Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil (Irish: [ˌfʲiən̪ˠə ˈfˠaːlʲ] (listen), meaning 'Soldiers of Destiny' or 'Warriors of Fál'),[16] officially Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party[17] (Irish: Fianna Fáil – An Páirtí Poblachtánach),[18][4][5][6][19] is a liberal conservative political party in Ireland.

The party was founded as an Irish republican party on 23 March 1926 by Éamon de Valera and his supporters after they split from Sinn Féin on the issue of abstentionism,[20] in the aftermath of the Irish Civil War. Fianna Fáil has since 1927 been one of Ireland's two major parties, along with Fine Gael; both are seen as being centre-right parties, and as being to the right of the Labour Party and Sinn Féin. The party dominated Irish political life for most of the 20th century, and since its foundation either it or Fine Gael has led every government. Between 1989 and 2011, it led coalition governments with parties of both the left and the right.

Fianna Fáil was last in government from 1997 to 2011 under Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen, with a periodic high of 81 seats in 2002, reduced to 77 in 2007 and then to 20 in 2011, the lowest in the party's history. Having won 44 seats at the 2016 general election, Fianna Fáil is currently the largest Opposition party in both houses (Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann) of the Oireachtas,[21] with party leader Micheál Martin entering into a confidence and supply arrangement with a Fine Gael-led minority government at the beginning of the 32nd Dáil.[22]

Fianna Fáil is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe[23] and of Liberal International.[24]

Since 9 February 2019, Fianna Fáil has been in partnership with the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland.[25]

Fianna Fáil
LeaderMicheál Martin TD
Deputy LeaderDara Calleary TD
General SecretarySeán Dorgan
ChairmanBrendan Smith TD
Seanad LeaderSenator Catherine Ardagh
FounderÉamon de Valera
Founded23 March 1926
Split fromSinn Féin[1]
Headquarters65–66 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2,
D02 NX40, Ireland
Youth wingÓgra Fianna Fáil
Membership (2016)20,000[2]
Ideology
Political positionCentre[9][10][11][12] to
centre-right[13][14][15]
European affiliationAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
International affiliationLiberal International
European Parliament groupAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Colours     Green
SloganAn Ireland for All
Dáil Éireann
44 / 158
Seanad Éireann
13 / 60
European Parliament
1 / 11
Local government in the Republic of Ireland
262 / 949
Website
fiannafail.ie

History

Fianna Fáil logo
Alternative logo
Fianna Fáil Glyph
Alternative logo – glyph version

Fianna Fáil was founded by Éamon de Valera, a former leader of Sinn Féin.[26] He and a number of other members split from Sinn Féin when a motion he proposed—which called for elected members to be allowed to take their seats in Dáil Éireann if and when the controversial Oath of Allegiance was removed—failed to pass at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in 1926.[27] The party adopted its name on 2 April of the same year. While it was also opposed to the Treaty settlement, it rejected abstentionism, instead aiming to republicanise the Irish Free State from within. Fianna Fáil's platform of economic autarky had appeal among the farmers, working-class people and the poor, while alienating more affluent classes.[28]

The party first entered government on 9 March 1932. It was in power for 61 of the 79 years between then and the election of 2011. Its longest continuous period in office has been 15 years and 11 months (March 1932 – February 1948). Its longest single period out of office in the 20th century was four years and four months (March 1973 – July 1977). Seven of the party's eight leaders have served as Taoiseach.

Fianna Fáil joined the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) party on 16 April 2009, and the party's Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) sat in the ALDE Group during the 7th European Parliament term from June 2009 to 1 July 2014. The party is an observer affiliate of the Liberal International.[29]

It was the largest party in the Dáil after every general election from that of 1932 until that of 2007. In the 2011 general election it suffered the worst defeat of a sitting government in the history of the Irish state.[30][31] This loss was described as "historic" in its proportions,[32] and "unthinkable".[33] The party sank from being the largest in the Dáil to the third-largest; it won 20 seats, compared to its previous performance of well over 60 seats at every election since 1932.

Organisation and structure

Fianna Fáil's success was credited by The Irish Times to its local structure. The basic unit was the cumann (branch); these were grouped into comhairle ceantair (district branch) and a comhairle dáil ceantair (constituency branch) in every constituency. At the party's height it had 3,000 cumainn, an average of 75 per constituency. The party claimed 55,000 members in 2004, a figure which political scientist Eoin O'Malley considers exaggerated compared to membership figures for other parties.

