The Info List - Fine Gael

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FINE GAEL (/ˌfiːnə ˈɡeɪl/ FIN-neh-GAYL ; English : Family or Tribe of the Irish) is a liberal-conservative and Christian democratic political party in Ireland . Fine Gael
Fine Gael
is currently the governing and largest party in Ireland in terms of members of the Oireachtas
and Irish members of European Parliament
European Parliament
. The party has a membership of 35,000, and is the senior partner governing in a minority coalition with several independent politicians , with party leader Leo Varadkar serving as Taoiseach . Varadkar succeeded Enda Kenny as party leader on 2 June 2017 and as Taoiseach on 14 June; Kenny had been leader since 2002, and Taoiseach since 2011.

Fine Gael
Fine Gael
was founded on 8 September 1933 following the merger of its parent party Cumann na nGaedheal , the National Centre Party and the National Guard (popularly known as the "Blueshirts", a name still used colloquially to refer to the party). Its origins lie in the struggle for Irish independence and the pro-Treaty side in the Irish Civil War and Michael Collins , in particular, is often identified as the founder of the movement.

Fine Gael
Fine Gael
is generally considered to be more of a proponent of market liberalism than its traditional rival, Fianna Fáil . However, apart from brief minority governments (as in 1987), Fine Gael
Fine Gael
has rarely governed Ireland without a coalition that also included the Labour Party , a social-democratic , centre-left party. Fine Gael
Fine Gael
describes itself as a "party of the progressive centre" which it defines as acting "in a way that is right for Ireland, regardless of dogma or ideology". It lists its core values as equality of opportunity , free enterprise and reward, security, integrity and hope. It is strongly in favour of the European Union
European Union
and opposed to physical force Irish republicanism . The party's youth wing, Young Fine Gael , was formed in 1977, and has approximately four thousand members. Fine Gael
Fine Gael
is a founding member of the European People\'s Party and a member of the Centrist Democrat International . Alternative logo – glyph version


* 1 History

* 2 Ideology and policies

* 2.1 Law and order party

* 2.2 Economically liberal

* 2.2.1 Economic policies

* 2.3 Constitutional reform policies * 2.4 Social policies * 2.5 Health policies * 2.6 Abortion * 2.7 Pro-European

* 3 European affiliations * 4 Electoral performance * 5 Planning and Payment Tribunals

* 6 Leadership

* 6.1 Party leader * 6.2 Deputy leader * 6.3 Seanad leader

* 7 General election results * 8 Front bench * 9 Young Fine Gael * 10 See also * 11 Notes and references * 12 Bibliography * 13 External links


Main article: History of Fine Gael

The following is timeline of participation in governments and positions on proposed constitutional referenda:

