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Yet another Fianna Fáil figure has had a go at "defeatist" party leadership

Mary Fitzpatrick said party strategists ‘lack ambition’ and are ‘defeatist.’

Former Fianna Fáil councillor Mary Fitzpatrick, with party leader Micheál Martin Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

FORMER DUBLIN CITY Councillor and would-be Fianna Fáil Dáil candidate Mary Fitzpatrick has lashed out at senior party figures, including the leader Micheál Martin.

In a statement tonight, on the eve of a crucial Árd Fheis this weekend, Fitzpatrick said the strategy of waiting for a full recovery in the party “lacks ambition” and is “defeatist.”

…more than four years on from the 2011 General Election wipe-out, it is hard to deny concern that the party has missed opportunity after opportunity and recovery appears increasingly more elusive.
Fianna Fail’s senior strategists should stop being defensive, recognise its failures, and change its electoral strategy if it is to stave off long term decline and avoid finding itself a small, niche, rural (predominantly male) party after the next General election.
The strategy of saying it will take one or two elections for Fianna Fail to recover lacks ambition, smacks of arrogance, is out of touch with the feelings of members and supporters in Dublin and is ultimately defeatist.

Fitzpatrick, who ran unsuccessfully in last year’s European elections, is only the latest figure to publicly criticise Martin and others at the helm of Fianna Fáil.

Elections Campaigns Mary Fitzpatrick with Bertie Ahern in 2009.

In 2013, veteran Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuiv set the ball rolling by saying the party was “becalmed” in opinion polls, adding “We just don’t seem to be going anywhere.”

In the two years since then, Fianna Fáil has faced a series of rows, criticisms and electoral struggles.

Earlier this month, Fingal County Councillor David McGuinness formally left the party, after losing a bitter contest to be Fianna Fáil’s candidate for Dublin West at the next general election.

He said the party had “done nothing to rebuild the trust of the people” since 2011.

In March, Fianna Fáil councillor Patrick McKee defected to Renua Ireland to become their Dáil candidate in Carlow-Kilkenny, saying the leadership had “failed to take on the change that is required.”

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Fitzpatrick, who is based in Cabra and says she “intends contesting” the next election in Dublin Central, has had butted heads with the party hierarchy on plenty of occasions in the past.

She claimed she was “shafted” by the Drumcondra Machine in 2007, when Bertie Ahern’s supporters made a point of calling for transfers to Fianna Fáil rival Cyprian Brady, who ended up winning a second Dáil seat for the party.

Last May, another row erupted in the constituency over whether Fitzpatrick had endorsed a leaflet in which she appeared to back one Fianna Fáil candidate, at the expense of others.

Read: This councillor has just made the ‘War of Dún Laoghaire’ even more interesting>

Read: ‘A party in denial’ – Fianna Fáil has just lost another councillor>

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Dan MacGuill

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