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Forum LockedFianna Fail and Fine Gael

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gcle2003 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17-May-2009 at 15:02
Browsing around on recentish Irish history I came across this: http://humphrysfamilytree.com/Flanagan/wt.cosgrave.html
which seems authoritative doesn't it?
 
But it raises in my mind the question of what, post-1937 anyway, the essential policy differences between the parties Fine Gael and Fianna Fail were?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2009 at 15:52
Fine Gael was really an umbrella group opposed to Eamon De Valera.

It contained the remnant of the Cumann na nGaedhal party (The original pro-treaty Sinn Féin group), the Farmer's Party (A mid to large sized farmer organisation, got rough 10-15 seats in the Dáil in the early years of the Free State) and of course most controversially, Eoin O'Duffys 'Blueshirts' (A semi-fascist group who ended up fighting for Franco in Spain, declared illegal by De Valera's government).

Fianna Fáil was the creation of De Valera's mind, contained the Republican element opposed to the Treaty settlement. In 1927 (I think) they entered the Dáil and recognised the oath of allegiance to the British King. Very reluctantly. They were from the start formed by the anti treaty side. Perhaps somewhat amazingly, considering how unpopular the Republicans were in the Civil War, they emerged as the dominant power in irish politics in the 30s and every decade after.

In the early years there were huge differences between the two; Cumman na nGaedhal (Fine Gael) were pro free trade, slightly more in favour of maintaining the Imperial link, and generally the party of the middle classes, prosperous farmers and Protestants. Fianna Fáil attracted a wide spectrum of support following 1927, slowly becoming the dominant political force in the country. Slightly left wing in certain ways, played a big part in the slum clearances and the hospital building policies of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Intensely protectionist though, many economists (rightly) blame De Valera for having an almost absurdist belief in our ability to create all the goods and services we needed within Ireland. Set our economy back a couple of decades really.

When Cosgrave handed over power to Fianna Fáil in 1932 it was a truly momentous moment for Irish democracy - consider, for a moment, that these were the same men who order the executions policy on IRA prisoners during the Civil War and who dispised each other with varying degree's of venom. I suppose it is a testament to the democratic impulses of Cosgrave and the rest of Cumann na nGaedhal that they agreed to hand power over to the same people who didn't recognise their authority as the state only a decade earlier.

Hope that went some way to answering your question!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2009 at 16:01
I'm just after reading in that link you provided that De Valera's 1937 Constitution was sectarian? Far be it from me to stand in the way of the more contentious areas of Irish legal history, but I would question that assertion.

I agree though that De Valera introduced the theocracy into Ireland; Cosgrave was an altogether more enlightened man in that respect. During and following the Civil War he did all in his power to ensure that the Protestant population didn't emigrate in droves - by the 1926 census there around a third less protestants in Ireland than there was in the 1911 census. The entire population of Protestants in the south went down from around 10% to 7%, over the next century their population are down to around 2% now. Irish protestants were the hardest hit by the Irish Revolution. Most of them were unionists and so had to watch an independence movement grip their home, an independence movement they wanted nothing to do with by and large. And in several areas, such as Cork, they were harassed and maltreated and in some cases killed by the IRA, specifically during the Civil War.


Edited by Parnell - 19-May-2009 at 14:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2009 at 18:24
Thanks for the response.
 
It seems that roughly (leaving the treaty out of the equation) the Fine Gael/Fianna Fail split was more like the Republican/Democrat split in the US.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2009 at 21:11
It was in the early years. Nowadays they are barely distinguishable in terms of policy. Both are avowedly centrist.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-May-2009 at 22:37
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

It was in the early years. Nowadays they are barely distinguishable in terms of policy. Both are avowedly centrist.
 
I find it odd for a European nation that of Ireland's two largest politcal parties have conservative roots.
 
Btw why doesn't Labour seem to do better in Irish elections?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2009 at 08:57
Originally posted by Kevin Kevin wrote:

Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

It was in the early years. Nowadays they are barely distinguishable in terms of policy. Both are avowedly centrist.
 
I find it odd for a European nation that of Ireland's two largest politcal parties have conservative roots.
 
Btw why doesn't Labour seem to do better in Irish elections?
 
Fianna Fáil and Fianna Gael have family roots. Certain families in Ireland are either of Fianna Fáil or Fianna Gael. Its a bit like a friendly tribalism. I'm from a Fianna Fáil family.
 
Labour do well among younger people and in the bigger towns and Dublin. They just can't seem to get in to the provincial towns.


Edited by Parnell - 19-May-2009 at 08:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2009 at 15:33
So let me get this straight Denis. You are now professing to be a 'Catholic' in the Irish genocide thread, using it as a lever to add emphasis to your argument, and now you are telling us what political party your family follow?! Dubious arrangement of knowledge based on experience I contend.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2009 at 16:18

Yes, using my real name really helps me pick out when your in a lousy moud!

I use 'Catholic' to denote my tribe. You too are a Catholic. Its a bit like being a Jew, you don't ever get away from it. When somebody talks about a 'genocide' of Catholic Irishmen, they are talking about mine and your ancestors. Nothing to do with religion really (I'm apathetic/agnostic as you well know)
 
And as for my families politics... Don't really know what your getting at. Though I should add in the last election my parents voted for someone other than Fianna Fáil due to general dis-satisfaction and all that. Are you denying people vote for political parties due to family ties in Ireland? I don't think I know what your getting at, call me slow :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2009 at 19:13
Did you ever hear the story of the boy and the fisherman? This will shed some light, I believe.

Long ago there was an old fisherman that lived in a small village where there was very little food to eat. One little boy was amazed at how satisfied this fisherman looked and noticed that every evening he came home with a large fish slung over his shoulder. So, being a brave sort, the boy asked the fisherman what the secret of his success was, but day after day the fisherman refused to share it. After weeks of pleading, and numerous refusals, the fisherman finally conceded victory over the little boy. He looked down at the doe-eyed, inquisitive face, smiled broadly, and said;

"To be satisfied is more than to catch the fish. Catching the fish itself only sates basic hunger. Instead, it is to cast out the same hook, again and again, and still have the fish bite it, showing the same confusion as to what they have bitten into, that satisfies me the most. It reminds me of the joys of humanity."

The little boy's face slowly sunk, as he realised he didn't really know what the fisherman meant, nor did he like the way the fisherman talked in riddles. He endeavored to ask the fisherman to explain himself better again tomorrow.






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2009 at 20:34
Thanks you Dolphin, thank you.
 
The joys of having an English lit. student in a history forum...
"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.
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