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Reports of Fianna Fáil’s death have been greatly exaggerated

They haven’t gone away, you know. Reports about the death of Fianna Fáil over the past year or so have been found to be exaggerated.Those who were dancing on the Soldiers of Destiny’s grave will have to go and dance on another one.As I have pointed out in this column on many occasions, it is extremely difficult to predict a lot of things in politics with any degree of accuracy. I have even heard Fianna Fáil supporters say the party was finished. But last weekend’s Presidential election and the byelection in Dublin West showed there is life in the old dog still.Fianna Fáil may only have a handful of seats in the present Dáil, and no seat at all in Dublin, but you cannot write off a party with a history like that of Fianna Fáil with one stroke of the pen. Certainly Fianna Fáil should not boast too loudly about some of that history but any organisation that has …

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Keep them safe

SAFE Ireland recently launched its annual report for 2010 and to describe it as depressing reading is an understatement of significant proportions. In the statistics lies a story of such devastating truth that if it is acknowledged fully, as it must be, then no stone would be left unturned in order to address the problem. Make no mistake; there is a problem. As with all statistics, they must be read keeping certain things in mind. The over 3,000 occasions on which women and children were turned away from refuges where they sought shelter from physical, emotional, sexual and mental abuse may represent instances of the same women being turned away repeatedly. Keeping this in mind almost seems to make the report worse somehow. The number of women and children turned away represents a 38% increase on the 2009 figures.When viewing statistics, we instinctively look for big numbers to illustrate our point. In this case, the thought that the number of …

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Michael D is Áras bound

FROM humble beginnings to the highest office in the land, that’s the story of Michael D Higgins, President elect of Ireland.With a CV that lists his diverse roles as a poet, sociologist, author, broadcaster and politician, as well as outlining his interest in sport, it can be truly said that Michael D is a man of the people.The electorate was quite decisive when it came to the only poll that really matters. Having secured 701,101 first preference votes (39.6%) in last Thursday’s Presidential Election, Labour Party candidate Michael D (Daniel) Higgins went on to amass a total of 1,007,104 votes on the fourth and final count. It was a phenomenal performance by any standard, a tribute both to the calibre of the man and his campaign strategy.Independent candidate Sean Gallagher’s challenge fell away in the final few days of the campaign, when he failed to give satisfactory explanations for his role in facilitating fundraising for Fianna Fáil, clearing the way …

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