However, from the early 1990s onward the cumann structure was weakened. Every cumann was entitled to three votes to selection conventions irrespective of its size; hence, a large number of cumainn had became in effect "paper cumainn", the only use of which was to ensure an aspiring or sitting candidate got enough votes. Another problem had arisen with the emergence of parallel organisations grouped around candidates or elected officials. Supporters and election workers for a particular candidate were loyal to a candidate and not to the party. If the candidate were to leave the party, through either resignation, retirement or defeat at an election, the candidate's supporters would often depart. Although this phenomenon was nothing new (the most famous example being Neil Blaney's "Donegal Mafia")[34] it increased significantly from the early 1990s, particularly in the Dublin Region with former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's "Drumcondra mafia" and the groups supporting Tom Kitt and Séamus Brennan in Dublin South that were largely separate from the official party structure.

Since the 2007 election, the party's structure has significantly weakened. This was in part exacerbated by significant infighting between candidates in the run-up to the 2011 general election.[35] The Irish Times estimated that half of its 3,000 cumainn were effectively moribund. This fraction rose in Dublin with the exception of Dublin West, the former seat of both Brian Lenihan Snr and Brian Lenihan Jnr.[36]

Ideology

Fianna Fáil is seen as a typical catch-all party. R. Ken Carty wrote of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael that they were 'heterogeneous in their bases of support, relatively undifferentiated in terms of policy or programme, and remarkably stable in their support levels'. Evidence from expert surveys, opinion polls and candidate surveys all fail to identify strong distinctions between the two parties.[37][38][39][40] Many point to Ireland's Civil War politics, and feel that the basis for the division is the disagreement about the strategy to achieve a united Ireland. Kevin Byrne and political scientist Eoin O'Malley rejected this, and have argued that the differences between the two parties goes much further back in Irish history. They linked the parties to different nationalist traditions (Irish Enlightenment and Gaelic Nationalist) which in turn could be linked to migrations of Anglo-Norman and new English into Ireland and the native Gaelic population.[41]

Fianna Fáil is seen as conservative but also as a nationalist party.[3][4][6] It has presented itself as a "broad church",[42] and attracted support from across disparate social classes.[43][44] Between 1989 and 2011, it led coalition governments with parties of both the left and the right. Fianna Fáil’s platform contains a number of enduring commitments: to Irish unity; to the promotion and protection of the Irish language; and to maintaining Ireland’s tradition of military neutrality.[45][46] Distinctly more populist,[47] nationalist and, generally speaking, more economically interventionist[48] than Fine Gael, the party nonetheless shares its rival's support of the European Union and opposition to physical-force republicanism.

The party's name and logo incorporates the words 'The Republican Party'. According to Fianna Fáil, "Republican here stands both for the unity of the island and a commitment to the historic principles of European republican philosophy, namely liberty, equality and fraternity".[49]

Leadership and president

Although the posts of leader and party president of Fianna Fáil are separate, with the former elected by the Parliamentary Party and the latter elected by the Ardfheis (thus allowing for the posts to be held by different people, in theory), in practice they have always been held by the one person. However, as the Ardfheis may have already been held in any given year by the time a new leader is elected, the selection of the new party president might not take place until the next year.

The following are the terms of office as party leader and as Taoiseach:

Leader Period Constituency Years as Taoiseach
Éamon de Valera 1926–1959 Clare 1932193319371938194319441948; 19511954; 1957–1959
(Government of the 7th Dáil, 8th Dáil, 9th Dáil, 10th Dáil, 11th Dáil, 12th Dáil, 14th Dáil and 16th Dáil)
Seán Lemass 1959–1966 Dublin South-Central 1959–19611965–1966
(Government of the 16th Dáil, 17th Dáil and 18th Dáil)
Jack Lynch 1966–1979 Cork Borough (1948–69)
Cork City North-West (1969–77)
Cork City (1977–81)
1966–19691973; 1977–1979
(Government of the 18th Dáil, 19th Dáil and 21st Dáil)
Charles Haughey 1979–1992 Dublin North-East (1957–77)
Dublin Artane (1977–81)
Dublin North-Central (1981–92)
1979–1981; Feb 1982Nov 1982; 19871989–1992
(Government of the 21st Dáil, 23rd Dáil, 25th Dáil and 26th Dáil)
Albert Reynolds 1992–1994 Longford–Roscommon 1992–1992–1994
(22nd Government of Ireland and 23rd Government of Ireland)
Bertie Ahern 1994–2008 Dublin Central 199720022007–2008
(Government of the 28th Dáil, 29th Dáil and 30th Dáil)
Brian Cowen 2008–2011 Laois–Offaly 2008–2011
(Government of the 30th Dáil)
Micheál Martin 2011–present Cork South-Central

