A Fine Gael – Fianna Fáil Coalition?

The Irish Times is reporting this morning that Fianna Fáil might be set to vote on the prospect of coalition with Fine Gael at their upcoming Ard Fheis. Though Fine Gael is, to borrow the expression used by the newspaper, ‘the old enemy’, the notion of an alliance between the two is not unheard of. NorContinue reading “A Fine Gael – Fianna Fáil Coalition?”

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”

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”

“Change The Law -Give Him An Equal Chance” 1980 Young Fine Gael campaign to give rights to ‘illegitimate’ children

Originally posted on Irish Election Literature:
From April 1980 “Change The Law -Give Him An Equal Chance” a Young Fine Gael campaign to give rights to ‘illegitimate’ children. Many thanks to the sender.

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.

Political Posters and Voter Engagement

I’m on a flying visit to Dublin this weekend to attend the Magdalene Laundries symposium this Saturday at Liberty Hall — hopefully more on that in a forthcoming post.  If I’d managed to escape the Seanad referendum living in England (I haven’t), I was promptly reminded that a campaign is underway by the proliferation of postersContinue reading “Political Posters and Voter Engagement”

Ireland’s First Political ‘Talkie’: W.T. Cosgrave on Film (1933)

Along with Dr Jason Knirck (Central Washington University) and Dr Mel Farrell (NUIM), I am editing an anthology of 1920s Ireland. We have a great line up of contributors — both established and upcoming academics — and a diverse range of topics. In considering the subject of my chapter, I was immediately drawn to the area I foundContinue reading “Ireland’s First Political ‘Talkie’: W.T. Cosgrave on Film (1933)”

A Fine Gael / Fianna Fáil Reconciliation? A 1927 Proposal

Many thanks to the William Carleton Society for permission to use this footage. Further details on the Society are available from http://www.williamcarletonsociety.org Speaking at the William Carleton Summer School this week, Mary O’Rourke advocated that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael bridge the political divide between them and give serious thought to coming together in a political coalition come theContinue reading “A Fine Gael / Fianna Fáil Reconciliation? A 1927 Proposal”

Lost Leader, Neglected Leader: Michael Collins and WT Cosgrave

Much of Fine Gael’s past is now of the stuff of history.  Fine Gael is content to leave it … to the ultimate judgement of the historian. I was reminded of this quote from an off-the-peg election speech from 1954 while reading Stephen Collins’ Irish Times column about the annual Parnell summer school, which starts onContinue reading “Lost Leader, Neglected Leader: Michael Collins and WT Cosgrave”

Convening the Council of State: a Look Back Over 73 Years (Media Contributions)

  Yesterday, Michael D Higgins convened the first meeting of the Council of State of his presidency.  The members — with the exception of Mary Robinson, John Bruton and Albert Reynolds who sent their apologies — were called together to discuss the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, 2013.  It was the twenty-seventh time inContinue reading “Convening the Council of State: a Look Back Over 73 Years (Media Contributions)”

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.  

Conducting Non-Elite Research Interviews

  Sitting in Fixx Coffee House on Dawson Street recently, I waved at two men who walked in separately just after three pm.  The only thing that they had in common was that they arrived alone, and appeared to cast an eye around as though looking for someone.  Neither of the them looked anything alike.Continue reading “Conducting Non-Elite Research Interviews”

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”