* 1922–32: The 1st Executive Council of the Irish Free State is formed by the pro-treaty faction of the original Sinn Féin. In 1923 this faction formally separates to become CUMANN NA NGAEDHEAL . The Irish Unionist Alliance (successor to Irish Conservatives ) dissolved in 1922, consequently, many of its followers swung their support behind Cumann na nGaedheal, seeing it as less hostile to them than the anti-Treaty Republicans and the later Fianna Fáil . It rules as a minority government until 1932 when it’s replaced by a Fianna Fáil minority government with support from the Labour Party. * 1933: It becomes FINE GAEL also merging with two smaller groups, the National Centre Party and the National Guard. A poster from the party in 1937 advocating that people should vote against the proposed new constitution * 1937: It campaigns against the enactment of a new constitution proposed by Fianna Fáil advocating a no vote in the referendum , however the new constitution was approved by a majority of voters. * 1948–51: It forms part of Ireland’s first coalition government also including the Labour Party, Clann na Poblachta , Clann na Talmhan and the National Labour Party . * 1954–57: It takes part in a three-party coalition government with the Labour Party and Clann na Talmhan. * 1959: It opposed a proposal to amend the constitution to scrap proportional representation ( PR-STV
) with single member constituencies , advocating a no vote in the referendum, the amendment was rejected by voters. * 1968: It opposed two proposals to amend the constitution advocating no votes for both proposals, a proposal to permit greater malapportionment in favour of rural areas which was rejected by voters and another proposal to amend the constitution to scrap proportional representation (PR-STV) with single member constituencies, which was again rejected by voters, this time by a significantly larger margin than 1959. * 1972: It supported the campaign for a yes vote in the referendum to join the European Communities , voters approved of this proposal in the referendum. * 1973: It supported the campaign for a yes vote for two constitutional amendments, a proposal to reduce to minimum voting age from 21 to 18 and a proposal to remove the “special position” of the Roman Catholic Church from the constitution in order to make Ireland a secular state . Both amendments were approved by voters in referenda. * 1973–77: It takes part in a two-party coalition government with the Labour Party. * 1979: It supported the campaign for a yes vote for two constitutional amendments, one proposal to reverse a 1977 finding that certain orders made by the adoption board were unconstitutional, and a proposal to extend the voting franchise for Seanad Éireann
Seanad Éireann
(the upper house). Both amendments were approved by voters in referenda. * 1981–82(MARCH): It takes part in a two-party minority coalition government with the Labour Party. * 1982(DECEMBER)-87: It takes part in a two-party coalition government with the Labour Party. * 1983: It was divided on the referendum on the eight amendment , a bill originally introduced by the Fianna Fáil minority government of 1982 to introduce a constitutional ban on abortion, though the Fine Gael party leader at the time, Garret FitzGerald , personally advocated a no vote, the amendment was approved by voters in the referendum. * 1984: It proposed and supported the campaign for a yes vote for a constitutional amendment to extend the voting franchise to allow votes for non-citizens who are residents. This amendment was approved by voters in the referendum. * 1986: It proposed and supported the campaign for a yes for a constitutional amendment to make divorce constitutional. This amendment was rejected by voters in the referendum. * 1987: It supported the campaign for a yes vote for a constitutional amendment permitting the state to ratify the Single European Act . This amendment was approved by voters in the referendum. * 1992: It supported the campaign for a yes vote for a constitutional amendment permitting the state to ratify the Maastricht Treaty . This amendment was approved by voters in the referendum. * 1994–97: It takes part in a three-party coalition government with the Labour Party and Democratic Left . * 1995–97: It proposed and supported the campaign for a yes vote for three constitutional amendments between 1995 and 1997. An amendment in 1995 to make divorce constitutional. An amendment in 1996 to reverse a 1965 Supreme Court ruling by allowed a court to refuse someone bail if it suspected a person would commit a serious criminal offence while at liberty. An amendment in 1997 to reverse a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that meetings of the cabinet were absolutely confidential. All three amendments were approved by voters in their respective referenda. * 1998–99: It supported the campaign for a yes vote for three constitutional amendments, two amendments in 1998 to permit the state to ratify the Amsterdam Treaty and another to permit the state to ratify the Good Friday Agreement. An amendment in 1999 providing constitutional recognition to local government and that elections to local councils must held at least every five years. All three amendments were approved by voters in their respective referenda. * 2001–02: It supported the campaign for a yes vote for seven constitutional amendments and opposed one proposed constitutional amendment between 2001 and 2004. It supported all three amendments in 2001, an amendment to extend the pre-existing legislative ban of death penalty to a constitutional ban, an amendment to permit the state to ratify the Statute of the International Criminal Court and amendment to permit the state to ratify the Nice Treaty . All of the amendments proposed in 2001 were approved by voters except the one regarding the NIce Treaty, voters reversed this decision approving the Nice Treaty in a second referendum in 2002, also supported by Fine Gael. The other amendment proposed in 2002 was an attempt to strengthen the constitutional ban on abortion by making abortion in the X-Case unconstitutional, this was opposed by Fine Gael
Fine Gael
who advocated a no vote, and rejected by voters in the referendum. Logo of the party before April 2009. * 2004–09: It supported a constitutional amendment in 2004 to abolish unrestricted jus soli right to Irish nationality, this amendment was approved by voters in the referendum. It supported an amendment in 2008 to permit the state to ratify the Lisbon Treaty
Lisbon Treaty
, this was rejected in the referendum, voters reversed this decision approving the Lisbon Treaty
Lisbon Treaty
in a second referendum in 2009, also supported by Fine Gael. * 2011: It becomes the largest party in Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann
for the first time (or since 1932 including Cumann na nGaedhel) as a result of the 2011 general election . * 2011–15: It proposed and supported the campaign for a yes vote for eight constitutional amendments between 2011 and 2015. Two amendments in 2011, one to relax the prohibition on the reduction of the salaries of Irish judges which was approved by voters in the referendum and one to reverse a 2002 Supreme Court ruling which prevented Oireachtas
inquiries from making findings critical of individuals which was not approved by voters in its respective referendum. Two amendments in 2012, one to permit the state to ratify the European Fiscal Compact
European Fiscal Compact
and one relating to children's rights and the right and duty of the state to take child protection measures, both of these 2012 proposals were approved by voters in their respective referenda. Two amendments in 2013, one which proposed to abolish Seanad Éireann
Seanad Éireann
(the upper house of Ireland’s parliament) which was rejected by voters in the referendum and one which mandates of a new Court of Appeal above the High Court and below the Supreme Court, this proposal was accepted by voters in the referendum. Two amendments in 2015, one to reduce the age a person can be a presidential candidate from 35 to 21 which was rejected by voters and another amendment to explicitly constitutional prohibit restrictions on marriage based on sex, this was approved by voters in the respective referendum. * 2011-16: It takes part in a two-party majority coalition government with the Labour Party, effectively a grand coalition as for the period of the 31st Dáil they were the two largest parties. (see Government of the 31st Dáil
Government of the 31st Dáil
) * 2016-: It takes parts in a minority coalition government with some non-party TDs, made possible by a confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fáíl, which agreed to abstain in confidence votes. (see Government of the 32nd Dáil ) * 2017: Fine Gael leadership election, 2017
Fine Gael leadership election, 2017



