Without Power Comes Great Responsibility


Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin and Senator Averil Power, with gay members of the Fianna Fail party, former Minister of State, Pat Carey (1st left) and Emma Murphy, Chairperson of the FF Dublin Sth West Branch (4th left), with Margaret Gill, from County Offaly, whose gay daughter, Barbara Gill, was killed in a cycling accident eight years ago, launching The Fianna Fail marriage referendum campaign in the Dean Hotel, Dublin last month

We were curious about [Averil] Power’s absence from much of Saturday’s [Marriage Referendum] celebrations. Some members of the Yes Equality group sought us out to say she had no ticket. They were angry about it. (Funnily enough, we knew this already. Late last week she canvassed neighbours of this column who asked her for tickets to Dublin Castle, only to be told that she didn’t actually have one herself.)

Still, Micheál was delighted with the result.

…And he paid tribute to those involved in managing the Yes campaign for what he termed “a very successful, very well thought out and strategic campaign”.

Power, meanwhile, finally secured a pass from the party press office. It didn’t allow her into the inner sanctum for the declaration. She wore it around her neck on a lanyard. The name on it was Doreen.

So does that matter? Well, it does. Because during the campaign, and in the run-up to it, Power was a one-woman show in the dismal Fianna Fáil marriage equality push.

Sadly, it seems the cute-hoor strain of old-school Fianna Fáil politics asserted itself when the potentially damaging issue of same-sex marriage became a live issue.

….Two months ago she printed up [Marriage Referendum] leaflets, then left the template with party headquarters which agreed to print them for politicians around the country.

According to Power, not one TD or Senator availed of the offer.

Miriam Lord: It’s no surprise that Averil Power has resigned from Fianna Fáil (Irish Times)

Yesterday: Power Outage


Meanwhile in Cork…

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 10.30.09

Ken Curtin of Fianna Fáil

45 thoughts on “Without Power Comes Great Responsibility

  1. Digs

    This is very very damaging for Martin. Admire her conviction. Seriously difficult still for women in politics in this country. I think quotas should be trialed at least. Can’t possibly be any worse.

    1. Lilly

      Seriously difficult still for women in work generally more like. Brings us neatly back to yesterday’s Girls And. Boys thread.

      Amazed all the same that it took Power so long to get the measure of FF. Doesn’t say much for her judgment.

    2. Mister Mister

      I think parish pump politics also paid a massive part in this. The lads didn’t want to be going around promoting the gays as they were afraid it would alienate their conservative core voters, who turned out weren’t so conservative on this issue.

      1. Clo

        No, their conservative core voters were conservative on this issue and voted no. Very obvious even in things like FF’s posters that they were ambivalent: purple or orange rather than the usual blue and green; FF logo very small; and very few of them around. Kudos to Averil: I was always stunned she was in that party. Hope she does well.

    3. Miko

      Not a fan of her. And she had her own motives outside of the referendum. But the evidence is damning of Martins behaviour and the culture of FF. Despite the packaging they haven’t gone away you know…

  2. Right you are

    Good on her. FF is now a RC party for rural Ireland. Best decision she could have made. Very direct in interviews afterwards too which wouldn’t be the FF way.

    1. Rob_G

      The cynic in me asks is she is so pure of heart, why did she ever join FF in the first place?

      It has been suggested that she left because Sean Haughey was going to get the nod to go for a seat in Dublin Bay North.

      1. donkey_kong

        her assertion that FF TDs and Senator didn’t avail of her template might be true but she wasn’t alone in campaigning. In my area my local TD did a mail drop for the referendum,.
        She may have sour grapes over her tempate being snubbed or a missing invite…boo fcuking hoo.

        But I think it’s to do with sean haughey to be honest.

        I think she did a hachet job on him to curry favour and support which wasn’t due to the referendum and it’s all down to the FF ticket.
        many in FG didn’t campaign but they aren’t tearing the party apart .

        I think martin is weak but I don’t believe him to be a liar..

        1. Sam

          Let me re-read that, you don’t beleive that a man, head of a political party in Ireland is a liar?

