Merit in suggestion of Fianna Fail/Fine Gael coalition?

Sports presenter Bill O’Herlihy threw something of a curve ball at the annual Michael Collins commemoration at Beal na Blath on Sunday.

Sports presenter Bill O’Herlihy threw something of a curve ball at the annual Michael Collins commemoration at Beal na Blath on Sunday.

However there is merit in his suggestion of a Fianna Fail/Fine Gael coalition.

It might sound like heresy to the traditionalists on both sides but if it helped to end Civil War politics in this country then it would be a job well done.

Ireland is rare among western democracies in not having a real right/left divide in parliament, offering a choice to the voters at election time.

It has always been that a right wing/conservative government has been in power, either on their own or as the major player in a coalition, and that the main opposition party has had similar right-leaning ideologies.

It’s a poor choice for the voters because as Mr O’Herlihy said, the difference beween Fianna Fail and Fine Gael policies is minimal and the antagonism between them can often still stem from their very formation.

And we don’t need 80-year rifts at a time of such crisis today.

The Collins commemoration was the ideal location for such a suggestion. It’s a 21st century solution. But will anyone in the two parties listen?

Michael Heverin

Editor