Although Ireland's political spectrum was traditionally divided along Civil War lines, rather than the traditional European left–right spectrum , Fine Gael
Fine Gael
is described generally as a centrist to centre-right party, with a focus on law and order , enterprise and reward, and fiscal rectitude. As the descendant of the pro-Treaty factions in the Irish Civil War, Fine Gael
Fine Gael
has a strong affinity with Michael Collins and his legacy. He remains a symbol for the party, and the anniversary of his death is commemorated each year in August.


Fine Gael
Fine Gael
has, since its inception, portrayed itself as a party of fiscal rectitude and minimal government interference in economics, advocating pro-enterprise policies. In that they followed the line of the previous pro-Treaty government that believed in minimal state intervention, low taxes and social expenditures. Newly elected politicians for the party in the Dáil have strongly advocated liberal economic policies. Lucinda Creighton
Lucinda Creighton
(who has since left the party) and Leo Varadkar in particular have been seen as strong advocates of a neoliberal approach to Ireland's economic woes and unemployment problems. Varadkar in particular has been a strong proponent of small, indigenous business, advocating that smaller firms should benefit from the government's recapitalisation program Its former finance spokesman Richard Bruton's proposals have been seen as approaching problems from a pro-enterprise point of view. Its fairer budget website in 2011 suggested that its solutions are "tough but fair". Other solutions conform generally to conservative governments' policies throughout Europe, focusing on cutting numbers in the public sector, while maintaining investment in infrastructure.

Fine Gael's proposals have sometimes been criticised mostly by smaller political groupings in Ireland, and by some of the trade unions , who have raised the idea that the party's solutions are more conscious of business interests than the interests of the worker. The SIPTU trade union has stated its opposition to the Taoiseach Enda Kenny's assertion, in response to Ireland's economic crisis, that the national wage agreement should be suspended. Kenny's comments had support however and the party attributes its significant rise in polls in 2008 to this. In spite of this perceived opposition to Fine Gael from the left of the Irish political spectrum, the party, due to Dáil arithmetic, has never entered into national government without the backing of the Labour Party.

