Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein and their different approaches to ‘local difficulty’…

“The Cobh cumann had been stood down in February…” says Cork NOrth Central TD Jonathan O’Brien, therefore voiding their ability to resign en masse. The BBC couldn’t get a word with Kieran McCarthy, since he seems to have been too busy talking to everyone else.

As one wit put it on Twitter this morning…

Apparently not. [Rebel Alliance for the Rebel County? – Ed] As Miriam Lord acerbically notes:

Two councillors are at the centre of a major row – one of them, a political veteran, has been expelled and another has been suspended for a year.

This followed a decision taken by party HQ at the start of the year to “stand down” the local organisation. Not a squeak out of anyone about this rather drastic move.

Why did it happen? It’s a secret. [Emphasis added]

The contrast with Fianna Fail in Dublin Bay North the contrast could not be starker. The man tipped to take the party nomination, the former Boss’s son Cllr Sean Haughey.

He and Micheal Martin are thought to be close, both personally and politically. But after two of the four candidates for selection stood down, he was beaten by just two votes by a younger female candidate and fellow Dublin Councillor Deirdre Heney.

There is talk of getting Haughey on the ticket as a second candidate. But even in the new five seater constituency that’s a big ask for Fianna Fail even if you allow that current polling rates under estimate the party’s strength with voters.

This remember is the constituency Averil Power was hoping to win the nomination for. Ironically, it may have been getting caught on the wrong side of Power’s pro equal marriage stance that helped shuffle the party deck against Haughey.

So two parties, two ‘revolts’ and two very different outcomes. Okay, Sandra McLellan is a standing TD which complicates the matter hugely for Sinn Fein.

The new One Member One Vote system seems to be having some of the regenerative effect party reformers hoped for. It remains to be seen if that’s a beast the Fianna Fail leader can successfully ride. The influx will no doubt bring in new opponents and future rivals to power.

Martin has none of Gerry Adams certainty that Rebels are instantly dispatched to the [Something, Something, Something] Dark Side

But then as I have said before, making your position contestable is one Machiavelli’s soonest forgotten (and most powerful) advices to The Prince.

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