Drivetime: Liam Cosgrave’s Legacy

This afternoon I was back on radio to discuss Liam Cosgrave’s legacy again. By phone, I joined Michael Kennedy and Chris Glennon who were in studio with Mary Wilson, presenter of RTÉ Radio 1’s Drivetime. Listen back here.

The Just Society: a symbol of internal division

Writing in The Irish Times, Fiach Kelly suggested that ‘for Simon Coveney, it is the soul of Fine Gael. For the supporters of Leo Vardakar, it is just a slogan’. Kelly was referring to Declan Costello’s Just Society, which has been somewhat frequently mentioned in the current Fine Gael leadership contest. I’ve been intrigued to hearContinue reading “The Just Society: a symbol of internal division”

Three Decades of Fine Gael Leadership Challenges

Few political leaders leave on their own terms. At tonight’s meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party, Enda Kenny pledged to deal conclusively with the leadership issue when he returns from the United States after his St Patrick’s Day visit next month. Although it seems he will name the date of his departure, his handContinue reading “Three Decades of Fine Gael Leadership Challenges”

Speaking at The Collins Institute & The Just Republic Launch

I was back in Dublin earlier this week to speak at the public launch of The Collins Institute, a new think tank set up with financial support from Fine Gael but ultimately independent of the party – a point made clear by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Institute Chair Marian Coy. The purpose of theContinue reading “Speaking at The Collins Institute & The Just Republic Launch”

Column: Policy changes conceived in Costello’s ’Just Society’ (Irish Examiner)

  The Irish Examiner published a column today from me on Declan Costello’s Just Society, marking fifty years since Fine Gael adopted his proposal as official party policy. Now considered a milestone in its history, the document divided the party at that time.   Read the piece in full here.    

#OnThisDay: Fine Gael accepts Declan Costello’s Just Society

It has been fifty years since the Fine Gael parliamentary party unanimously voted to send Declan Costello’s proposals for a Just Society to its policy committee. The outcome was Towards a Just Society, unveiled at the 1965 general election as the party’s manifesto. It was not the type of document that Irish voters have grown accustomedContinue reading “#OnThisDay: Fine Gael accepts Declan Costello’s Just Society”

A Just Society for Ireland? mentioned in Vincent Browne’s Irish Times column

Prompted by my book, Vincent Browne writes about his recollections of Declan Costello’s Just Society and offers his views on the documents legacy to Fine Gael in today’s Irish Times: Fifty years ago a politician published a manifesto which, if implemented, would have changed the nature of Irish society, would have defied the ethos of contemporaryContinue reading “A Just Society for Ireland? mentioned in Vincent Browne’s Irish Times column”

A Just Society for Ireland? featured on Talking History, Newstalk

  I joined Patrick Geoghegan of Newstalk’s Talking History on Sunday, 26 January to talk about my new book.  We discussed the reasons why Declan Costello formulated his proposals when he did; the effect his policies had on Fine Gael and wider society; and the extent to which Garret FitzGerald was a progressive figure. We alsoContinue reading “A Just Society for Ireland? featured on Talking History, Newstalk”

A Just Society for Ireland? featured on The History Show, RTÉ Radio 1

I joined Myles Dungan of RTÉ’s The History Show on Sunday, 5 January to talk about my new book.  We discussed the reasons why Declan Costello formulated his proposals when he did; the extent to which he influenced Garret FitzGerald; and the nature of Fine Gael’s mixed fortunes. Listen back to the interview below.  

Launch by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, of ‘A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-87’

My latest book, A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-87, was launched by An Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Enda Kenny on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 at the National University of Ireland. I was honoured that the Taoiseach and members of the Costello family, including the late Declan Costello’s wife Joan, were in attendance. I am also extremelyContinue reading “Launch by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, of ‘A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-87’”

A Just Society for Ireland? featured on Bowman: Sunday, RTÉ Radio 1

My recently published book, A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-87, was featured on John Bowman’s RTÉ Radio 1 programme, Bowman: Sunday, this morning. Declan Costello’s influence on Fine Gael’s development in general and Garret FitzGerald in particular, as well as the reasons for Liam Cosgrave’s support for the Just Society, were among the book’s themes that were highlighted.Continue reading “A Just Society for Ireland? featured on Bowman: Sunday, RTÉ Radio 1”

Taking the Longer View: Fine Gael’s Commitment to Youth

The Young Fine Gael National Conference was held in Waterford this weekend (22-24 November). National Youth Officer Sarah O’Connor invited me to give the pre-dinner speech on Saturday evening. Drawing on research from my new book, I spoke about a commitment by certain elements of Fine Gael to encouraging young members and formulating youth policiesContinue reading “Taking the Longer View: Fine Gael’s Commitment to Youth”

Fresh off the Printing Presses!

This arrived in my office a little while ago… Needless to say, I was pretty excited about the content… I’m really happy with the end result… To purchase your copy of A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-1987, visit the Palgrave Macmillan website.

Enda Kenny, Garret FitzGerald and Personal Initiatives in Politics

‘Every vote counts’ was one of the key themes that emerged out of the weekend’s coverage of the Seanad referendum.  Emphasising the closeness of the result, reference was made on more than one occasion to the 10,000 votes that separated Eamon de Valera from his Fine Gael rival at the 1966 presidential election.  I couldn’tContinue reading “Enda Kenny, Garret FitzGerald and Personal Initiatives in Politics”

A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-87 now available to pre-order from Palgrave Macmillan and Amazon

My forthcoming book, A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-87, is now available to pre-order.  Further details, including the introductory chapter, can be found below.  

Youth, Charisma and Politics: Some Thoughts Prompted by the NLI / RTÉ / JFK Talk

A shiny creature with dazzling teeth, golden skin and a mop of hair.  Ryan Tubridy’s description of John F. Kennedy succinctly captured the appearance of the man whose image welcomed the audience to the National Library of Ireland yesterday evening.  Tubridy was opening a talk on RTÉ’s role in covering JFK’s historic visit to IrelandContinue reading “Youth, Charisma and Politics: Some Thoughts Prompted by the NLI / RTÉ / JFK Talk”

The National Coalition and Social Reform, 1973-77

The 1970s was a time of crisis internationally, when governments struggled to cope with rising inflation and public indebtedness in the aftermath of the first oil shock. It was also a period of social change, of demands for divorce and abortion, and second-wave feminism campaigned for greater rights for women. But as many of theContinue reading “The National Coalition and Social Reform, 1973-77”

Book Cover: A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-1987

The production process for my new book – A Just Society for Ireland?  1964-87 – is progressing smoothly.  I recently received the finalised cover from my publisher, Palgrave Macmillan.  All going well, the book will be launched in November this year.  To view the cover and contents page, see below.

Declan Costello’s Just Society: A Fine Gael Symbol of Progress or of Division?

Declan Costello died on 6 June 2011.  Profiles of the former Fine Gael TD following his death made continuous references to his Just Society document, published as the Fine Gael manifesto for the 1965 general election.  In his tribute, Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny described the document as ‘an initiative that helped toContinue reading “Declan Costello’s Just Society: A Fine Gael Symbol of Progress or of Division?”

Podcast on Declan Costello, Fine Gael and the Just Society

  You can listen to the full podcast here. Declan Costello, son of former Taoiseach John A Costello, was first elected to the Dáil in 1951 for the Fine Gael party. A representative of the working-class constituency of Dublin North-West, he witnessed the effects of unemployment, emigration and relative poverty. This experience influenced him toContinue reading “Podcast on Declan Costello, Fine Gael and the Just Society”