The Info List - Fine Gael

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Fine Gael
Fine Gael
(/ˌfiːnə ˈɡeɪl/ FEE-nə GAYL;[6] English: Family or Tribe of the Irish) is a liberal-conservative[7][8] and Christian democratic[9][10] 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.[11] The party has a membership of 35,000,[12] and is the senior partner governing in a minority coalition with several independent politicians, with party leader Leo Varadkar
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.[13][14][15][16] Fine Gael
Fine Gael
was founded on 8 September 1933[17] 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.[18] Fine Gael
Fine Gael
is generally considered to be more of a proponent of market liberalism than its traditional rival, Fianna Fáil.[19] 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 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.[20][21] 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.[22] 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

History[edit] Main article: History of Fine Gael The following is timeline of participation in governments and positions on proposed constitutional referenda:[23][24][25][26][27]

1933: Fine Gael
Fine Gael
is formed through the merger of Cumann na nGaedheal with two smaller groups, the National Centre Party and the National Guard, commonly known as the Blueshirts.

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
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 Eighth amendment, a bill originally introduced by the Fianna Fáil
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
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
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, 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 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) 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
Fine Gael
leadership election, 2017

Ideology and policies[edit] Law and order party[edit] 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 centre-right party, with a focus on "law and order", enterprise and reward, and "fiscal rectitude".[28] 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.[29] Economically liberal[edit] 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.[30] 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
Leo Varadkar
in particular have been seen as strong advocates of a neoliberal approach to Ireland's economic woes and unemployment problems.[31] Varadkar in particular has been a strong proponent of small, indigenous business, advocating that smaller firms should benefit from the government's recapitalisation program[32] 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".[33] 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.[34] In spite of this opposition to Fine Gael
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[edit] Fine Gael's Simon Coveney
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".[35] 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.[36] 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.[37] 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.[38] Constitutional reform policies[edit] 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
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.[39] 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.[40] Social policies[edit] 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 social liberal or pluralist wing gained prominence. Proposals to allow divorce were put by referendum by two Fine Gael–led governments, in 1986 under FitzGerald,[41] and in 1995 under John Bruton, passing very narrowly on this second attempt.[42] 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
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. Health policies[edit] 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.[43] 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 A&E, waiting lists that go on for months, outpatient waiting lists that go on for years and cancelled operations across the country..."[44] Fine Gael
Fine Gael
launched its FairCare campaign and website in April 2009, which stated that the health service would be reformed away from a costly ineffective endeavour, into a publicly regulated system where compulsory universal health insurance would replace the existing provisions.[45] This strategy was criticised by Fianna Fáil's then Minister for Children, Barry Andrews. The spokesperson for family law and children, Alan Shatter
Alan Shatter
TD, robustly defended its proposals as the only means of reducing public expenditure, and providing a service in Ireland more akin to the Canadian, Dutch and German health systems. Abortion[edit] As a Christian democratic party, Fine Gael
Fine Gael
was historically pro-life (supportive of the child in the womb and the mother). It has however frequently disagreed with various pro-life organisations in Ireland. In 1983, having initially supported the proposal, it came out in opposition to the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution that was being submitted in a referendum in 1983. Under then leader and Taoiseach
Dr Garret FitzGerald
Garret FitzGerald
it campaigned for a 'No' vote, arguing, on the advice of the Attorney General of Ireland Peter Sutherland, that the wording, which had been drafted under the previous government, when analysed was ambiguous and open to many interpretations.[46] This referendum resulted in the Eighth Amendment to the Irish constitution, giving the unborn child a qualified[47] equal right to life to that of the mother.[48] Its stance conflicted with that of the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign (PLAC) and the Roman Catholic bishops, and Fianna Fáil, the largest party in the State at the time, but then in opposition. The party also campaigned against the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution in 2002, which proposed to remove suicide as a grounds for granting a termination of a pregnancy. Suicide
had been ruled as a ground, under the 8th amendment, in the X Case
X Case
judgement of the Irish Supreme Court. The amendment was rejected by Irish voters.[49] In 2013 it proposed, and supported, the enactment of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, 2013, which implemented in statute law the X case ruling of the Irish Supreme Court, granting access to a termination of a pregnancy where there is a real and substantial risk to the life, not the health, of the mother, including a threat of suicide.[50] The enactment of the Act was criticised by various pro-life groups[51] and the Roman Catholic bishops, but supported by a majority of the electorate in polls, with many indicating they wished to see a more liberal law on abortion.[52] Today, the party is divided on repealing the Eighth Amendment.[53] Kenny had pledged that his party's Oireachtas
