herald

Monday 21 August 2017

FG and FF should merge – to keep SF out

FOR more than a few political dreamers an alliance between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail would be a marriage made in heaven.

Now such a merger would once have been considered outlandish but, you know, it may yet come to fruition – as time passes by.

A key moment in the rapprochement between the two civil war parties came, to my mind, when the former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan gave an oration at Beal Na mBlath in 2010, which effectively extended an olive branch to the other side.

At this year's Beal Na mBlath commemoration Bill O'Herlihy, a stalwart Fine Gaeler, echoed a recent call from former Fianna Fail minister Mary O'Rourke that the parties should pool political power.

He argued that a coalition of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail has much to offer.

As far as I'm concerned it's an idea whose time has come. There is very little difference between the two parties in 2013.

Their economic and social polices, along with their vision for the future of the country, are virtually indistinguishable.

It's also time to consign the rancor and bad blood of the Civil War to history.

But most appealing of all, for me, would be the fact that such a coalition would keep Gerry Adams and his buddies out of political power – likely for a very long time.

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