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Is there any real animosity amongst Oireachtas members personally?


DJP

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I don't mean extreme hatred or punching matches.

I went into the Dáil twice on the first week of the new Dáil term for Near90fm.

My limited experience of Leinster House would lead me to believe that all the Oireachtas members get along great with one another on a personal level and are probably all friends. So our politicians are all political actors in the literal sense, are they?

Some people on the site would know more about this than others. So am I right?
 

LeDroit

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There's animosity between members of the same party never mind between parties. Politics is a lonely game, the top guys all think they can be Taoiseach and the others, the ward bosses, don't want constituency competition even from their own.

While they wouldn't mount the path to run one another down, they certainly wouldn't hit the breaks too hard if there was one of them in the road.
 

DJP

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There is competition to be promoted and there is competition often within constituencies between candidates. I admit that on the latter is probably where you would find the animosity. I think that they generally all get on great though within the Dáil. I think so anyway. I would not put my house down on it.
 

TommyO'Brien

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I don't mean extreme hatred or punching matches.

I went into the Dáil twice on the first week of the new Dáil term for Near90fm.

My limited experience of Leinster House would lead me to believe that all the Oireachtas members get along great with one another on a personal level and are probably all friends. So our politicians are all political actors in the literal sense, are they?

Some people on the site would know more about this than others. So am I right?
Having fundamental disagreements on policy and politics does not mean, and should not mean, developing personal hatreds. In politics in all democracies it is possible to have friendships with people you fundamentally disagree with. Ian Paisley and John Hume, for example, are good personal friends. So are Hans Kung and Pope Benedict. George Bush senior and Bill Clinton as very close friends and have been since the mid 1990s. Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy were close friends. So are John Bruton and Des O'Malley.

Equally one can agree with someone and not get on with them personally.

Prior to the treaty three of the closest friends were Éamon de Valera and W. T. Cosgrave. They fell out over the treaty but re-established their friendship in their final years, being seen in the Áras laughing and joking to each other. De Valera had a major row with Governor-General James McNeill which led to McNeill's resignation. Yet McNeill's wife, Josephine, was a close personal friend of de Valera's - she had once been his secretary. Similarly, not withstanding the treaty, Sinead de Valera and Michael Collins were close friends.

Yes there are personal friendships across parties the Dáil as in Washington, Rome, Berlin, South Africa or elsewhere. Friendship does not mean one agrees with someone, not does a lack of friendship mean one disagrees with them.

In college, I had complete contempt for Sinn Féin and a strong dislike of Fianna Fáil. That didn't stop me counting among my close friends the chairman of Ógra Sinn Féin and the chairman of the Kevin Barry Cumann of FF. I have been highly critical of the bias of RTÉ and the Late Late Show. That doesn't change the fact that Ryan Tubridy is a friend of mine. Nor does the fact that we are friends mean that I won't be critical.

That's how life works. Life is too short to turn personal disagreements on policy or politics into personal disagreements. I hope FF lose a heck of a lot of seats in the Dáil. That doesn't mean that there are not some FF TDs I know I would be sorry to see lose because I know them to be decent people.
 

DJP

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I find it hard to believe though that people in Ireland particularly in the Labour Party- people like Eamon Gilmore, Pat Rabbitte and Michael D. Higgins- can politically loathe Fianna Fáil when they are talking publicly and to constituents, but be friends with them.
 

DJP

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Don't get me wrong I think that it is a good thing that they do not hate each other. But when they hate each other politically and when Fine Gael and Labour say that Fianna Fáil (in large part) destroyed the republic I find it to be a charade that they are all friends. Friendships can happen of course amongst unlikely groups, like as you said John Hume and Ian Paisley. An rud is annamh is iontach. But I find it unusual that they could all be friends in Leinster House.
 

ocoonassa

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I find it unusual that they could all be friends in Leinster House.
I find it entirely likely given that they're all the same breed of brown nosing careerist pigs at the trough selling out their electorate to whoever the whips and the brown envelopes tell them to. Really political parties make these kind of people inevitable. Their faction fighting is all pantomime for the most part, like WWF wrestling for gombeens.
 

corelli

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Pretty much every one, cross party, dislikes Dermot Ahern, personally. Is that the type of thing that you were looking for? Not being smart. It's actually true.
 

Mushroom

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Shortly after I entered the civil service I was given the following advice by an experienced old Leinster House hand - the key thing to remember about about politicians of all hues is that, regardless of the team jersey that they may be wearing at any given time, they're all members of the same exclusive club - and we're not in it!
 

Warren Poynt

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Whether there is, or is not, personal animosity amongst Oirechtas members often depends on intra-party and/or inter party partisanship.

Sometimes the degree of opposition and lack of regard towards a political person may be related to the degreee to which that person is loved or loathed within their own political party.

The greater the division in ideology between politicians the greater the liklihood is that
they will not see eye-to-eye. The closer they are on the spectrum or continuum of ideology, the less they are likely to be separated by differences.

On top of this, common courtesy kicks in and respect is sought and demanded by most politicians from their opponents. It should not be surprising therefore if one finds opponents in the Chamber perhaps sharing a meal or a cup of coffe in the restaurant. We all do it every day .i.e. share our daily space, eating rituals, sometime drinking rituals, sport past times and even neighbourhoods with people whose views and sometimes behaviours are contrary to ours.