members will be given a free vote on the issue.[54]Current leader Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar
is in favour of holding a referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment, and several Fine Gael
Fine Gael
TDs, notably Kate O'Connell, are prominent supporters of the pro-choice side. Pro-European[edit] Fine Gael
Fine Gael
is among the most pro-European integration parties in Ireland, having supported the European Constitution,[55] the Lisbon Treaty, and advocating participation in European common defence.[56] Under Enda Kenny, the party has questioned Irish neutrality, with Kenny claiming that "the truth is, Ireland is not neutral. We are merely unaligned."[55] The party's youth wing, Young Fine Gael, passed a motion in 2016 calling on the government to apply for membership of NATO. European affiliations[edit] Fine Gael
Fine Gael
is a founding member of the European People's Party
European People's Party
(EPP), the largest European political party
European political party
comprising conservative and Christian democratic national-level parties from across Europe. Fine Gael's MEPs sit with the EPP Group in the European Parliament, and FG parliamentarians also sit with the EPP Groups in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Committee of the Regions. Young Fine Gael
Fine Gael
is a member of the Youth of the European People's Party (YEPP). It is inferred from Fine Gael's relationship to European counterparts via membership of the European People's Party
European People's Party
that FG belongs on the centre-right.[57][58][59] The party conforms generally with European political parties that identify themselves as being Christian democratic.[60] Some younger parliamentarians are identified with the centre-right. The Irish Times
Irish Times
supplement described front bench member Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar
TD as having explicitly centre-right views.[61] Electoral performance[edit] At the 2011 general election, Fine Gael
Fine Gael
gained 25 seats bringing them to a total of 76. The party ran candidates in all 43 constituencies, and had candidates elected in every constituency except Dublin North-West. Fine Gael
Fine Gael
won 19 seats in Seanad Éireann
Seanad Éireann
following the 2011 election, a gain of four from the previous election in 2007. At the 2009 Local elections held on 5 June 2009, Fine Gael
Fine Gael
won 556 seats, surpassing Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil
which won 407 seats, and making Fine Gael the largest party of local government nationally.[62] They gained 88 seats from their 2004 result. At 2009 European Parliament
European Parliament
election held on the same day as the Local elections, which saw a reduction in the number seats from 13 to 12 for Ireland, the party won four seats, retaining the largest number of seats of an Irish party in the European Parliament. This was a loss of one seat from its 2004 result.[63] While Fine Gael
Fine Gael
was responsible for the initial nomination of the uncontested, first President of Ireland, Douglas Hyde, a Fine Gael candidate has never won an election to the office of president. The most recent Fine Gael
Fine Gael
presidential candidate, Gay Mitchell, finished fourth in the 2011 presidential election, with 6.4% of the vote.[64] In 2004, Fine Gael
Fine Gael
supported the re-election of President Mary McAleese. In the 2016 general election the outgoing government consisting of Fine Gael
Fine Gael
and its partner the Labour Party was defeated. The previous government had the largest majority in the history of the state with a combined 113 seats out of the 166-seat Dáil Éireann. The aftermath of the general election resulted in months of negotiations for an agreement of government. A deal was reached with the main opposition and traditional rival Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil
to facilitate a minority Fine Gael-led government. Fine Gael
Fine Gael
now governs Ireland alone with eight Independent members of the Dáil. Under Leo Varadkar's leadership, Fine Gael
Fine Gael
continue to do well in opinion polls, remaining marginally ahead of Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil
in terms of popularity. Planning and Payment Tribunals[edit] The Moriarty Tribunal
Moriarty Tribunal
has sat since 1997 and has investigated the granting of a mobile phone license to Esat Telecom
Esat Telecom
by Michael Lowry when he was Fine Gael
Fine Gael
Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications in the Rainbow Coalition of the mid-1990s. Lowry resigned from the Cabinet after it was revealed at the Moriarty Tribunal that businessman Ben Dunne had paid for an IR£395,000 extension to Lowry's County Tipperary
County Tipperary
home. Lowry, now an independent TD, supported the Fianna Fáil–Green Party government in Dáil Éireann until March 2011. It was also revealed in December 1996 that Fine Gael
Fine Gael
had received some £180,000 from Ben Dunne in the period 1987 to 1993. This was composed of £100,000 in 1993, £50,000 in 1992 and £30,000 in 1989. In addition, Michael Noonan
Michael Noonan
received £3,000 in 1992 towards his election campaign, Ivan Yates received £5,000, Michael Lowry received £5,000 and Sean Barrett received £1,000 in the earlier 1987 election. John Bruton said he had received £1,000 from Dunne in 1982 towards his election campaign, and Dunne had also given £15,000 to the Labour Party during the 1990 Presidential election campaign.[65] Following revelations at the Moriarty Tribunal
Moriarty Tribunal
on 16 February 1999, in relation to Charles Haughey
Charles Haughey
and his relationship with AIB, former Taoiseach
Garret Fitzgerald confirmed that AIB and Ansbacher wrote off debts of almost £200,000 that he owed in 1993, when he was in financial difficulties because of the collapse of the aircraft leasing company, GPA, in which he was a shareholder. The write-off occurred after Dr Fitzgerald left politics and Dr. Fitzgerald also said he believed his then Fine Gael
Fine Gael
colleague, Peter Sutherland, who was chairman of AIB at the time, was unaware of the situation.[66] Leadership[edit] The current leader of the Fine Gael
Fine Gael
party is Leo Varadkar, who, as well as being Ireland's youngest ever Taoiseach, is the country's first openly gay leader and the first leader to come from an immigrant background. The position of deputy leader has been held since 2017 by Simon Coveney
Simon Coveney
TD, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Party leader[edit] Main article: Leader of Fine Gael The following are the terms of office as party leader and as Taoiseach (bolded) if applicable:

