A critical evaluation of Albert Reynolds

Defeated Romanticist

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Albert Reynolds presided over two coalition governments and both fell apart. He has the worst electoral record of any Fianna Fáil leader.
Yet he also presided over the birth-pangs of the Celtic Tiger.
He was the first Fianna Fail leader in a generation to accept the consent principle. He insisted on a permanent IRA ceasifire when other would haved been palmed off with less. It was also he who presided over the joint declaration. Without his drive, tunnel vision and even recklessness, it probably wouldn't have happened as it did.
There is a thread on this website which tends to place Albert Reynolds at the lower end of the list of Irish Taoisigh in the abstract medium of greatness. Surely this is not fair. Surely he deserves a better reputation than the one afforded him?
 


Eirenua

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Defeated Romanticist said:
There is a thread on this website which tends to place Albert Reynolds at the lower end of the list of Irish Taoisigh in the abstract medium of greatness. Surely this is not fair. Surely he deserves a better reputation than the one afforded him?
Then maybe you would be wiser to make your point on the other thread rather than starting this one.
 

Defeated Romanticist

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Eirenua said:
Defeated Romanticist said:
There is a thread on this website which tends to place Albert Reynolds at the lower end of the list of Irish Taoisigh in the abstract medium of greatness. Surely this is not fair. Surely he deserves a better reputation than the one afforded him?
Then maybe you would be wiser to make your point on the other thread rather than starting another one.
If I did that I would be told to stay on topic. The topic was not individual Taoisigh but all of them. This is about an individual Taoiseach.
 

Boss Croker

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Defeated Romanticist said:
Albert Reynolds presided over two coalition governments and both fell apart. He has the worst electoral record of any Fianna Fáil leader.
Yet he also presided over the birth-pangs of the Celtic Tiger.
He was the first Fianna Fail leader in a generation to accept the consent principle. He insisted on a permanent IRA ceasifire when other would haved been palmed off with less. It was also he who presided over the joint declaration. Without his drive, tunnel vision and even recklessness, it probably wouldn't have happened as it did.
There is a thread on this website which tends to place Albert Reynolds at the lower end of the list of Irish Taoisigh in the abstract medium of greatness. Surely this is not fair. Surely he deserves a better reputation than the one afforded him?
I'd agree.
I think you've summed him up very well.
It was that touch of recklessness, next door to vision and moral courage, that secured the Peace Process. Albert never took 'No' for an answer .... from anyone.

I'd put him after Dev and Lemass, on a par with Lynch, and ahead of Haughey and Ahern.
 

Boss Croker

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Eirenua said:
Defeated Romanticist said:
There is a thread on this website which tends to place Albert Reynolds at the lower end of the list of Irish Taoisigh in the abstract medium of greatness. Surely this is not fair. Surely he deserves a better reputation than the one afforded him?
Then maybe you would be wiser to make your point on the other thread rather than starting this one.
Maybe you'd be wiser to stop this obsession with opening, closing, locking and otherwise mucking around with valid threads that goes on far too much around here. The syndrome is obviously contagious.
 

cropbeye

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Albert was stabbed

Albert was stabbed in the back twice by Bertie Ahern.



Albert will probably go down as Fianna Fails last decent leader.



Albert could detect the difference between value and fame.


A pity he wasted so much time suing the Sunday Times as if an Irish head of Executive who was his own man could expect fairness in a British court.
 

Defeated Romanticist

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Re: Albert was stabbed

cropbeye said:
Albert was stabbed in the back twice by Bertie Ahern.



Albert will probably go down as Fianna Fails last decent leader.



Albert could detect the difference between value and fame.


A pity he wasted so much time suing the Sunday Times as if an Irish head of Executive who was his own man could expect fairness in a British court.
I would agree with your first point. Berties behaviour in both instances was disgraceful.
 
G

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Albert Reynolds showed great conviction in ploughing on with what he thought was right when Finaly and Spring came for his head. It seemed fatalistic but it showed he was a man of conviction who wasn't willing to prostate himself and impugn his own integrity in the face of losing power. This was a defining moment for the Fianna Fail-Labour relationship and has damaged FF transfers to labour ever since. It is only pity that he appears to still be so bitter about it. Perhaps it is because he saw it as such an attack on his integtrity that it grates within him to this day. I certainly think he was a decent Taoiseach and that we had a good run of leadership with himself and John Bruton even if Bruton could not equal him on Northern Ireland.
 

President Bartlet

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Re: Albert was stabbed

Defeated Romanticist said:
cropbeye said:
Albert was stabbed in the back twice by Bertie Ahern.



Albert will probably go down as Fianna Fails last decent leader.



Albert could detect the difference between value and fame.


