O’Malley’s influence on Fianna Fáil extended beyond his expulsion

One-time party loyalist and then PD leader obliged FF to shelve ‘core value’: no coalition

Des O’Malley: ‘There is a choice of a kind that can only be answered by saying that I stand by the Republic.’ File photograph: The Irish Times

Des O’Malley: ‘There is a choice of a kind that can only be answered by saying that I stand by the Republic.’ File photograph: The Irish Times

Des O’Malley did not just found a new party called the Progressive Democrats. He forced Charles Haughey to abandon Fianna Fail’s core value of refusing to enter coalition. After that, politics was never the same.

The irony of it all was that O’Malley’s political life had been dominated by a deep distrust of Haughey whom he regarded as a corrupting influence on political life and even a threat to the Republic’s democratic standards.

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