Fianna Fáil in historic move to South Armagh

December 9, 2008

A high powered delegation of senior Fianna Fáil personalities is arriving in south Armagh tonight (Monday) to take the first historic steps in formally organising the party in the area. 

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, Dr Rory O’Hanlon, former Ceann Comhairle, Seamus Kirk, Chairman of Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party and Sean Dorgan, General Secretary of Fianna Fáil are arriving for the meeting which will see the party of De Valera set up a forum in south Armagh.


The decision comes after a year of negotiations between party representatives and a locally based south Armagh group who have worked ceaselessly together to eventually realise the breakthrough.  

Earlier, speculation of a merger between Fianna Fáil and the SDLP made little progress and the new development is not linked to any other.  It is simply a case of Fianna Fáil offering its services to the entire 32 counties, beginning formally in south Armagh.

Eamon de Valera founded Fianna Fáil in March 1926.  He  never organised in Northern Ireland and it was not until 7 December 2007 that Fianna Fáil was registered in the North by the UK Electoral Commission.  On 17 September 2007 Fianna Fáil announced that the party would, for the first time, organise in Northern Ireland.  

Dermot Ahern was given responsibility to develop that strategy for carrying through a policy of organising on a 32 county basis, examining timescales and structures. 

The south Armagh initiative between the TDs in question and the local group represents a major political development in the history of Ireland.

“Fianna Fáil are now living out their 80 year old ambition of organising and moving forward on an all Ireland basis. This move can unite many disparate and fragmented groups here under the one, single Irish Republican banner.  It has come from the grass roots up.  The people of south Armagh have always looked south, to Dublin and Dundalk, to Louth and Monaghan. The border physically cuts us off from our natural hinterland but it never changed us as a people.  The coming of Fianna Fáil to south Armagh marks a further undoing of the border,” 

The party has already established two ‘Political Societies’, the William Drennan Cumann in Queen’s University, Belfast, and the Watty Graham Cumann in UU Magee, Derry.