Deputy leader

Name Period Constituency Leader
Joseph Brennan 1973–77 Donegal–Leitrim Jack Lynch
George Colley 1977–82 Dublin Central Jack Lynch

Charles Haughey

Ray MacSharry 1982–83 Sligo–Leitrim Charles Haughey
Brian Lenihan Snr 1983–90 Dublin West Charles Haughey
John P. Wilson 1990–92 Cavan–Monaghan Charles Haughey
Bertie Ahern 1992–94 Dublin Central Albert Reynolds
Mary O'Rourke 1995–2002 Longford–Westmeath Bertie Ahern
Brian Cowen 2002–08 Laois–Offaly Bertie Ahern
Mary Coughlan 2008–11 Donegal South-West Brian Cowen
Mary Hanafin 2011 Dún Laoghaire Micheál Martin
Brian Lenihan Jnr 2011 Dublin West Micheál Martin
Éamon Ó Cuív 2011–12 Galway West Micheál Martin
Position abolished
Dara Calleary 2018– Mayo Micheál Martin

Seanad leader

Name Period Panel
Eoin Ryan Snr 1977–82 Industrial and Commercial Panel
Mick Lanigan 1982–90 Industrial and Commercial Panel (1982–89)
Nominated member of Seanad Éireann (1989–90)
Seán Fallon 1990–92 Industrial and Commercial Panel
G. V. Wright 1992–97 Nominated member of Seanad Éireann
Donie Cassidy 1997–2002 Labour Panel
Mary O'Rourke 2002–07 Nominated member of Seanad Éireann
Donie Cassidy 2007–11 Labour Panel
Darragh O'Brien 2011–2016 Labour Panel
Catherine Ardagh 2016–present Industrial and Commercial Panel

General election results

Election Seats won ± Position First Pref votes % Government Leader
1927 (Jun)
44 / 153
Increase44 Increase2nd 299,486 26.2% Opposition Éamon de Valera
1927 (Sep)
57 / 153
Increase13 Steady2nd 411,777 35.2% Opposition Éamon de Valera
1932
72 / 153
Increase15 Increase1st 566,498 44.5% Minority gov't (supported by LP) Éamon de Valera
1933
77 / 153
Increase5 Steady1st 689,054 49.7% Minority gov't (supported by LP) Éamon de Valera
1937
69 / 138
Decrease8 Steady1st 599,040 45.2% Minority gov't (supported by LP) Éamon de Valera
1938
77 / 138
Increase8 Steady1st 667,996 51.9% Majority gov't Éamon de Valera
1943
67 / 138
Decrease10 Steady1st 557,525 41.9% Minority gov't Éamon de Valera
1944
76 / 138
Increase9 Steady1st 595,259 48.9% Majority gov't Éamon de Valera
1948
68 / 147
Decrease8 Steady1st 553,914 41.9% Opposition Éamon de Valera
1951
69 / 147
Increase1 Steady1st 616,212 46.3% Minority gov't (supported by Ind) Éamon de Valera
1954
65 / 147
Decrease4 Steady1st 578,960 43.4% Opposition Éamon de Valera
1957
78 / 147
Increase13 Steady1st 592,994 48.3% Majority gov't Éamon de Valera
1961
70 / 144
Decrease8 Steady1st 512,073 43.8% Minority gov't (supported by Ind) Seán Lemass
1965
72 / 144
Increase2 Steady1st 597,414 47.7% Majority gov't Seán Lemass
1969
75 / 144
Increase3 Steady1st 602,234 45.7% Majority gov't Jack Lynch
1973
69 / 144
Decrease6 Steady1st 624,528 46.2% Opposition Jack Lynch
1977
84 / 148
Increase15 Steady1st 811,615 50.6% Majority gov't Jack Lynch
1981
78 / 166
Decrease6 Steady1st 777,616 45.3% Opposition Charles Haughey
1982 (Feb)
81 / 166
Increase3 Steady1st 786,951 47.3% Minority gov't (supported by SFTWP and Ind) Charles Haughey
1982 (Nov)
75 / 166
Decrease6 Steady1st 763,313 45.2% Opposition Charles Haughey
1987
81 / 166
Increase6 Steady1st 784,547 44.1% Minority gov't (supported by Ind) Charles Haughey
1989
77 / 166
Decrease4 Steady1st 731,472 44.1% Coalition (FF-PD) Charles Haughey
1992
68 / 166
Decrease9 Steady1st 674,650 39.1% Coalition (FF-LP) Albert Reynolds
Opposition (from December 1994)
1997
77 / 166
Increase9 Steady1st 703,682 39.3% Coalition (FF-PD) Bertie Ahern
2002
81 / 166
Increase4 Steady1st 770,748 41.5% Coalition (FF-PD) Bertie Ahern
2007
77 / 166
Decrease4 Steady1st 858,565 41.6% Coalition (FF-GP-PD) Bertie Ahern
2011
20 / 166
Decrease57 Decrease3rd 387,358 17.5% Opposition Micheál Martin
2016
44 / 158
Increase23 Increase2nd 519,356 24.3% Confidence and supply(FG minority gov't) Micheál Martin