A pity he wasted so much time suing the Sunday Times as if an Irish head of Executive who was his own man could expect fairness in a British court.
I would agree with your first point. Berties behaviour in both instances was disgraceful.
I too agree with your first point - i am still convinced he would have made a better president than the current incubment (2011 cant come quick enough) - after all he deserved the job after the service he has given the state - she did dam all and got it.
Also I think he does not get enough credit with regards to his role in the peace process - without him there would not have been one - he got Major to come along as well as the IRA - the way this peacemaker was subsequently treated will forever be a stain on the body of Irish politics.
 

stanley

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Wish the dear boy Albert would do us all a favour and effect a Judas on the Bert and do the State some service as well and also clear up the issue of one story for a Dail Committee and another for the Mahon Tribunal.
 

jerryp

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It gets a bit tiresome to read threads like " Without .......... there would not be a peace process " Fact is that many people contributed, from Jack Lynch who first persuaded the British government that ROI government had a legitimate interest in the issue to various Taoisigh and government members , Hume, Adams, Fr. Reid, right down to the tealadies at Stormont who agreed to work late, all the way to whoever threatened to send out the water bills a few months ago. That latter action really knocked heads together.
 

Keith-M

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Defeated Romanticist said:
Albert Reynolds presided over two coalition governments and both fell apart. He has the worst electoral record of any Fianna Fáil leader.
Yet he also presided over the birth-pangs of the Celtic Tiger.
He was the first Fianna Fail leader in a generation to accept the consent principle. He insisted on a permanent IRA ceasifire when other would haved been palmed off with less. It was also he who presided over the joint declaration. Without his drive, tunnel vision and even recklessness, it probably wouldn't have happened as it did.
There is a thread on this website which tends to place Albert Reynolds at the lower end of the list of Irish Taoisigh in the abstract medium of greatness. Surely this is not fair. Surely he deserves a better reputation than the one afforded him?
First off a correction. It is a complete nonsense to state "he insisted on a permanent IRA ceasifire when other would haved been palmed off with less." Reynolds was the man who tried to pawn off the first IRA "ceasefire" as permanent, when it was clear to everyone with a wit of sense that it wasn't. Remember the knots he tied himself in trying to convince people that that a "complete ceasefire" was the same as a "permanent ceasefire" only to be made look like a complete idiot? Had he listened to people and actually done what you said, SF/IRA may have made the moves they eventually made, almost a decade earlier.

I think the Sunday Times had the best assessment of Reynolds when they described him as "the last of the Gombeenmen". IMHO he was an opportunistic chancer who either took advantage of or manipulated circumstances to his benefit, only to become the best example of the "Peter Principle" that I can think of.

The fact that he is not labelled as the worst PM the country has ever had to suffer has more to do with the fact that his stupidity limited his tenures rather than anything else. Haughey and DeValera (surely the only serious candidates for "worst ever PM") did far more damage simply because they were in power for longer, but in fairness to both, they do have (predomininently minor) good points to offset the trail of horror they left behind. Reynolds has no good points that I can readily think of, bar perhaps the occasional TV appearance to remind of how low we had fallen in standards in high offices. His lasting legacy may be to make Ahearn (in my opinion, far from a great politician) look so much better.
 

jimmyjames

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The words nobend and oppertunist come to mind. Got a nice settlement out of the C&D fire too.
 

Eirenua

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Boss Croker said:
Maybe you'd be wiser to stop this obsession with opening, closing, locking .
Wrong as usual, I dont have the power to lock threads
 

Defeated Romanticist

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Keith-M said:
[quote="Defeated Romanticist":2t6ogble]Albert Reynolds presided over two coalition governments and both fell apart. He has the worst electoral record of any Fianna Fáil leader.
Yet he also presided over the birth-pangs of the Celtic Tiger.
He was the first Fianna Fail leader in a generation to accept the consent principle. He insisted on a permanent IRA ceasifire when other would haved been palmed off with less. It was also he who presided over the joint declaration. Without his drive, tunnel vision and even recklessness, it probably wouldn't have happened as it did.
There is a thread on this website which tends to place Albert Reynolds at the lower end of the list of Irish Taoisigh in the abstract medium of greatness. Surely this is not fair. Surely he deserves a better reputation than the one afforded him?
First off a correction. It is a complete nonsense to state "he insisted on a permanent IRA ceasifire when other would haved been palmed off with less." Reynolds was the man who tried to pawn off the first IRA "ceasefire" as permanent, when it was clear to everyone with a wit of sense that it wasn't. Remember the knots he tied himself in trying to convince people that that a "complete ceasefire" was the same as a "permanent ceasefire" only to be made look like a complete idiot? Had he listened to people and actually done what you said, SF/IRA may have made the moves they eventually made, almost a decade earlier.

I think the Sunday Times had the best assessment of Reynolds when they described him as "the last of the Gombeenmen". IMHO he was an opportunistic chancer who either took advantage of or manipulated circumstances to his benefit, only to become the best example of the "Peter Principle" that I can think of.

