Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Fianna Fail to Join European Liberals?

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 2nd March, 2009

eldr-logo  Ireland’s ruling Fianna Fail is on its way to join the UK Liberal Democrats and other European Liberal parties in the continent-wide European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR), according to the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Brian Cowen. Successful integration into the ELDR — on whose governing Council I sit — would then probably lead to Finanna Fail MEPs joining the ALDE group in the European Parliament after June’s European elections.

The move has been warmly welcomed by the current leader of the ALDE Group, Graham Watson (LibDem MEP for South East England), who commented, ‘I am certain that any application from Fianna Fail to join the Liberals and Democrats will be wel -received. Fianna Fail MEPs would have no difficulty integrating into our group.’

Under Graham Watson’s stewardship, the ALDE Group has already swelled to over 100 members — the largest ever Liberal presence in the European Parliament’s history.



11 Responses to “Fianna Fail to Join European Liberals?”

  1. I’m fairly positive about this as well.

  2. Edis Bevan said

    Oh No! The governing ‘Soldiers of Destiny’ have plunged to third in the Irish opinion polls,behind a surging Irish Labour Party. This is a result of the credit crunch and the consequent revelation of all sorts of backstage financial capers in the grand tradition of the Republic of Irelend (rember Charles Haughey?). The party leadership is apparently directly implicated in payoffs from various financial institutions to turn blind eyes to ‘events’ in the boom years.

    Is there any way we can derail this disastrous entanglement?

  3. Alex said

    That’s not good. Fianna Fail has never been a liberal party, it’s a populist conservative pale-fascist party. Consider the company they keep at the moment, which includes Alleanza NAZIonale, Poland’s Law & Justice (the Kaczynski Twins Party) and the Danish People’s Party. ELDR should be a group for LIBERAL parties, not a big tent for anyone willing to join the group to make up the numbers.

  4. I don’t think FF are any worse than the Bulgarian monarchists, and they are certainly way better than the Cypriot ΔΗΚΟ. If they are prepared to sign up to a statement of liberal principles they can be held to that commitment in the future, whatever they may have said or done in the past. While they are not exactly in the vanguard of socially progressive politics in Ireland, they have moved with the times. If they backslide, they can always be expelled. But just because you have a past doesn’t mean you can’t have a different future.

  5. Simon Green said

    Not entirely sure about this one Jonathan. They seem perfectly happy to have been bedfellows with unreconstructed fascists in the EP and this does seem rather opportunistic upon the demise of the Progressive Democrats.

    Aside from this, in the not so distant past of Fianna Fail is mired with brown envelopes and the shipping of weapons to support violant Irish republicanism in Northern Ireland.

    Fianna Fail undoubtedly has less than liberal social views and in my opinion our natural allies upon the demise of the PDs, as alluded to earlier, would be Fine Gael as a moderately based, progressive centrist organisation, that has long had foresight beyond the ‘little Ireland’ mentality of many in FF- just a shame that they sit with the EPP, ah well!

    • Kevin Chaffey said

      Do not forget Fianna Gael were founded by General O’Duffy whose followers wore blue shirts. He sent men to Spain to fight for Franco and Fascism. Oliver J Flanagan later a Fine Gael TD and minister of defence, made a notorious speech in the Dail asking De Valera to rid Ireland of Jews as Hitler was doing in Germany.

  6. I can tell that this is not the first time at all that you write about the topic. Why have you chosen it again?

  7. Kevin Chaffey said

    This is on a par with Henry Kissinger getting the Nobel Peace Prize.

  8. With the greatest respect, Fianna Fail was never involved in the shipping of weapons to dangerous republicans. FF in government released money to help Northern Nationalists provide food and shelter. I accept some took this further and attempted to purchase weapons. This was not party policy. A Court Case ensued, those involved were fired from office.

    As for FF not being liberal enough, I think any party which has a Youth Organisation which voted in favour of Marriage Equality for all citizens is liberal enough for any one? Dont ya think. Our economic liberalism is clear to be seen over the past 15 years.

    As for the accusations that we are bailing out bankers, the NAMA proposals have the support of the OECD, the World Bank and the EU Commission.

    Im a liberal, Im a Republican and I am proud to be a member of Fianna Fáil. I look forward to Fianna Fáil showing the rest of the liberal family what it really means to be a Fianna Fáiler.

  9. Abadom Osaba said

    Fianna Fail was founded by a man born George De Valero (later changed to Edward De Valera) who signed the book of condolences when Hitler killed himself and this same man refused to open the ports to the allies which would have shortened the war by two years. Fianna Fail was instumental in keeping Ireland free of contaception and divorce for generations and could not be called liberal in any shape.

    Charles Haughey, another leader of Fianna Fail, burnt the Union Flag, on VE day when normal people celebrated the victory over Fascism, in protest at the Allies defeating Fascism. In Government this party gave shelter to various Nazis and their allies after the war including Albert Luykx who had been sentanced to death.

    Anyone who considers himself a liberal and supports Fianna Fail needs to look up a dictionary.

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