Front bench

Dáil Éireann

Portfolio [50] Name
Leader of Fianna Fáil
Leader of the Opposition
Micheál Martin
Opposition Chief Whip Michael Moynihan
Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue
Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Niamh Smyth
Children and Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte
Communications, Climate Action and Environment Timmy Dooley
Defence Jack Chambers
Disability Margaret Murphy O'Mahony
Dublin John Lahart
Education and Skills Thomas Byrne
Housing, Planning and Local Government Barry Cowen
Finance Michael McGrath
Foreign Affairs and Trade Darragh O'Brien
Health Billy Kelleher
Rural and Community Development Vacant
Business, Enterprise and Innovation Niall Collins
Justice and Equality Jim O'Callaghan
Mental Health James Browne
Public Expenditure and Reform Dara Calleary
Employment Affairs and Social Protection Willie O'Dea
Transport, Tourism and Sport Robert Troy

Seanad Éireann

Portfolio Name
Seanad Group Leader
Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Catherine Ardagh
Seanad Deputy Group Leader
Foreign Affairs, Irish Overseas and the Diaspora
Vacant
Agriculture, Food and the Marine Paul Daly
Business, Enterprise and Innovation Aidan Davitt
Rural and Community Development Brian Ó Domhnaill
Education Robbie Gallagher
Finance Gerry Horkan
Justice, Children and Youth Affairs Lorraine Clifford-Lee
Communications, Climate Action and Environment Terry Leyden
Housing, Planning and Local Government Jennifer Murnane-O'Connor
Without portfolio Denis O'Donovan
Health and Mental Health Ned O'Sullivan
Transport, Tourism and Sport Keith Swanick
Public Expenditure and Reform and Defence Ned O'Sullivan

Ógra Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil's youth wing is called Ógra Fianna Fáil. Formed in 1975, it plays an active role in recruiting new members and supporting election campaigns. Ógra also plays an important role in the party organisation, where it has five representatives on the Ard Chomhairle (National Executive).

Senator Thomas Byrne was the last nominated head or Cathaoirleach (Chairperson) of Ógra Fianna Fáil, before the youth wing introduced widespread oganisational reform following the heavy electoral defeat suffered by the whole party in 2011.

Fianna Fáil and Northern Ireland politics

On 17 September 2007, Fianna Fáil announced that the party would for the first time organise in Northern Ireland. The then Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern was asked to chair a committee on the matter: "In the period ahead Dermot Ahern will lead efforts to develop that strategy for carrying through this policy, examining timescales and structures. We will act gradually and strategically. We are under no illusions. It will not be easy. It will challenge us all. But I am confident we will succeed".[51]

The party embarked on its first ever recruitment drive north of the border in September 2007 in northern universities, and established two 'Political Societies', the William Drennan Cumann in Queens University, Belfast, and the Watty Graham Cumann in UU Magee, Derry, which subsequently became official units of Fianna Fáil's youth wing, attaining full membership and voting rights, and attained official voting delegates at the 2012 Árd Fheis. On 23 February 2008, it was announced that a former UUP councillor, Colonel Harvey Bicker, had joined Fianna Fáil.[52]

