Political Author, Noel Whelan talks to irishsmokefill

Mary O’Rourke and Noel Whelan at the book launch of ‘Just Mary’ at National Library, Thursday, October 18th

Author, Noel Whelan who comes from the Fianna Fail gene pool said that the Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll is good for the party’s morale, but they have to be careful, and keep it in context.

“Sinn Fein got a rise and bounce during the Lisbon referendum, and Fianna Fail will be relieved now, and will draw comfort from the fact that they have stopped falling, and that they are starting to go upwards,” said Noel Whelan.  “They have got more assertive in Dail debates, and Billy Kelleher was very strong on the Reilly issue.  They have stopped the fall, and jumped a bit, but it still would be fanciful to see them back in the short time, anywhere like where they were.  Even in two elections, it would be ambitious.”

He also said to irishsmokefill that it would be “presumptuous of Fianna Fail to think they will automatically and inevitably grow, because the government are unpopular, and that aint going to happen.”

“Labour are at their natural 12% and got a bounce because of Fianna Fail at the last national election, but they will struggle because of new competition from Sinn Fein.  The party (Labour) management has been chaotic of late, at least around Nessa Childers and Phil Prendergast,” said Whelan.  “Fianna Fail needs to be ruthless in advance of the local elections, and completely gut their tickets and lineups, and start with active energetic faces, male and female, more female than male.”

Noel Whelan is author of ‘Fianna Fail – A Biography of the Party’.

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