Christy and Frank

11th June, 2009


A dramatic couple of days with some big figures in political life experiencing unexpected (well to me anyhow) changes in their careers. Either of them might smart to be mentioned in the same article but what they do have in common is their decency and a desire to serve their countries and communities.

Firstly, Christy. I have had the privilege of serving on Dublin City Council with Christy Burke. Any political party would be proud to have him. He is a man of utter decency and one of the finest politicians that I have ever seen in action. His departure from Sinn Fein is a body blow to them nationally and, maybe, an end to their serious ambitions in Dublin Central. It is obvious to me that he was driven out of Sinn Fein by careerists within the party and by some who are more concerned about the age and look of the face on TV as opposed to the experience that the face has.

In 2007 Sinn Fein was headed by the twin towers of Nicky Keogh and Christy Burke. That both are now gone shows that they believed that Sinn Fein was no longer a vehicle for meeting the needs of the community that both men served. The collapse of the Government has taken attention away from the fact that SF are sliding into oblivion in the city of Dublin as their own members either leave them or they suffer electoral losses.

I wish Christy the very best of luck in his future personal career. He is some operator and will have, I am certain, a fine future ahead of him.

Frank Flannery will be seen as a pivotal figure in the revival of Fine Gael. His strategic direction and complete dedication to the party enabled him to spear head it’s recovery. He stepped over the line on the bank holiday weekend before the election. Frank’s fate was sealed when this happened. Public musings on electoral strategy are completely the domain of the party leader. I have no doubt that Frank will play a prominent role in Fine Gael in the future but Enda did the right thing in demoting him. I’ve no doubt that Frank will play a prominent role in FG, but not as director of elections.