          I would respectfully suggest that you may have a rather innocent view of how one gets to be the head of a major political party in this country.

          Or did you mean to say ‘not lying about this one issue’ ? Cos, that’s possible at least.

      2. Mulch

        Probably she thought she could make a difference from within a party that was ‘reforming’ after the 2011 GE kicking they got. unfortunately old dogs and new tricks springs to mind here.
        I would think she will do well in the next general election. With a FF ticket in the last one, he had no hope to begin with.

      3. Lilly

        Indeed. I can’t quite get beyond the fact that her husband is on Denis O’Brien’s payroll so the marmalade on that side of the table would have a FG hue these days.

      4. 15 cents

        she joined them because she said after they effed the country so badly, that they must surely be looking to reform and go straight. but she was massively wrong. theyre the exact same bunch.

      1. delta V

        Did you notice the woolly gobdaw falling off his perch and popping back up facing the wrong way? Who is voting for these gõbshïtęs?

        1. delta V

          Hm. Blanked. Anyway, who’s the woolly guy at David’s left shoulder who wobbles on his chair twice, then during the flashback to the newsroom, falls off it and resumes his perch facing the wrong way?

      2. italia'90

        Just seeing this now and honestly I’m after nearly breaking me bollix laughing at that video.

        But what made it so special was the comments I read before I watched.

        Thank you Clo.

        Oh I think I recognise that gombeen from my traversing the National Roads system days.

        Ah I just see the blurb before the photo now, here it is, well played Irishelectionliterature et al….


  3. dylad

    Glad she has left, she was certainly too good for them and probably too good for the broken political system.

  4. timble

    The tickets issue is a bit of a red herring. There were only 180 official ones for the Dublin Castle announcement and they were like hens teeth, and majority were raffled off, apart from a specific few for each campaign/party group. Most TDs & Senators could blag their way in though with their official Oireachtas ID.

    I think she did the right thing for her. FF traditionally was centre-left economicially with a dominat socially conservative strand and the power of the Catholic church kept liberals in check across Ireland up until the 80’s. After that it was about holding power along with the rise of a right wing economic grouping within the party. FF was the definition of a broad church – there was both a left and right economic grouping, and a conservative and liberal groupings on social issues (more reformist than liberal) all bound together with a pinch of republicanism. Without the regular reality of power it is proving impossible to hold all those strands together. A rump of socially conservative, economically to the left grouping is being left behind based in mostly rural areas. The more liberal Dublin members have to come to terms with that. Averil leaving will probably be the first of many.

    1. Xena

      She’s their baby, after all, the result of extensive and expensive think tank market research. The elite know they may well be fupped come the next election, so they’re rebranding and changing tack. The new boss, same as the old boss.

  5. Mr. T.

    It’s all a big show and don’t take any of this at face value.

    There is a plan hatched long ago.

    She’ll be in Fine Gael in time for the next GE. Fionnan and his newspaper will help her with that.

    1. Rob_G

      FG need a candidate to run in Dublin Bay North now that Terence Flanagan is ReNua’d – stranger things have happened…

        1. Rob_G

          Interesting – is there any particular reason why Bruton isn’t running in Dublin North Central?

    2. Xena

      The gullibility of the Irish is astounding at times! She no more gives a crap about the electorate than the man in the moon. She is a CAREER POLITICIAN with strong links to Menace O’ Brine and INM. She is an instrument of the elite! It’s really dismaying how naïve many of you STILL seem to be. SIGH…

  6. rotide

    This is SENATOR Averil Power we’re talking about here yeah? If it was any other senator the bleating about ‘unelected failed politician’ would be interminable.

    There’s a general election coming up, this is a move to get elected, nothing else. As if the Claire Underwood haircut didn’t give it away already.

    Pity the lad in cork didnt look more like Doug Stamper, he might have got more play.

    1. Caroline

      If it was any other party the loss of a Senator, even a well-liked one, might not be such a big deal. But it’s FF in Dublin, and she did just give them an open-handed slap to the balls for good measure.

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