It is called being civilised. Politicians are no different.

You, for instance, may have totally different views from other members of your family or neighbours but this should not cause you to shun or behave badly towards them. We live and let live and get along as best we can.

Accommodating others does not mean we discard or compromise our views on bad behaviour or bad ideology; in the case of the latter, we wait our opportunity and kick such people out of office. It's called democracy.

Sometimes other people may not share our views that this so-and-so is a bad, corrupt, nasty politician. But sooner or later, often later, they tumble to the obvious and they too eventually share our view. This is called democracy.

It may not be perfect..........but it sure beats the alternatives.

P.S.: In the Norwegian parliament, elected TDs do not sit in party political blocs. They sit in a horse-shoe shaped House from left to right on the basis of the first letter of their surnames. All the A's together, the B's next to them, followed by the C's etc etc.
The feeling is and was that having to sit next to, rather than opposite your political opponents, was better for harmony, peace, compromise and nation-building.

A bit like fostering togetherness in a family eating and talking together around the meal table.

Democracy and fraternisation may not be perfect......but it sure beats the alternatives.
 

DJP

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Pretty much every one, cross party, dislikes Dermot Ahern, personally. Is that the type of thing that you were looking for? Not being smart. It's actually true.
Are you certain? From any exchanges they had on the old Questions and Answers I would have thought that Pat Rabbitte and Dermot Ahern didn't like one another. But I saw the two of them chatting in the Dáil chamber a few weeks ago and Pat Rabbitte smiled at something Dermot Ahern said to him as he walked off. So I do have to wonder.
 

justme1

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Pretty much every one, cross party, dislikes Dermot Ahern, personally. Is that the type of thing that you were looking for? Not being smart. It's actually true.
Yes that exactly what we want corelli,what else you got??
 

Maximus Cynicus

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Shortly after I entered the civil service I was given the following advice by an experienced old Leinster House hand - the key thing to remember about about politicians of all hues is that, regardless of the team jersey that they may be wearing at any given time, they're all members of the same exclusive club - and we're not in it!
Yes, I remember an episode of Questions & Answers some years ago. Some FF guy was in trouble but as usual, he was nowhere to be found. Instead FF had volunteered another FFer for the programme - the antiquated old spin practice. During the course of the programme, the debate got shall we say vigorous.

At one stage, the FFer said "Well, he's not here to defend himself" - which seems to be one of those safety phrases which is supposed to finish all hostilities. "Aren't you here to defend him" said Des O'Malley "Isn't that what you're doing here?"

The studio went silent except for jaws hitting the floor. I'll never forget it, it was like Jesus, Des, play the game will ya? Whaddya think yer doing, man?

So, yes, when you see O'Donoghue acting like a scalded cat it's part of the game. It's an exclusive game resplendent with big salaries, expenses and time off. Politics - showbiz for ugly people
 

orbit

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There is competition to be promoted and there is competition often within constituencies between candidates. I admit that on the latter is probably where you would find the animosity. I think that they generally all get on great though within the Dáil. I think so anyway. I would not put my house down on it.
Your central point is valid though. Politics on the national stage is a big act, a show put on for the media. Among the big parties there are few if any core principles, that they wouldn't sell down the swannee in pursuit of power. I remember years back, John Waters finding this out, when he was sued by a TD (for libel?), and how a load of TDs from across the spectrum lined up to support their "colleague". Not saying I have a major problem with it, but it's surprising all the same.

Real animosity is rare enough, but I'd say there'll be a certain amount of it, come the next election, where multiple FF deputies are fighting to hold their seats in the same constituency.
 

wicklowperson

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I find it entirely likely given that they're all the same breed of brown nosing careerist pigs at the trough selling out their electorate to whoever the whips and the brown envelopes tell them to. Really political parties make these kind of people inevitable. Their faction fighting is all pantomime for the most part, like WWF wrestling for gombeens.
Thats the type of rubbish that gives reason not to take this site serious!!
 

cricket

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A veteran of the Labour party told me once that there was real venom between Des O'Malley and the late Justin Keating .
 

Red_93

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Irish politicians are social beings by their very nature. You can't get elected in Ireland without being a nice person, so of course most of them are going to get on. But they are also ambitious with big egos, and big egos clash.
 

deiseguy

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My father did a lot of work for a former minister in the '70s and '80s he always said that cross party friendships within a constituency were much more common than friendships within the same party. In Waterford for example there is a "FG" seat and a "Labour" seat the incumbents in these seats are of no particular threat to each other but both would be looking over their shoulder to make sure no-one within their own party was making much headway towards taking "their" seat from them. In the recent past they were working closely together on the issue of 24hr SAR cover at Waterford airport. However by all accounts there is usually considerable tension between the FFers where there has been 3 for 2 for quite a while with fairly regular changes in personnel in the Dail.
 

ocoonassa

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Thats the type of rubbish that gives reason not to take this site serious!!
On the contrary, they're the type of rubbish that give people reason not to take politics and politicians seriously. Clearly you either do not comprehend what is happening up in your legislature or you're in denial about it. Either way Citizen, you're letting the rest of us down.
 

jacko

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You wont see Ned O'Keeffe and Michael Ahern having too many drinks together
 
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