Averil Power and Fianna Fáil
Sir, – It is such a pity that Fianna Fáil has lost such a diligent and motivated character as Averil Power. The party needs people like her to rejuvenate its tattered image following the economic crash. One thing Averil Power has is standing among young people and it is such a shame for Fianna Fáil that it lost her.
Fianna Fáil needs new people to run in the next general election so it can eventually steer itself out of the Opposition benches and back to government. Over the last few days we have heard that more and more of the old guard are going to seek to run again after losing their seats in 2011. This is not what the party needs. Fianna Fáil must have new and enthusiastic people that will fulfil the core values of the party. They don’t need people who have had their day and will turn the country backwards again.
With the way some members of the party have conducted themselves over the last few days, I find it hard to think how it will ever be able to establish itself as a credible force in Irish politics again. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – In response to Averil Power leaving Fianna Fáil, Lucinda Creighton said that it summed up everything she knew about politics, in particular, that “diversity of opinion is just not welcome in the old parties”.
This seems like a strange conclusion to draw as, when Ms Power announced her departure from Fianna Fáil, she said that the party’s approach to the marriage equality referendum was, for her, the “last straw”.
To recap, Fianna Fáil supported the marriage equality referendum and Ms Power was a very prominent advocate for the party’s position. On the basis of her own announcement, it was her refusal to tolerate the diversity of opinion in Fianna Fáil (ie those whose views ran contrary to the party’s position) which led to her leaving.
There is no parallel between Ms Creighton leaving Fine Gael where she perceived a lack of tolerance for her dissenting view and Ms Power leaving Fianna Fáil because of her intolerance for the dissenting view in her party. – Yours, etc,
A chara, – I watched Averil Power with great interest. I admired her honest ability, egalitarian republicanism, courage and authenticity.
I would have wished her to be a future leader of Fianna Fáil in an Ireland of equality, love, care, dignity and mutual respect. A new rainbow Ireland.
Instead I watched the new TD Bobby Alyward surrounded by back-slapping, middle-aged, smug men in grey suits.
It was a scene from a narrow, male-dominated past.
Ms Power’s courage is commendable. She holds a pivotal place in the new Ireland. Leave Fianna Fáil to the past – where it belongs. – Is mise,