Economic Policies

Fine Gael's Simon Coveney launched what the party termed a radical re-organisation of the Irish Semi-State Company sector. Styled the New Economy and Recovery Authority (or NewERA), Coveney said that it is an economic stimulus plan that will "reshape the Irish economy for the challenges of the 21st century". Requiring an €18.2 billion investment in Energy, Communications and Water infrastructure over a four-year period, it was promoted as a way to enhance energy security and digital reputation of Ireland. A very broad ranging document, it proposes the combined management of a portfolio of semi-state assets, and the sale of all other, non-essential services. The release of equity through the sale of the various state resources, including electricity generation services belonging to the ESB , Bord na Móna and Bord Gáis , in combination with use of money in the National Pensions Reserve Fund, is the means by which Fine Gael
Fine Gael
is proposing to fund its national stimulus package.

The plan is seen at being the basis of a Fine Gael
Fine Gael
program for government. Seen as being the longer term contribution to Fine Gael's economic plan, it has been publicised in combination with a more short term policy proposal from FG TD, Dr. Leo Varadkar . This document, termed "Hope for a Lost Generation", promises to bring 30,000 young Irish people off the Live Register in a year by combining a National Internship Program, a Second Chance Education Scheme, an Apprenticeship Guarantee and Community Work Program, as well as instituting a German style, Workshare program.

Commentary on the FG's economic proposals has generally been positive from some economic commentators including Eddie Hobbs and David McWilliams who have praised the proposals stating that they have considerable potential. Eamon Gilmore 's Labour Party has launched policies which are seen to be broadly consistent with the FG platform.


Fine Gael
Fine Gael
is seen as being a constitutional party, with members and public representatives always showing considerable deference to the institutional organs of the Irish state. The party leadership has been eager to be seen to engage in an ongoing constitutional debate in Ireland on the topic of political reform. The debate which has been monitored by the Irish Times in its Renewing the Republic opinion pieces, has largely centred on the make up of the Oireachtas
, the Irish parliament. Fine Gael's Phil Hogan TD, now a European Commissioner, has published the party's proposals for political and constitutional reform. In a policy document entitled New Politics, Hogan suggested creating a country with "a smaller, more dynamic and more responsive political system," reducing the size of the Dáil by 20, changing the way the Dáil works, and in a controversial move, abolishing the Irish senate, Seanad Éireann
Seanad Éireann

Aiming to carry out the parties proposals through a series of constitutional referendums, the proposals were echoed by then Labour leader Eamon Gilmore, when he proposed his own constitutional "crusade" at his 2010 party conference, shortly after.


Fine Gael
Fine Gael
was traditionally conservative on social matters for most of the twentieth century, due to the conservative Christian ethos of Irish society during this time. Its members are variously influenced by Christian democracy, liberalism and social democracy on issues of social policy. Under Garret FitzGerald, the party's more liberal or pluralist wing gained prominence. Proposals to allow divorce were put by referendum by two Fine Gael–led governments, in 1986 under FitzGerald, and in 1995 under John Bruton, passing very narrowly on this second attempt.

Fine Gael
Fine Gael
supported civil unions for same-sex couples from 2003, voting for the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Bill 2010 , and the party approved a motion at its 2012 Ard Fheis to prioritise the consideration of same-sex marriage in the upcoming constitutional convention. In 2013 party leader and Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced his support for same-sex marriage. The Fine Gael led government held a referendum on the subject on 22 May 2015. The referendum passed. The electorate voted to extend full marriage rights to same sex couples, with 62.1% in favour and 37.9% opposed. The party has run advertisements in GCN (Gay Community News) advertising its commitments to same-sex couples.