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v t e

Leader Period Constituency Periods in office (if Taoiseach)

Eoin O'Duffy 1933–34 None[67]

W. T. Cosgrave 1934–44 Carlow–Kilkenny

Richard Mulcahy 1944–59[68][69] Tipperary John A. Costello[70] – 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
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)

Deputy leader[edit]

Name Period Constituency

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

Seanad leader[edit]

Name Period Panel

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

General election results[edit]

Election Seats won ± Position First Pref votes % Government Leader


48 / 138

11[71] 2nd 461,171 34.8% Opposition W. T. Cosgrave


45 / 138

3 2nd 428,633 33.3% Opposition W. T. Cosgrave


32 / 138

12 2nd 307,490 23.1% Opposition W. T. Cosgrave


30 / 138

2 2nd 249,329 20.5% Opposition Richard Mulcahy


31 / 147

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


40 / 147

9 2nd 349,922 27.2% Opposition Richard Mulcahy


50 / 147

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


40 / 147

10 2nd 326,699 26.6% Opposition Richard Mulcahy


47 / 144

7 2nd 374,099 32.0% Opposition James Dillon


47 / 144

2nd 427,081 34.1% Opposition James Dillon


50 / 144

3 2nd 449,749 34.1% Opposition Liam Cosgrave


54 / 144

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


43 / 148

11 2nd 488,767 30.5% Opposition Liam Cosgrave


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


51 / 166

19 2nd 481,127 27.1% Opposition Garret FitzGerald


55 / 166

4 2nd 485,307 29.3% Opposition Alan Dukes


45 / 166

10 2nd 422,106 24.5% Opposition John Bruton

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


54 / 166

9 2nd 499,936 27.9% Opposition John Bruton


31 / 166

23 2nd 417,619 22.5% Opposition Michael Noonan


51 / 166

20 2nd 564,428 27.3% Opposition Enda Kenny


76 / 166

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


50 / 158

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

Front bench[edit] Main article: Fine Gael
Fine Gael
Front Bench Young Fine Gael[edit] Main article: Young Fine Gael 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 and third level colleges throughout Ireland. YFG has 4,000 members nationwide.[72] YFG is led by its national executive consisting of ten members elected on a regional basis, and on a national panel. See also[edit]

List of political parties in the Republic of Ireland

Notes and references[edit]

