PDs to donate all archives of party's history to UCD


THE ARCHIVES of the soon to be defunct Progressive Democrats will be officially presented to UCD at a ceremony today in the aftermath of a good local election result for former party councillors.

At least 20 ex-PDs won seats on county or city councils and another few were elected to town councils.

The performance of ex-PDs stands in contrast to the dismal performance of the Green Party, which ended up with just three council seats in the whole country.

The best region for the PDs was Dublin with three former party councillors elected in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, two in Fingal one in Dublin South and one in Dublin City.

Most of the successful candidates in the Dublin area were elected for Fine Gael, but two of them were elected for Fianna Fáil in defiance of the national trend for the main Government party.

One ex-PD, Victor Boyhan, who lost his seat to the Greens in the last local elections had the satisfaction of being elected as an Independent in the Blackrock ward for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown council.

Galway was the next best region for ex-PDs with three making it on to Galway City Council and two getting elected to the county council.

In Limerick, two former PDs were elected to the county council and there were also two in Offaly, one in Laois, Carlow and Tipperary.

Former PD Mae Sexton was elected to Longford County Council and was also elected to the urban council in the town.

Ironically ex-PDs did better in this local election than the party itself did in 2004 when it elected 19 councillors. That result was widely regarded as an early warning of the party’s demise.

The PDs will cease to exist shortly. The party no longer accepts State funding and all that remains is for its financial affairs to be wound up before a letter is sent to the clerk of the Dáil formalising the party’s demise. That is expected to happen within weeks, a party spokesman said yesterday.

This evening the party archives will be officially presented to UCD at a ceremony in Newman House, Dublin.

The former leaders of the party, Des O’Malley, Mary Harney and Michael McDowell, are expected to attend, as are founding member and trustee Paul McKay and former minister Bobby Molloy.

The PDs were founded on December 21st, 1985.

The archives include documents, photographs and other visual materials covering the history, foundation, administration, and operations of the PD party. The entire collection will be fully catalogued by the UCD archives before they become available to researchers and the public. UCD archives have specialised in the acquisition of private paper collections associated with the history and development of the modern Irish State. They now preserve the papers of a great many Irish public figures, including members of government and the judiciary, presidents and EU commissioners. These are complemented by the papers of members and former members of college staff, many of whom have served in high public office.

UCD archives also hold the records of significant organisations such as political parties, trades unions, professional and cultural associations and sporting bodies.

These collections constitute an essential resource for research into 20th-century Irish history, politics and culture.