The Irish health system , being administered centrally by the Health Service Executive , is seen to be poor by comparison to other countries in Europe, ranking outside expected levels at 25th according to the Euro Health Consumer Index 2006. Fine Gael
Fine Gael
wants Ireland to break with the system of private health insurance, public medical cards and what it calls the two tiers of the health system and has launched a campaign to see the system reformed. Speaking in favour of the campaign, Fine Gael
Fine Gael
then health spokesman James Reilly stated "Over the last 10 years the health service has become a shambles. We regularly have over 350 people on trolleys in Apadding:0"> Organizations

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* v * t * e


Eoin O\'Duffy 1933–34 None

W. T. Cosgrave 1934–44 Carlow–Kilkenny

Richard Mulcahy 1944–59 Tipperary
JOHN A. COSTELLO – 1948 –1951 ; 1954 –1957 ( Government of the 13th Dáil and 15th Dáil )

James Dillon 1959–65 Monaghan

LIAM COSGRAVE 1965–77 Dún Laoghaire 1973 –1977 ( Government of the 20th Dáil )

GARRET FITZGERALD 1977–87 Dublin South-East 1981 –Feb 1982 ; Nov 1982 –1987 ( Government of the 22nd Dáil and 24th Dáil )

Alan Dukes 1987–90 Kildare South

JOHN BRUTON 1990–2001 Meath 1994–1997 (Government of the 27th Dáil )

Michael Noonan 2001–02 Limerick East

ENDA KENNY 2002–2017 Mayo 2011 –2017 ( Government of the 31st Dáil
Government of the 31st Dáil
and the 32nd Dáil )

LEO VARADKAR 2017–present Dublin West 2017–present ( Government of the 32nd Dáil )



Tom O\'Higgins 1972–77 Dublin County South

Peter Barry 1977–87 Cork South-Central

John Bruton 1987–90 Meath

Peter Barry 1991–93 Cork South-Central

Nora Owen 1993–2001 Dublin North

Jim Mitchell 2001–02 Dublin Central

Richard Bruton 2002–10 Dublin North-Central

James Reilly 2010–2017 Dublin North

Simon Coveney 2017–present Cork South-Central



Michael J. O\'Higgins 1973–77 Nominated member of Seanad Éireann
Seanad Éireann

Patrick Cooney 1977–81 Cultural and Educational Panel

Gemma Hussey 1981–82 National University of Ireland

James Dooge 1982–87 National University of Ireland

Maurice Manning 1987–2002 Cultural and Educational Panel

Brian Hayes 2002–2007 Cultural and Educational Panel

Michael Finucane 2007 (acting) Labour Panel

Frances Fitzgerald 2007–2011 Labour Panel

Maurice Cummins 2011–2016 Labour Panel

Jerry Buttimer 2016–present Labour Panel



1937 48 / 138 11 2nd 461,171 34.8% Opposition W. T. Cosgrave

1938 45 / 138 3 2nd 428,633 33.3% Opposition W. T. Cosgrave

1943 32 / 138 12 2nd 307,490 23.1% Opposition W. T. Cosgrave

1944 30 / 138 2 2nd 249,329 20.5% Opposition Richard Mulcahy

1948 31 / 147 1 2nd 262,393 19.8% Coalition (FG-LP-CnP-CnT-NLP) Richard Mulcahy

1951 40 / 147 9 2nd 349,922 27.2% Opposition Richard Mulcahy

1954 50 / 147 10 2nd 427,031 32.0% Coalition (FG-LP-CnT) Richard Mulcahy

1957 40 / 147 10 2nd 326,699 26.6% Opposition Richard Mulcahy

1961 47 / 144 7 2nd 374,099 32.0% Opposition James Dillon

1965 47 / 144

2nd 427,081 34.1% Opposition James Dillon

1969 50 / 144 3 2nd 449,749 34.1% Opposition Liam Cosgrave
Liam Cosgrave

1973 54 / 144 4 2nd 473,781 35.1% Coalition (FG-LP) Liam Cosgrave

1977 43 / 148 11 2nd 488,767 30.5% Opposition Liam Cosgrave

1981 65 / 166 22 2nd 626,376 36.5% Coalition (FG-LP) Garret FitzGerald

1982 (FEB) 63 / 166 2 2nd 621,088 37.3% Opposition Garret FitzGerald

1982 (NOV) 70 / 166 7 2nd 662,284 39.2% Coalition (FG-LP) Garret FitzGerald

1987 51 / 166 19 2nd 481,127 27.1% Opposition Garret FitzGerald

1989 55 / 166 4 2nd 485,307 29.3% Opposition Alan Dukes

1992 45 / 166 10 2nd 422,106 24.5% Opposition John Bruton

Coalition (FG-LP-DL) (from December 1994)