Bertie Ahern announced on 7 December 2007 that Fianna Fáil had been registered in Northern Ireland by the UK Electoral Commission.[53] The party's Ard Fheis in 2009 unanimously passed a motion to organise in Northern Ireland by establishing forums, rather than cumainn, in each of its six counties. In December 2009, Fianna Fáil secured its first Northern Assembly MLA when Gerry McHugh, an independent MLA, announced he had joined the party.[54] Mr. McHugh confirmed that although he had joined the party, he would continue to sit as an independent MLA. In June 2010, Fianna Fáil opened its first official office in Northern Ireland, in Crossmaglen, County Armagh. The then Taoiseach Brian Cowen officially opened the office, accompanied by Ministers Éamon Ó Cuív and Dermot Ahern and Deputies Rory O’Hanlon and Margaret Conlon. Discussing the party's slow development towards all-Ireland politics, Mr. Cowen observed: "We have a very open and pragmatic approach. We are a constitutional republican party and we make no secret of the aspirations on which this party was founded. It has always been very clear in our mind what it is we are seeking to achieve, that is to reconcile this country and not being prisoners of our past history. To be part of a generation that will build a new Ireland, an Ireland of which we can all be proud".[55]

As of 2007, Fianna Fáil has been a registered and recognised party in Northern Ireland.[56] However, it has not contested any elections in the region. At the party's 2014 Ard Fheis, a motion was passed without debate to stand candidates for election north of the border for the first time in 2019.[57]

On 13 November 2015 Ógra Fianna Fáil for the first time ever held their National Youth Conference in Northern Ireland, in Newry.

In 2017, Omagh councillor Sorcha McAnespy said she wished to run in the 2019 Northern Ireland local government election in the constituency under a Fianna Fáil ticket.[58] In October 2017 she was elected as northern representative on the party's national executive, the "committee of 15".[59]

Since 24 January 2019, the party have been in partnership with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)[60] formerly the main Irish nationalist party in Northern Ireland, but now smaller than Sinn Féin. There had long been speculation about the eventual partnership for several years prior. This was initially met with a negative reaction from Seamus Mallon, former Deputy Leader of the SDLP, who stated he would be opposed to any such merger. Former leader of the SDLP Margaret Ritchie originally stated publicly that she opposed any merger, announcing to the Labour Party Conference that such a merger would not happen on her "watch". On 10 January 2019, Richie stated that she now supported a new partnership with Fianna Fáil.[61]

Both Fianna Fáil and the SDLP currently have shared policies on key areas including addressing the current political situation in Northern Ireland, improving public services in both jurisdictions of Ireland, such as healthcare and education, and bringing about the further unity and cooperation of the people on the island and arrangements for a future poll on Irish reunification.[62][63]

In European institutions

In the European Parliament from 1999 to 2009, Fianna Fáil was a leading member of Union for Europe of the Nations (UEN), a small national-conservative and Eurosceptic parliamentary group. European political commentators had often noted substantive ideological differences between the party and its colleagues, whose strongly conservative stances had at times prompted domestic criticism of Fianna Fáil. Fianna Fáil MEPs had been an attached to the European Progressive Democrats (1973–1984), European Democratic Alliance (1984–1995), and Union for Europe (1995–1999) groups before the creation of UEN.

Party headquarters, over the objections of some MEPs, had made several attempts to sever the party's links to the European right, including an aborted 2004 agreement to join the European Liberal Democrat and Reform (ELDR) Party, with whom it already sat in the Council of Europe under the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) banner. On 27 February 2009, Taoiseach Brian Cowen announced that Fianna Fáil proposed to join the ELDR Party and intended to sit with them in the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group in the European Parliament after the 2009 European elections.[64] The change was made official on 17 April 2009, when FF joined the ELDR Party.

