48 days to go.

21st January, 2011

I know many of you will be waking up this morning with an even lower regard for politicians than you once had. Yesterday’s events brought my profession into disrepute and I am angry at the blind selfishness of some of the senior Fianna Fail figures who took the Dail for granted.

There are many people who will be shocked but not surprised at the behaviour of Brian Cowen yesterday. Many have never voted Fianna Fail and feel vindicated in not doing so. But today I feel huge sympathy for the four out of ten voters who, back in 2007, saw Bertie Ahern’s party as the one that would safeguard prosperity and competently run the country. Many of them, particularly younger voters, will be bitterly angry at how that trust was betrayed.

I am struck by the fact that every Irish person born after the Pope’s visit here has lived under a Fianna Fail government for nearly all their adult lives. I am also keenly aware that one in three people under 25 is unemployed and 100,000 young Irish people are emigrating.  Fianna Fail’s action over the last three years, the last three months and the in particular the last three days show they have already lost this election.

The challenge for my Party now is to instill hope,  win the country’s trust and get a mandate for change.  The Pope’s Children deserve nothing less