1997 54 / 166 9 2nd 499,936 27.9% Opposition John Bruton

2002 31 / 166 23 2nd 417,619 22.5% Opposition Michael Noonan

2007 51 / 166 20 2nd 564,428 27.3% Opposition Enda Kenny

2011 76 / 166 25 1st 801,628 36.1% Coalition (FG-LP) Enda Kenny

2016 50 / 158 26 1st 544,410 25.5% Minority government (supported by Fianna Fáil ) Enda Kenny


Main article: Fine Gael Front Bench


Main article: Young Fine Gael

Young Fine Gael (YFG) is the youth movement of Fine Gael. It was founded in 1976 by the then leader Garret FitzGerald . It caters for young people under 30 with an interest in Fine Gael
Fine Gael
and politics, in cities, towns, parishes and third level colleges throughout Ireland. YFG has 4,000 members nationwide. YFG is led by its national executive consisting of ten members elected on a regional basis, and on a national panel.


* List of political parties in the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland


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– MSN Encarta. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. * ^ Encyclopedia of British and Irish ... – Google Libri. Books.google.it. 2000. ISBN 9780826458148 . Retrieved 4 June 2010. * ^ Valencia (7 January 2007). "What Fine Gael
Fine Gael
needs to do is find its bottom – National News, Frontpage". Independent.ie. Retrieved 4 June 2010. * ^ Fine Gael’s European Strategy – EAST WEST EUROPE Ireland and the Wider Europe, 2008 Archived 8 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ "Centre-right views, outspoken, seen by some as arrogant at times". Irishtimes.com. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2011. * ^ "2009 Local Elections". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 6 September 2009. * ^ "Elections 2009 – European Elections: National Summary". RTÉ News . Archived from the original on 10 August 2009. Retrieved 6 September 2009. * ^ "2011 Presidential Election". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 8 July 2012. * ^ " Irish Times article". The Irish Times. * ^ "RTÉ News: AIB and Ansbacher wrote off Fitzgerald\'s £200,000 debt". RTÉ.ie. 17 February 1999. Retrieved 4 June 2010. * ^ O'Duffy did not hold a seat in the Oireachtas
while he was party leader. * ^ While Mulcahy was a member of the Seanad in 1944, Tom O\'Higgins acted as parliamentary party leader. * ^ Between 1948 and 1959, John A. Costello served as parliamentary leader. * ^ While Mulcahy was party leader, Costello was Taoiseach on two occasions. * ^ The total number of Fine Gael
Fine Gael
TDs is compared to the combined total won by Cumann na nGaedheal and the National Centre Party at the previous general election . * ^ RTÉ News. 2007 General Election. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-31. . Retrieved on 1 July 2009


* Nealon's Guide to the 29th Dáil and Seanad (Gill and Macmillan, 2002) (ISBN 0-7171-3288-9 ) * Stephen Collins, "The Cosgrave Legacy" (Blackwater, 1996) (ISBN 0-86121-658-X ) * Garret FitzGerald, "Garret FitzGerald: An Autobiography" (Gill and Macmillan, 1991) (ISBN 0-7171-1600-X ) * Jack Jones, In Your Opinion: Political and Social Trends in Ireland through the Eyes of the Electorate (Townhouse, 2001) (ISBN 1-86059-149-3 ) * Maurice Manning, James Dillon: A Biography (Wolfhound, 1999/2000) (ISBN 0-86327-823-X ) * Stephen O'Byrnes, Hiding Behind a Face: Fine Gael
Fine Gael
under FitzGerald (Gill and Macmillan: 1986) (ISBN 0-7171-1448-1 ) * Raymond Smith, Garret: The Enigma (Aherlow, 1985) (no ISBN)


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* Official website * Young Fine Gael

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