Party Profile: Fianna Fáil

Similar in many ways to Fine Gael, taking a conservative Catholic stance on social issues, but the large difference lies in its less conservative approach to economic issues, having pushed for more government spending and comprehensive education. However, this hasn’t stopped the party from often supporting an austerity agenda of tax hikes and spending cuts, regressive taxes, and from cozying up to big business, the Catholic Church, and other corrupt figures.

Was largely responsible for the last economic crisis as a result of deregulating banks and fuelling the housing boom, alongside a growing culture of reckless speculation, casino style investment and banking, and widespread corruption, involving key figures like Taosigh Bertie Ahern and Charles Haughey. The Mahon, Moriarty, Beef and McCracken tribunals from the 1990s to the 2010s all found serious corruption and bribery among high profile Fianna Fáil politicians, including Taoisigh. Many of the current high profile Fianna Fáil politicians, including leader Mícheál Martin and candidate Mary Hanafin, served in cabinet with the people named in these reports.

Similar to Labour, despite its criticism of Sinn Féin’s relationship with the IRA, Fianna Fáil has also had a relationship with them. Three cabinet ministers, including Charles Haughey, were at one point fired for attempting to smuggle weapons into the country to supply the IRA in Northern Ireland. It was actions like these by prominent Fianna Fáil figures who would later lead the party that partly started the Troubles.

Fianna Fáil is consistently weak on social issues, refusing to adopt a clear stance on abortion, being largely silent on transgender rights, and remaining undefined in their position on same sex marriage until it became clear that there was significant support for it. This is an example of their populist approach to politics, essentially, and often literally, buying votes. They have also failed to tackle the influence of religion and the Church on our schools.

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