Fine Gael

Fine Gael
LeaderLeo Varadkar TD
Deputy LeaderSimon Coveney TD
ChairmanMartin Heydon TD
Seanad LeaderSenator Jerry Buttimer
PresidentEnda Kenny TD
FounderEoin O'Duffy
Founded8 September 1933 (1933-09-08)
Merger of
Headquarters51 Upper Mount Street,
Dublin 2, D02 W924, Ireland
Youth wingYoung Fine Gael
Membership (2017)21,000[1]
Ideology
Political positionCentre-right[7][8][9]
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party
Colours     Blue
SloganBuilding a Republic of Opportunity
Dáil Éireann
49 / 158
Seanad Éireann
20 / 60
European Parliament
4 / 11
Local government
233 / 949
Website
finegael.ie

Fine Gael (l/ GAYL;[10] English: Family or Tribe of the Irish) is a centre-right liberal-conservative[2][3][4] and Christian democratic[2][5][6] political party in Ireland. Fine Gael is currently the governing and largest party in Ireland in terms of members of the Oireachtas and Irish members of European Parliament.[11] The party has a membership of 35,000,[12] and is the senior partner governing in a minority coalition with several independent politicians, with party leader Leo Varadkar serving as Taoiseach. Varadkar succeeded Enda Kenny as party leader on 2 June 2017 and as Taoiseach on 14 June; Kenny had been leader since 2002, and Taoiseach since 2011.[13][14][15][16]

Fine Gael was founded on 8 September 1933[17] following the merger of its parent party Cumann na nGaedheal, the National Centre Party and the National Guard (popularly known as the "Blueshirts", a name still used colloquially to refer to the party). Its origins lie in the struggle for Irish independence and the pro-Treaty side in the Irish Civil War and Michael Collins, in particular, is often identified as the founder of the movement.[18]

Fine Gael is generally considered to be more of a proponent of market liberalism than its traditional rival, Fianna Fáil.[19] However, apart from brief minority governments (as in 1987), Fine Gael has rarely governed Ireland without a coalition that also included the Labour Party, a social-democratic, centre-left party. Fine Gael describes itself as a "party of the progressive centre" which it defines as acting "in a way that is right for Ireland, regardless of dogma or ideology". It lists its core values as "equality of opportunity, free enterprise and reward, security, integrity and hope."[20][21] It is strongly in favour of the European Union and opposed to physical force Irish republicanism. The party's youth wing, Young Fine Gael, was formed in 1977, and has approximately four thousand members.[22] Fine Gael is a founding member of the European People's Party and a member of the Centrist Democrat International.

Alternative logo – glyph version

History

The following is timeline of participation in governments and positions on proposed constitutional referenda:[23][24][25][26][27]