^ Analysis – Irish referendum puts Sinn Fein in the spotlight. Padraic Halpin. Reuters. ^ a b Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe". Retrieved 25 July 2015.  ^ a b c Richard Dunphy (2015). "Ireland". In Donatella M. Viola. Routledge Handbook of European Elections. Routledge. p. 247. ISBN 978-1-317-50363-7.  ^ Nicholas Rees; Brid Quinn; Bernadette Connaughton (2010). "Ireland and the European Union". In Nicholas Rees; Brid Quinn; Bernadette Connaughton. Europeanisation and New Patterns of Governance in Ireland. Manchester University Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-84779-336-2.  ^ Kate Nicholls (2015). Mediating Policy: Greece, Ireland, and Portugal
Before the Eurozone Crisis. Routledge. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-317-64273-2.  ^ "Fine Gael: definition of Fine Gael
Fine Gael
in Oxford dictionary (British & World English). Meaning, pronunciation and origin of the word". Oxford Language Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.  ^ Kerstin Hamann; John Kelly (2010). Parties, Elections, and Policy Reforms in Western Europe: Voting for Social Pacts. Routledge. p. 1980. ISBN 978-1-136-94986-9.  ^ Cesáreo R. Aguilera de Prat; Jed Rosenstein (2009). Political Parties and European Integration. Peter Lang. p. 64. ISBN 978-90-5201-535-4.  ^ T. Banchoff (1999). Legitimacy and the European Union. Taylor & Francis. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-415-18188-4. Retrieved 26 August 2012.  ^ Hans Slomp (2011). Europe, a Political Profile: An American Companion to EuropeaPolitics. ABC-CLIO. p. 333. ISBN 978-0-313-39181-1.  ^ Angus Reid Global Monitor Archived 4 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 10 May 2009. ^ Fine Gael. Your Fine Gael
Fine Gael
Archived 30 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 23 October 2011. ^ " Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny
elected Fine Gael
Fine Gael
leader". RTÉ News. 5 June 2002. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2007.  ^ " Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny
to retire as Fine Gael
Fine Gael
Leader at Midnight". RTÉ News. 16 May 2017. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2017.  ^ "Varadkar 'delighted and humbled' by election result". RTÉ.ie. 2 June 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2017.  ^ "Kenny's farewell: 'This has never been about me'". RTÉ News. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.  ^ "History of Fine Gael". Generalmichaelcollins.com. Archived from the original on 12 November 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.  ^ "Legacy of the Easter Rising". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2007.  ^ "Ireland's politics on the brink of a seismic shift". euobserver.com. Retrieved 2016-02-03.  ^ Gael, Fine. "Our Values". Fine Gael. Retrieved 2016-02-03.  ^ "FG Values". David Stanton
David Stanton
website. Archived from the original on 4 February 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2011.  ^ "Election 2007 – Youth parties". RTÉ News. Archived from the original on 14 May 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2007.  ^ Lee, Joseph (1989-01-01). Ireland, 1912–1985: Politics and Society. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521266482.  ^ Meehan, Ciara (2013-10-15). A Just Society for Ireland? 1964–1987. Springer. ISBN 9781137022066.  ^ Hussey, Gemma (1990-01-01). At the Cutting Edge: Cabinet Diaries, 1982–1987. Gill and Macmillan. ISBN 9780717117536.  ^ Collins, Neil; Cradden, Terry (2001-01-01). Irish Politics Today. Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719061745.  ^ Gael, Fine. "History of FG". Fine Gael. Retrieved 2016-03-14.  ^ [1] Fine Gael
Fine Gael
is a party of fiscal rectitude. Retrieved on 19 January 2010. ^ The Hogan Stand (21 September 2005). Michael Collins' view of life in Achill Gaeltacht Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 31 October 2007. ^ Political Parties in the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
