Fianna Fail in the North Will Not Succumb to Narrow Nationalism – Ahern
Bertie gave the Bodenstown oration today and used it as an opportunity to return to the
legacy issue theme of turning Fianna Fail into a 32-county party. He sought to reassure unionists that Fianna Fail will not be a sectarian influence of proponent of narrow nationalism as it seeks to move North.
Why are they needed then? Does Ahern see the soldiers as some last bastion of secular politics that might be able to transcend the divides of northern society and return the ‘moderates’ to the heart of the political system? Or does it really irk him that Sinn Fein have currently got the ‘all-Ireland Party’ thing cornered?
There are all sorts of questions raised by this move to expand into the north, not least the dynamic of a relationship between an FF Taoiseach and a DUP/UUP First Minister when they are competing for seats and not just partners across borders.
Mr Ahern said that each of the party’s 3,000 cumann around the State had been asked to hold a special meeting between now and Easter to discuss the possibility of becoming a 32-county organisation.