The fact that he is not labelled as the worst PM the country has ever had to suffer has more to do with the fact that his stupidity limited his tenures rather than anything else. Haughey and DeValera (surely the only serious candidates for "worst ever PM") did far more damage simply because they were in power for longer, but in fairness to both, they do have (predomininently minor) good points to offset the trail of horror they left behind. Reynolds has no good points that I can readily think of, bar perhaps the occasional TV appearance to remind of how low we had fallen in standards in high offices. His lasting legacy may be to make Ahearn (in my opinion, far from a great politician) look so much better.[/quote:2t6ogble]
Stephan Collins disagrees:
A delegation including Bill Flynn, Niall O'Dowd and former congressman Bruce Morrison. Before they went to Belfast to find out from Gerry Adams what had been decided, the delegation met Reynolds and Spring n Dublin. They raisedthe possibility, but were stunned by Reynolds emphatic reaction.
"Permanent", snapped Reynolds. "No pussy footing...And another thing, I want their announcement to be written in language that an 11 year old can understand. No messing, there's to be no messing".
Source:The Power Game

He was real Fianna Fail. Not the emporer that Haughey was the first mate that Ahern is.
 

Keith-M

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Defeated Romanticist said:
[quote="Keith-M":24v24l3b][quote="Defeated Romanticist":24v24l3b]Albert Reynolds presided over two coalition governments and both fell apart. He has the worst electoral record of any Fianna Fáil leader.
Yet he also presided over the birth-pangs of the Celtic Tiger.
He was the first Fianna Fail leader in a generation to accept the consent principle. He insisted on a permanent IRA ceasifire when other would haved been palmed off with less. It was also he who presided over the joint declaration. Without his drive, tunnel vision and even recklessness, it probably wouldn't have happened as it did.
There is a thread on this website which tends to place Albert Reynolds at the lower end of the list of Irish Taoisigh in the abstract medium of greatness. Surely this is not fair. Surely he deserves a better reputation than the one afforded him?
First off a correction. It is a complete nonsense to state "he insisted on a permanent IRA ceasifire when other would haved been palmed off with less." Reynolds was the man who tried to pawn off the first IRA "ceasefire" as permanent, when it was clear to everyone with a wit of sense that it wasn't. Remember the knots he tied himself in trying to convince people that that a "complete ceasefire" was the same as a "permanent ceasefire" only to be made look like a complete idiot? Had he listened to people and actually done what you said, SF/IRA may have made the moves they eventually made, almost a decade earlier.

I think the Sunday Times had the best assessment of Reynolds when they described him as "the last of the Gombeenmen". IMHO he was an opportunistic chancer who either took advantage of or manipulated circumstances to his benefit, only to become the best example of the "Peter Principle" that I can think of.

The fact that he is not labelled as the worst PM the country has ever had to suffer has more to do with the fact that his stupidity limited his tenures rather than anything else. Haughey and DeValera (surely the only serious candidates for "worst ever PM") did far more damage simply because they were in power for longer, but in fairness to both, they do have (predomininently minor) good points to offset the trail of horror they left behind. Reynolds has no good points that I can readily think of, bar perhaps the occasional TV appearance to remind of how low we had fallen in standards in high offices. His lasting legacy may be to make Ahearn (in my opinion, far from a great politician) look so much better.[/quote:24v24l3b]
Stephan Collins disagrees:
A delegation including Bill Flynn, Niall O'Dowd and former congressman Bruce Morrison. Before they went to Belfast to find out from Gerry Adams what had been decided, the delegation met Reynolds and Spring n Dublin. They raisedthe possibility, but were stunned by Reynolds emphatic reaction.
"Permanent", snapped Reynolds. "No pussy footing...And another thing, I want their announcement to be written in language that an 11 year old can understand. No messing, there's to be no messing".
Source:The Power Game

He was real Fianna Fail. Not the emporer that Haughey was the first mate that Ahern is.[/quote:24v24l3b]

Reynolds may have asked for the "permanent" word to be used but his request was refused. The IRA statement should be on the net somewhere and I promise you it does not use the word "permanent". Adams & co. hoodwinked Reynolds, but given Reynolds proven ineptitude with the English language (remember his "reading" of the Beef Tribunal?) it was a bit like taking sweets off a child.
 

tonys

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Albert took the Dept. of Posts and Telegraphs as it used to be, by the scruff of the unions and single handedly dragged it into the 20th century, something that no Minister before him had even tried to do, let alone achieve. The P&T action and having the nerve to publicly put his full political weight behind the peace process will be his deserved legacy.

Albert doesn’t like Bertie because of the presidential thing, it has nothing to do with passing or not passing notes in the Dail, that theory belongs in the same bag as the grassy knoll.

As for his place on a list on Politics.ie, not withstanding it’s reputation for fairness and objectivity, I imagine his name will survive the weight of that.
 

wise_old_owl

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Albert said to the boys
all you guys get an amnesty lots dosh keep your illgotten gains jobs in government and hide the guns for a while
who wouldnt take this offer
 

Leopold Bloom

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Reynolds made a helluva lot of money from suing newspapers for libel so I'd be very wary of saying anything critical about him here.
 

Stroke

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Leopold Bloom said:
Reynolds made a helluva lot of money from suing newspapers for libel so I'd be very wary of saying anything critical about him here.
Wrinkly made £1.00 when he took on The London Times....

Poor aul Albert, The Temporary Little Taoiseach. I hope history is kinder to him and John Major that it will be for Bertie and Tony. Shafted by Bertie, derided by The Dublin Establishment for coming from Longford, the only one with the cajones to take on the Don Haughey. Sure weren't the '90s great all the same.....
 


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