by Michael Gallagher. Manchester University Press, 1985. ISBN, 0719017971, 9780719017971. p. 43 ^ "Lucinda CREIGHTON TD – Economy Vision". Lucindacreighton.ie. Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.  ^ " Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar
– Small Business Fund must be included in recapitalisation plan". Leovaradkar.ie. 16 December 2008. Archived from the original on 29 June 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2010.  ^ "fairerbudget.com". fairerbudget.com. Archived from the original on 19 September 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2010.  ^ "Union criticises FG on wage agreements position while FG gains 35% in polls". RTÉ.ie. 23 November 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2010.  ^ FG's New Era policy commentated on by RTÉ – http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0326/economy.html, RTÉ Website, 26 April 2010 ^ FG Launches 11bn Euro Stimulus Plan – http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0326/economy2-business.html, RTÉ Website, 26 April 2010 ^ FG Hope for a Lost Generation Document – "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2010. , Young Fine Gael
Young Fine Gael
website, 26 April 2010 ^ Gilmore's Economic Policies and Fine gael – "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2010. , The Sunday Post, 26 April 2010 ^ " Irish Times
Irish Times
on Kenny Conference Speech, 26 April 2010". M.irishtimes.com. 20 March 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.  ^ Commentary of Gilmore conference speech and Labour consistency with FG policy – "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2010. , 26 April 2010 ^ "Referendum 26 June 1986 Dissolution of Marriage". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 25 February 2011.  ^ "Referendum 24 November 1995 Dissolution of Marriage". ElectionsIreland.org. 24 November 1995. Retrieved 4 June 2010.  ^ "Euro Health Consumer Index 2006" (PDF). Retrieved 4 June 2010.  ^ "Dr. James O' Rehilly comments on health service". Irishtimes.com. 27 April 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2010.  ^ " Fine Gael
Fine Gael
launch Fair Care Website and campaign". Faircare.ie. Archived from the original on 16 April 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.  ^ Muldowney, Mary (March–April 2013). ""BREAKING THE SILENCE ON ABORTION: the 1983 referendum campaign"". History Ireland.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ Through the words "as far as practicable". Attorney General v X, [1992] IESC 1; [1992] 1 IR 1. Also reflected in A, B, C v Ireland. ^ Book, Irish Statute. www.irishstatutebook.ie http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1983/ca/8/enacted/en/print#sec2. Retrieved 2015-12-09.  Missing or empty title= (help) ^ "2002 referendum". Elections Ireland.org. Retrieved 14 December 2015.  ^ "/www.irishstatutebook.ie". Irish Statute Book. Archived from the original on 30 March 2016. Retrieved 2015-12-14.  ^ "Irish abortion bill becomes law". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-12-14.  ^ "Abortion law doesn't go far enough – poll". Herald/ie. Retrieved 14 December 2015.  ^ " Fine Gael
Fine Gael
politicians are VERY divided on the 8th Amendment*". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 2015-12-09.  ^ "In 2014, then Taoiseach
Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny
pledged free vote to TDs on any future abortion changes". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2015-12-14.  ^ a b National Forum on Europe (26 October 2006). Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny
calls for Unified EU Approach to Immigration Archived 18 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 31 October 2007. ^ National Forum on Europe (3 April 2003). Should we back a pledge to defend others if they come under attack? Archived 19 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 31 October 2007 ^ Fine Gael
Fine Gael
– 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
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
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)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fine Gael.

