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Bewildered Student writes

In [PD founder] Des O’Malley‘s [recently published] autobiography he recalls being expelled from the Fianna Fail party [after supporting legislation that allowed condoms to be sold to people over 18 ‘without  a prescription’].

He was hauled in front of the party’s National Executive and he says only nine members broke ranks and voted to have him stay, ‘including Mary Hanafin’.

He mentions that Míchaél Martin was also present. Do any of your readers know how he voted [as Mr O’Malley does not state]?


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30 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

  1. David

    Martin voted to kick him out. In fact I think Michael was asked that recently in an interview. That’s not to say he actually agreed with their contraception policy, more of him being under the tight control of Haughey’s Fianna Fáil.

    1. Frilly Keane


      But also Me’hall was minding his own arse.

      Pierce Wyse went with Malley so it left Me’hall with a daycent local FF patch to cultivate for himself.

      1. ahyeah

        Changes nothing. I have nothing but contempt for Martin (and all things FF), but it’s nice to have your prejudices confirmed.

        1. Chuckenstein

          You have that contempt because of far more recent events, nothing to do with how he may have voted at a party meeting in the 80s

      1. cormacjones

        Fair enough. I hope you’ll hold all candidates to the same standard.

        *To be clear, I definitely won’t be voting FF or MM, but it won’t be for this.

        1. ionabike

          The fact that you would imply that I’m applying selective standards makes you sound a lot like the many butt hurt FF heads I’ve encountered but apologies if I’m wrong.

          1. cormacjones

            You are wrong. I’ve never voted FF and I never will, I just think that this was 30 years ago and probably not relevant. By all means crucify for being a cabinet member of the government that destroyed this country.

            I feel dirty defending him and I’m going to stop now!

          2. ionabike

            I’ll take you at word but I still maintain that if he’s looking for votes then what he did 30 years ago is of relevance to potential voters. Unfortunately not many voters seem to be so discerning.

    1. Ms Piggy

      yes, but it was still in the 80s, right? The decade when, in other countries, condoms were being distributed free from family planning clinics and Cosmo coined the term ‘smart girls carry condoms’. Because aside from any issues of contraception, we were also dealing with AIDS by then. So denying condoms to people was pretty damned serious, as well as neolithic in its attitude.

  2. Vote Rep #1

    Does that make Mary one of the good ones then? If we are going to use it to beat down Martin, surely then we should use it to raise up Mary.

    1. Frilly Keane

      Ya coddin’me!

      I won’t deny Mary Hanafin is one of the best speakers going

      But Christ. If you were to take Lucinda Christon and Breda O’Brien. Boil wash them. And Iron the result out with Clare Daly’s gumption ….

      You’d have a Mary Hanafin

        1. Frilly Keane

          An FF School teacher is right

          ‘Collecting more pensions than a fleet of bingo buses

          Now, TBF, I do admire Mary Hanafin. She’s an incredible political speaker. Best out there at the moment. If FF had any sense they’d a’ brought her back to the top table long ago.

          t’would be worth having a discussion about Mary and the maybe with the other Martin

  3. senbob

    Martin has always voted to save himself. tis par of the course. You dont get ahead in FF any other way well at least not since pre Haughey days.

  4. Poke Mo Hone

    This was in the actual news within the past few weeks. Do Broadsheet or its readers not have Google? You’ll be doing Fix it Friday next.

    1. Frilly Keane

      Well Joe does ( he says) Funny Friday
      And Fiver Friday
      The same channel as Cake Boss have Briday
      ABMs crowd have First Friday and Good Friday

      Sur why shouldn’t Broadsheeter have a Friday t’themselves?

      Frilly Friday.
      The Thirteenth

  5. collynomial

    A lot of people stating “does it matter, it happened 30 years ago”, I think it does, not in the sense that we should condemn Martin for voting one way or the other, but because those who issue the “we are where we are” mantra need to reflect upon how incremental political maneuverings lead us to our present state.

    We are where we are, because of the choices of our predecessors.

    The other side of the coin is if we allow ourselves to ignore the actions of people 30 years ago, then we should be able to make decisions which will only have a negative impact on the people who are alive in 30 years.

    That said, I don’t think it is fair to boil Martin’s vote down to “he voted against O’Malley”, “he voted against condoms” or “he voted for his own political gain”; his actions should be judged against the the social and political backdrop of the time. We should neither presume that the people of Ireland had very different nor very similar views then as now.

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