might be they had a great weekend, with lots of self backslapping but, the response on the people is more telling, John O’Neill’s post is indicative of such, while FF haven’t gone away you know, neither has the mistrust amongst the nation.

  • DamienMcE

    Would a real Republican not in someway need the endorsement of the very people they’re trying to free from the chains of imperial oppression. It’s nice you take an interest and all but I would prefer to somehow give my consent to your crusade on my behalf. Maybe stand some candidate in the North? Would that be too much to ask given your dubious track record of running Republics.