Official website Young Fine Gael

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Political parties in the Republic of Ireland

Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann

Fine Gael
Fine Gael
(50) Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil
(44) Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
(23) Labour Party (7) Solidarity–People Before Profit (6) Independents 4 Change
Independents 4 Change
(3) Social Democrats (2) Green Party (2) Independent (20) Ceann Comhairle
Ceann Comhairle

Seanad Éireann
Seanad Éireann

Fine Gael
Fine Gael
(19) Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil
(14) Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
(6) Labour Party (4) Green Party (1) Independent (15)

European Parliament
European Parliament
(11 of 751)

Fine Gael
Fine Gael
(EPP, 4) Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
(GUE/NGL, 3) Childers (S&D) Crowley (ECR) Flanagan (GUE/NGL) Harkin (ALDE)

City and County Councils (949)

Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil
(262) Fine Gael
Fine Gael
(234) Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
(156) Labour Party (50) Solidarity–People Before Profit (27) Green Party (12) Social Democrats (7) Renua Ireland
Renua Ireland
(2) Workers' Party (2) Independents 4 Change
Independents 4 Change
(1) Kerry Independent Alliance
Kerry Independent Alliance
(1) Republican Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
(1) Workers and Unemployed Action (1) Independent (193)

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Politics of Ireland Politics portal List of political parties

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Fine Gael


History of Fine Gael Blueshirts Cumann na nGaedheal Moriarty Tribunal National Centre Party Progressive Democrats Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin Reform Alliance Renua Ireland Tallaght Strategy



Eoin O'Duffy
Eoin O'Duffy
(1933–34) W. T. Cosgrave
W. T. Cosgrave
(1934–44) Richard Mulcahy
Richard Mulcahy
(1944–59) James Dillon (1959–65) Liam Cosgrave
Liam Cosgrave
(1965–77) Garret FitzGerald
Garret FitzGerald
(1977–87) Alan Dukes (1987–90) John Bruton
John Bruton
(1990–2001) Michael Noonan
Michael Noonan
(2001–02) Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny
(2002–17) Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar

Deputy leaders

Peter Barry (1977–87) John Bruton
John Bruton
(1987–90) Peter Barry (1991–93) Nora Owen (1993–2001) Jim Mitchell (2001–02) Richard Bruton
Richard Bruton
(2002–10) James Reilly (2010–2017) Simon Coveney
Simon Coveney

Seanad leaders

Michael J. O'Higgins (1973–77) Patrick Cooney (1977–81) Gemma Hussey (1981–82) James Dooge (1982–87) Maurice Manning, (1987–2002) Brian Hayes (2002–07) Michael Finucane (2007) (acting) Frances Fitzgerald (2007–11) Maurice Cummins (2011–2016) Jerry Buttimer
Jerry Buttimer


Kieran Crotty (1977–87) Donal Creed (1987–89) Tom Enright (1989–93) Michael Lowry (1993–94) Jim Higgins (1994–95) Phil Hogan (1995–2001) Pádraic McCormack (2001–02; 2010–11) Tom Hayes (2002–10) Charles Flanagan
Charles Flanagan
(2011–14) Dan Neville (2014–2016) Martin Heydon
Martin Heydon

Leadership elections

1987 (Dukes) 1990 (Bruton) 2001 (Noonan) 2002 (Kenny) 2017 (Varadkar)

