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Zappone Affair Could Be Death Of Fianna Fáil

by Jimmy Rhatigan

Should Fianna Fáil do the decent thing and up stumps by walking away from Government then it will end its reign of horror with FG and Greens with a smidgen of dignity albeit with a sorry saga ending on a bum note.
The reality at this stage has to be that should Tanáiste Leo Varadkar use the toilet then Taoiseach Micheál would flush it for him.
Fine Gael’s most recent insult to FF hit rock bottom as Katherine Zappone was appointed to a prestigious UN position without even a whisper from Varadkar or Simon Coveney to their so-called partner in power, Micheál Martin, or indeed to any of Martin’s colleagues.
It was as if Martin let down his Fianna Fáil trousers and cocked his Rebel backside for the entire FG party to give the whole of his body a lash or a kick, whichever was their preferred option.
Such had to be the verdict as Martin meekly accepted what can only be termed FG treachery.
Over the decades, FG has earned itself a reputation of giving jobs to the boys, a habit that was also in FF’s locker.
Big difference this time it that it is a job for a girl but on a platform of being disgraceful, arrogant and downright disrespectful to FF the latest skullduggery by Fine Gael has to be one of the most demeaning and hurtful kicks in the teeth in the murky world of politics.
That FF would appear to be set to take the insult on the chin, the cheeks, all four of them, highlights the low esteem in which the party views itself.
In a nutshell, if FF has no regard for itself, how the hell can it hope to earn the respect of others.
Even worse, as far as FF is concerned, the two-fingered salute from the entire FG family, should remind the once proud FF faithful of how low it has sunk, why its poll ratings are so woefully poor and, more prudently, how close it is to implosion.
For FF, the writing has been on the wall for some time. Martin’s failure to stand up to his so-called friends who for generations have been his party’s foes that used him as a ‘puppet on a string’ Taoiseach, may just be to knock over the pee pot that for so long has been leaking down the legs of the supposed Soldiers of Destiny.
The knives have been out for Mr Martin for some time but for whatever reason nobody seems prepared to do the dirty deed.
It is one thing when you tolerate your neighbour throwing rubbish into your flower garden.
It is another when you don’t even show the pluck and self-respect to battle to get your neighbour to clean up his or her own filth.
Words of warning from a loyal FF devotee who contacted Kilkenny Press make grim reading.
“It is as if our once mighty party is dead, with members waiting for funeral arrangements.
“The Zappone affair is the final nail in our coffin and shame on Micheál Martin for not even attempting to defend the trickle of self-esteem that remains.
“I have held many offices within Fianna Fáil, I have been proud of some mighty terms of our party in government and I have been there when we struggled to hit the spot.
“In the past I have experienced both joy and anger but just when I thought that our shameful performance in a three-prong government, which I would have run a mile from supporting in the first place, I feel we have now plummeted from being shameful to the low life of abysmal.
“Fianna Fáil with Martin is destined for Boot Hill. We now have a mountain to climb to survive if only as a small and perhaps irrelevant party.
“One thing is for sure, we will never again rule on our own and if we do survive we should now know that if you don’t love someone you should never marry him or her.
“The message has to be that our party needs to grow a pair, we need night classes in leadership and vision, we need new blood to replace an ever growing band of dinosaurs and we certainly must learn the value of the world of social media.
“Regrettably, the leadership of the party is tone deaf to grassroots’ input. Former TDs and ministers of the highest calibre have been completely isolated and have no input into the party anymore.
“FF can lay claim to being a significant political party of the past. As for the future, I have grave reservations.
“The Zappone affair could very well prove to be the final chapter in a blockbuster that has seen us win wars and lose battles, but until recent times has never included a scene of Fianna Fáil waving a white flag.”
For the record, Mr. Martin was reported as saying in relation to the appointment of Ms Zappone that Minister Simon Coveney had accepted it was an oversight in terms of procedures he brought the appointment to cabinet.
Martin added: “We move on now.”

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