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.
IT Professional, gadget lover, PRO for Fianna Fail CDC in Co Wicklow & Former Irish Government Special Adviser. All views are my own!