Party structures

Leader of Fine Gael Ardfheis Fine Gael
Fine Gael
Front Bench Young Fine Gael

Presidential candidates

Presidential candidates

Seán Mac Eoin
Seán Mac Eoin
(1945, 1959) Tom O'Higgins (1966, 1973) Austin Currie
Austin Currie
(1990) Mary Banotti (1997) Gay Mitchell
Gay Mitchell

Unopposed presidential candidates with Fine Gael
Fine Gael

Douglas Hyde
Douglas Hyde
(1938) Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh
Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh

Elected representatives

Dáil Éireann

Maria Bailey Seán Barrett Pat Breen Colm Brophy Richard Bruton Peter Burke Catherine Byrne Ciarán Cannon Joe Carey Marcella Corcoran Kennedy Simon Coveney Michael Creed Jim Daly Michael W. D'Arcy John Deasy Pat Deering Regina Doherty Paschal Donohoe Andrew Doyle Bernard Durkan Damien English Alan Farrell Frances Fitzgerald Peter Fitzpatrick Charles Flanagan Brendan Griffin Simon Harris Martin Heydon Heather Humphreys Paul Kehoe Enda Kenny Seán Kyne Josepha Madigan Helen McEntee Joe McHugh Tony McLoughlin Mary Mitchell O'Connor Dara Murphy Eoghan Murphy Hildegarde Naughton Tom Neville Michael Noonan Kate O'Connell Patrick O'Donovan Fergus O'Dowd John Paul Phelan Michael Ring Noel Rock David Stanton Leo Varadkar

Seanad Éireann

Colm Burke Paddy Burke Jerry Buttimer Maria Byrne Paul Coghlan Martin Conway Maura Hopkins Tim Lombard Gabrielle McFadden Catherine Noone Kieran O'Donnell Joe O'Reilly Neale Richmond

European Parliament

Deirdre Clune Brian Hayes Seán Kelly Mairead McGuinness



European People's Party


Centrist Democrat International

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European People's Party
European People's Party

Parliamentary group: European People's Party
European People's Party


Member parties (EU)


Associated parties (non-EU)


Observer parties


Party Presidents

Leo Tindemans Piet Bukman Jacques Santer Wilfried Martens Joseph Daul

European Parliament Group Presidents

Maan Sassen Pierre Wigny Alain Poher Joseph Illerhaus Hans Lücker Alfred Bertrand Egon Klepsch Paolo Barbi Egon Klepsch Leo Tindemans Wilfried Martens Hans-Gert Pöttering Joseph Daul Manfred Weber see European Parliament

European Commissioners

José Manuel Barroso
José Manuel Barroso
(President) Andris Piebalgs
Andris Piebalgs
(Development) Jyrki Katainen
Jyrki Katainen
(Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro) Michel Barnier
Michel Barnier
(Internal Market and Services) Algirdas Šemeta
Algirdas Šemeta
(Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud) Tonio Borg
Tonio Borg
(Health and Consumer Policy) Jacek Dominik (Financial Programming and the Budget) Kristalina Georgieva
Kristalina Georgieva
(International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response) Günther Oettinger
Günther Oettinger
(Energy) Johannes Hahn
Johannes Hahn
(Regional Policy) Connie Hedegaard
Connie Hedegaard
(Climate Action) Dacian Cioloș
Dacian Cioloș
(Agriculture and Rural Development) see Barroso II Commission

Heads of government at the European Council

Nicos Anastasiades
Nicos Anastasiades
(Cyprus) Alexander Stubb
Alexander Stubb
(Finland) Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
(Germany) Antonis Samaras
Antonis Samaras
(Greece) Viktor Orbán
Viktor Orbán
(Hungary) Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny
(Ireland) Laimdota Straujuma
Laimdota Straujuma
(Latvia) Pedro Passos Coelho
Pedro Passos Coelho
(Portugal) Traian Băsescu
Traian Băsescu
(Romania) Mariano Rajoy
Mariano Rajoy
(Spain) see European Council

Eurofoundation: Wilfried Martens
Wilfried Martens
Centre fo