Saving the State: Fine Gael from Collins to Varadkar (2020)

Coming 30 October with Gill Books

‘A superb, illuminating and even-handed look at the highs and lows in Fine Gael’s turbulent history,’

~ David McCullagh,                                                      author of DeValera: Rise and DeValera: Rule.


When Fine Gael entered a coalition government with Fianna Fáil in 2020 the party did what would have been unthinkable for its forefathers who fought and won a bitter civil war to establish the institutions of an independent Irish state almost a century earlier. Saving the State is the remarkable story of Fine Gael from its origins in the fraught days of civil war to the political convulsions of 2020.

Written by political journalist Stephen Collins and historian Ciara Meehan, Saving the State draws on a wealth of original historical research and a range of interviews with key political figures to chart the evolution of the party through the lens of its successive leaders. Some of them ended up in the Taoiseach’s office while others had to endure long periods of opposition, but what sustained them was the belief that the party had something unique to contribute to Irish political life.

From the special place in the party’s pantheon of heroes occupied by Michael Collins to the dark era of the Blueshirts, and from its role as the founders of the state to its claim to be the defenders of the state, the ways that members perceive their own history is also explored.

Saving the State is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how Fine Gael came to be the party it is today, the ways in which it interprets and presents its own history, and the role that it played in shaping modern Ireland.

Available to pre-order now for €24.99 from Dubray Books.