In October 2009, it was reported that Fianna Fáil had irritated its new Liberal colleagues by failing to vote for the motion on press freedom in Italy (resulting in its defeat by a majority of one in the Parliament) and by trying to scupper their party colleagues' initiative for gay rights.[65] In January 2010, a report by academic experts writing for the votewatch.eu site found that FF "do not seem to toe the political line" of the ALDE Group "when it comes to budget and civil liberties" issues.[66]

In the 2014 European elections, Fianna Fáil received 22.3% of first-preference votes but only returned a single MEP, a reduction in representation of two MEPs from the previous term. This was due to a combination of the party's vote further dropping in Dublin and a two candidate strategy in the Midlands North West constituency, which backfired, resulting in sitting MEP Pat "the Cope" Gallagher losing his seat.[67][68][69] On 23 June 2014, returning MEP Brian Crowley announced that he intended to sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) rather than the ALDE group during the upcoming 8th term of the European parliament.[70] The following day on 24 June 2014 Crowley had the Fianna Fáil party whip withdrawn.[71] He has since been re-added to Fianna Fáil's website.[72]

See also

References

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Further reading

  • Joe Ambrose (2006) Dan Breen and the IRA, Douglas Village, Cork : Mercier Press, 223 p., ISBN 1-85635-506-3
  • Bruce Arnold (2001) Jack Lynch: Hero in Crisis, Dublin : Merlin, 250p. ISBN 1-903582-06-7
  • Tim Pat Coogan (1993) De Valera : long fellow, long shadow, London : Hutchinson, 772 p., ISBN 0-09-175030-X
  • Joe Joyce and Peter Murtagh (1983) The Boss: Charles J. Haughey in government, Swords, Dublin : Poolbeg Press, 400 p., ISBN 0-905169-69-7
  • F.S.L. Lyons (1985) Ireland Since the Famine, 2nd rev. ed., London : FontanaPress, 800 p., ISBN 0-00-686005-2
  • Dorothy McCardle (1968) The Irish Republic. A documented chronicle of the Anglo-Irish conflict and the partitioning of Ireland, with a detailed account of the period 1916–1923, etc., 989 p., ISBN 0-552-07862-X
  • Donnacha Ó Beacháin (2010) Destiny of the Soldiers: Fianna Fáil, Irish Republicanism and the IRA, 1926-1973, Gill and Macmillan, 540 p., ISBN 0-71714-763-0
  • T. Ryle Dwyer (2001) Nice fellow : a biography of Jack Lynch, Cork : Mercier Press, 416 p., ISBN 1-85635-368-0
  • T. Ryle Dwyer (1999) Short fellow : a biography of Charles J. Haughey, Dublin : Marino, 477 p., ISBN 1-86023-100-4
  • T. Ryle Dwyer, (1997) Fallen Idol : Haughey's controversial career, Cork : Mercier Press, 191 p., ISBN 1-85635-202-1
  • Raymond Smith (1986) Haughey and O'Malley : The quest for power, Dublin : Aherlow, 295 p., ISBN 1-870138-00-7
  • Tim Ryan (1994) Albert Reynolds : the Longford leader : the unauthorised biography, Dublin : Blackwater Press, 226 p., ISBN 0-86121-549-4
  • Dick Walsh (1986) The Party: Inside Fianna Fáil, Dublin : Gill & Macmillan, 161 p., ISBN 0-7171-1446-5

External links

1981 Irish general election

The Irish general election of 1981 was held on 11 June 1981, three weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on 21 May. The newly elected 166 members of the 22nd Dáil assembled at Leinster House on 30 June when a new Taoiseach and government were appointed.

The general election took place in 41 parliamentary constituencies throughout Ireland for 166 seats in the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann. The number of seats in the Dáil was increased by 18 from 148 to 166.

1987 Irish general election

The Irish general election of 1987 was held on 17 February 1987, four weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on 20 January. The newly elected 166 members of the 25th Dáil assembled at Leinster House on 10 March when a new Taoiseach and a Fianna Fáil minority government were appointed.

The general election took place in 41 parliamentary constituencies throughout Ireland for 166 seats in the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann.

1992 Irish general election

The Irish general election of 1992 was held on Wednesday, 25 November 1992, almost three weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on 5 November. The newly elected 166 members of the 27th Dáil assembled at Leinster House on 14 December 1992, but a new Taoiseach was not elected. A new Fianna Fáil-Labour Party coalition government was not appointed until 12 January 1993 after Albert Reynolds was re-elected Taoiseach.

The general election took place in 41 parliamentary constituencies throughout Ireland for 166 seats in Dáil Éireann.

1997 Irish general election

The Irish general election of 1997 was held on Friday 6 June 1997. The 166 newly elected members of the 28th Dáil assembled on 26 June 1997 when a new Taoiseach and government were appointed.

The general election took place in 41 parliamentary constituencies throughout Ireland for 165 seats in the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann.

