He Chose Clientelism Over Good Governance


Eamon Gilmore and Róisín Shorthall.

… But along came a glorious opportunity. Róisín Shortall’s conflict with James Reilly dramatised in the clearest possible way the difference between machine politics and good governance based on clear principles and objective evidence.

Labour had the enormous good fortune to be overwhelmingly on the right side, not just of an argument, but of a whole approach to public life. It had the chance to stop the emergence of Fine Fáil as the new dominant force in Irish politics.

And Eamon Gilmore knew exactly what to do – he threw all of his weight behind clientelism. He cleared the path for Fine Gael to drive The Machine forward – across the dead body of his own party.


FG Wide Boys Replace FF As Party of Operators (Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times)

(Sam Boal, Albert Gonzales/Photocall Ireland)