2002 Irish general election

The Irish general election of 2002 was held on Friday, 17 May 2002 just over three weeks after the dissolution of the 28th Dáil on Thursday 25 April by President Mary McAleese, at the request of the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern. The newly elected members of the 29th Dáil assembled on Thursday 6 June 2002.

The general election took place in 42 parliamentary constituencies throughout Ireland for 165 seats in the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann.

2007 Irish general election

The Irish general election of 2007 took place on 24 May 2007 after the dissolution of the 29th Dáil by the President on 30 April 2007, at the request of the Taoiseach. The electorate was given the task of choosing the members of the 30th Dáil who met on 14 June 2007 to nominate a Taoiseach and ratify the ministers of the Government of the 30th Dáil. While Fine Gael gained 20 seats, Fianna Fáil remained the largest party. The election was considered a success for Fianna Fáil; however, Fianna Fáil's junior coalition partners in the 29th Dáil, the Progressive Democrats, lost six of their eight seats.

On 12 June 2007, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party reached agreement on a draft Programme for Government, this was subsequently ratified by the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party and Green Party members on 13 June 2007. This resulted in the formation of a coalition government on 14 June 2007 between Fianna Fáil, the Green Party and the Progressive Democrats. The government was initially supported by four Independent TDs.

Barry Cowen

Barry Gerard Cowen (born 28 August 1967) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Offaly constituency since the 2016 general election. He previously sat as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Laois–Offaly constituency from 2011 to 2016.He is married with four children and is a full-time politician. He is the brother of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen. His father Bernard Cowen was also a TD, Senator and Minister of State. His grandfather Christy Cowen was an Offaly County Councillor and a member of the Fianna Fáil National Executive. Another relation, Ernest Cowan, was also a member of the Fianna Fáil National Executive having been elected to its Committee of 15.

Before his election to Dáil Éireann, he was a member of Offaly County Council for the Tullamore electoral area since 1991.He has served in various Fianna Fáil Front Bench roles, Spokesperson for Social Protection from 2011 to 2012, Spokesperson for Housing, Planning and Local Government from 2012 to 2018 and Spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform since March 2018.

He represented Fianna Fáil in talks on government formation in 2016.

February 1982 Irish general election

The Irish general election of February 1982 was held on 18 February 1982, three weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on 27 January. The newly elected 166 members of the 23rd Dáil assembled at Leinster House on 9 March when a new Taoiseach and government were appointed.

The general election took place in 41 parliamentary constituencies throughout Ireland for 166 seats in the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann.

Independent Fianna Fáil

Independent Fianna Fáil was a splinter republican party in the Republic of Ireland created by Neil Blaney after his expulsion from Fianna Fáil following the Irish Arms Crisis (1969–1970). The party ceased to exist on 26 July 2006. It was never an officially registered political party: Niall Blaney said in 2003 "I am an Independent and a member of an organisation known locally as Independent Fianna Fáil." Its candidates were listed on ballot papers without a party label, and without the optional "Non-party" label available to independents. However, the Oireachtas members' database lists Independent Fianna Fáil members separately.

Jackie Cahill

Jackie Cahill (born 5 August 1963) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Tipperary constituency since the 2016 general election.He had been a member of Tipperary County Council from 2014 to 2016. He is the former president of the ICMSA, a national farmers' union.

He was selected in May 2015 by Fianna Fáil members to contest the upcoming Irish General Election, defeating 4 other contenders, including Michael Smith, the son of former Defence Minister Mick Smith.

James Browne (Fianna Fáil politician)

James Browne (born 15 October 1975) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Wexford constituency since the 2016 general election.He was member of Enniscorthy Town Council from 2009 to 2014. He was a member of Wexford County Council from 2014 to 2016. His father is former TD John Browne. His great uncle, Seán Browne, was also a TD. He is Fianna Fáil's Spokesperson on Mental Health.

Marc MacSharry

Marc MacSharry (born 12 July 1973) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for Sligo–Leitrim since the 2016 general election. He served as a Senator for the Industrial and Commercial Panel from 2002 to 2016. From 2002 he was appointed Seanad spokesperson on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. He was re-elected in 2007 and was appointed Seanad spokesperson on Finance.Born in Dublin, he was educated in Sligo and at Castleknock College, Dublin. He is the son of Ray MacSharry, the former Fianna Fáil minister and European Commissioner.

On 31 January 2011, prior to that year's general election, MacSharry was appointed to the Fianna Fáil frontbench by the new party leader Micheál Martin, as spokesperson on Tourism and Arts. MacSharry was a candidate at the 2011 general election in the Sligo–North Leitrim constituency, but was not elected. He was re-elected to the Seanad in April 2011 and was appointed Fianna Fáil Seanad spokesperson on Health. His political career to date has included serving as a member of the Forum on Europe, and of Oireachtas committees on Communications, Marine & Natural Resources, Health, and Finance; he has also served on the Committee of Inquiry into The Banking Crisis and on the Houses of Oireachtas Commission, and is currently a member of the Dáil's Committee of Public Accounts.

Members of the 21st Dáil

This is a list of members who were elected to the 21st Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas (legislature) of Ireland. These TDs (Members of Parliament) were elected at the 1977 general election on 16 June 1977 and met on 5 July 1977. The 21st Dáil was dissolved by President Patrick Hillery, at the request of the Taoiseach Charles Haughey on 21 May 1981. The 21st Dáil lasted 1,456 days, and saw a change of Taoiseach from Jack Lynch to Charles Haughey.

Members of the 32nd Dáil

This is a list of the members elected to the 32nd Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas (legislature) of Ireland. These TDs (members of parliament) were elected at the 2016 general election on 26 February. That general election took place throughout the state to elect 158 members of Dáil Éireann, a reduction of 8 from the prior number of 166. This followed the passing of the Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2013.

The 32nd Dáil convened for the first time at 10.30 am on 10 March 2016. Its first act was to elect a Ceann Comhairle.

Micheál Martin

Micheál Martin (Irish pronunciation: [mʲiːçaːl̪ˠ]; born 1 August 1960) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has served as Leader of the Opposition in Ireland since March 2011 and Leader of Fianna Fáil since February 2011. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cork South-Central constituency since 1989. He previously served as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2008 to 2011, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment from 2004 to 2008, Minister for Health and Children from 2000 to 2004, Minister for Education and Science from 1997 to 2000 and Lord Mayor of Cork from 1992 to 1993.As Minister for Health and Children in 2004, he introduced a ban on tobacco smoking in all Irish workplaces and established the Health Service Executive (HSE). Ireland was the first country to introduce a full workplace smoking ban. As Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2009, Martin travelled to Latin America for the first time, and made the first official visit to Cuba by an Irish Minister. That same year, he travelled to Khartoum following the kidnapping of Sharon Commins and Hilda Kawuki. In 2010, he became the first Western foreign minister to visit Gaza since Hamas took control there in 2007. On 18 January 2011, Brian Cowen accepted his resignation as Foreign Minister. On 26 January 2011, Fianna Fáil announced that Micheál Martin had been elected as the eighth leader of the party, following Cowen's resignation as party leader four days previously. In the 2011 general election, Martin led the party to its worst showing in its 85-year history, with a loss of 57 seats and a drop in its share of the popular vote to 17.4%. In the 2016 general election, Fianna Fáil's performance improved significantly, more than doubling their Dáil representation to 44 seats from 20 in 2011.

Niamh Smyth

Niamh Smyth (born 19 April 1978) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cavan–Monaghan constituency since the 2016 general election. She had been a member of Cavan County Council from 2009 to 2014.

Smyth was elected as the first President of the Fianna Fail Women's Network on the 14 September 2015. In May 2016, she was appointed by the Leader of the Opposition Micheál Martin to the Fianna Fáil front bench as Opposition Spokesperson for the Arts and Heritage.

November 1982 Irish general election

The Irish general election of November 1982 was held on 24 November 1982, three weeks after the dissolution of the Dáil on 4 November. The newly elected 166 members of the 24th Dáil assembled at Leinster House on 14 December when a new Taoiseach and government were appointed.

The general election took place in 41 parliamentary constituencies throughout Ireland for 166 seats in the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann.

Thomas Byrne (Meath politician)

Thomas Byrne (born 1 June 1977) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Meath East constituency since the 2016 general election. He previously served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 2007 to 2011. He was a Senator for the Cultural and Educational Panel 2011 to 2016.

Waterford (Dáil constituency)

Waterford is a parliamentary constituency represented in Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Irish parliament or Oireachtas. The constituency elects 4 deputies (Teachtaí Dála, commonly known as TDs). The method of election is the single transferable vote form of proportional representation (PR-STV).

Fianna Fáil
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