  • 1933: Fine Gael is formed through the merger of Cumann na nGaedheal with two smaller groups, the National Centre Party and the National Guard, commonly known as the Blueshirts.
    A poster from the party in 1937 advocating that people should vote against the proposed new constitution
  • 1937: It campaigns against the enactment of a new constitution proposed by Fianna Fáil advocating a no vote in the referendum, however the new constitution was approved by a majority of voters.
  • 1948–51: It forms part of Ireland’s first coalition government also including the Labour Party, Clann na Poblachta, Clann na Talmhan and the National Labour Party.
  • 1954–57: It takes part in a three-party coalition government with the Labour Party and Clann na Talmhan.
  • 1959: It opposed a proposal to amend the constitution to scrap proportional representation (PR-STV) with single member constituencies, advocating a no vote in the referendum, the amendment was rejected by voters.
  • 1968: It opposed two proposals to amend the constitution advocating no votes for both proposals, a proposal to permit greater malapportionment in favour of rural areas which was rejected by voters and another proposal to amend the constitution to scrap proportional representation (PR-STV) with single member constituencies, which was again rejected by voters, this time by a significantly larger margin than 1959.
  • 1972: It supported the campaign for a yes vote in the referendum to join the European Communities, voters approved of this proposal in the referendum.
  • 1973: It supported the campaign for a yes vote for two constitutional amendments, a proposal to reduce to minimum voting age from 21 to 18 and a proposal to remove the "special position" of the Roman Catholic Church from the constitution in order to make Ireland a secular state. Both amendments were approved by voters in referenda.
  • 1973–77: It takes part in a two-party coalition government with the Labour Party.
  • 1979: It supported the campaign for a yes vote for two constitutional amendments, one proposal to reverse a 1977 finding that certain orders made by the adoption board were unconstitutional, and a proposal to extend the voting franchise for Seanad Éireann (Senate). Both amendments were approved by voters in referenda.
  • 1981–82 (March): It takes part in a two-party minority coalition government with the Labour Party.
  • 1982 (December)–87: It takes part in a two-party coalition government with the Labour Party.
  • 1983: It was divided on the referendum on the Eighth amendment, a bill originally introduced by the Fianna Fáil minority government of 1982 to introduce a constitutional de facto ban on abortion, though the Fine Gael party leader at the time, Garret FitzGerald, personally advocated a no vote, the amendment was approved by voters in the referendum.
  • 1984: It proposed and supported the campaign for a yes vote for a constitutional amendment to extend the voting franchise to allow votes for non-citizens who are residents. This amendment was approved by voters in the referendum.
  • 1986: It proposed and supported the campaign for a yes for a constitutional amendment to make divorce constitutional. This amendment was rejected by voters in the referendum.
  • 1987: It supported the campaign for a yes vote for a constitutional amendment permitting the state to ratify the Single European Act. This amendment was approved by voters in the referendum.
  • 1992: It supported the campaign for a yes vote for a constitutional amendment permitting the state to ratify the Maastricht Treaty. This amendment was approved by voters in the referendum.
  • 1994–97: It takes part in a three-party coalition government with the Labour Party and Democratic Left.
  • 1995–97: It proposed and supported the campaign for a yes vote for three constitutional amendments between 1995 and 1997. An amendment in 1995 to make divorce constitutional. An amendment in 1996 to reverse a 1965 Supreme Court ruling by allowed a court to refuse someone bail if it suspected a person would commit a serious criminal offence while at liberty. An amendment in 1997 to reverse a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that meetings of the cabinet were absolutely confidential. All three amendments were approved by voters in their respective referenda.
  • 1998–99: It supported the campaign for a yes vote for three constitutional amendments, two amendments in 1998 to permit the state to ratify the Amsterdam Treaty and another to permit the state to ratify the Good Friday Agreement. An amendment in 1999 providing constitutional recognition to local government and that elections to local councils must held at least every five years. All three amendments were approved by voters in their respective referenda.
  • 2001–02: It supported the campaign for a yes vote for seven constitutional amendments and opposed one proposed constitutional amendment between 2001 and 2004. It supported all three amendments in 2001, an amendment to extend the pre-existing legislative ban of death penalty to a constitutional ban, an amendment to permit the state to ratify the Statute of the International Criminal Court and amendment to permit the state to ratify the Nice Treaty. All of the amendments proposed in 2001 were approved by voters except the one regarding the NIce Treaty, voters reversed this decision approving the Nice Treaty in a second referendum in 2002, also supported by Fine Gael. The other amendment proposed in 2002 was an attempt to strengthen the constitutional ban on abortion by making abortion in the X-Case unconstitutional, this was opposed by Fine Gael who advocated a no vote, and rejected by voters in the referendum.
Logo of the party before April 2009.
  • 2002: Leadership election, Enda Kenny elected as the party leader.
  • 2004–09: It supported a constitutional amendment in 2004 to abolish unrestricted jus soli right to Irish nationality, this amendment was approved by voters in the referendum. It supported an amendment in 2008 to permit the state to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, this was rejected in the referendum, voters reversed this decision approving the Lisbon Treaty in a second referendum in 2009, also supported by Fine Gael.
  • 2011: It becomes the largest party in Dáil Éireann for the first time (or since 1932 including Cumann na nGaedhel) as a result of the 2011 general election.
  • 2011–15: It proposed and supported the campaign for a yes vote for eight constitutional amendments between 2011 and 2015. Two amendments in 2011, one to relax the prohibition on the reduction of the salaries of Irish judges which was approved by voters in the referendum and one to reverse a 2002 Supreme Court ruling which prevented Oireachtas inquiries from making findings critical of individuals which was not approved by voters in its respective referendum. Two amendments in 2012, one to permit the state to ratify the European Fiscal Compact and one relating to children's rights and the right and duty of the state to take child protection measures, both of these 2012 proposals were approved by voters in their respective referenda. Two amendments in 2013, one which proposed to abolish Seanad Éireann (the upper house of Ireland’s parliament) which was rejected by voters in the referendum and one which mandates of a new Court of Appeal above the High Court and below the Supreme Court, this proposal was accepted by voters in the referendum. Two amendments in 2015, one to reduce the age a person can be a presidential candidate from 35 to 21 which was rejected by voters and another amendment to explicitly constitutional prohibit restrictions on marriage based on sex, this was approved by voters in the respective referendum.
  • 2011–16: It takes part in a two-party majority coalition government with the Labour Party, effectively a grand coalition as for the period of the 31st Dáil they were the two largest parties. (see Government of the 31st Dáil)
  • 2016–: It takes parts in a minority coalition government with some non-party TDs, made possible by a confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fáíl, which agreed to abstain in confidence votes. (see Government of the 32nd Dáil)
  • 2017: Leadership election, Leo Varadkar elected as the party leader.
Other Languages
العربية: فاين جايل
asturianu: Fine Gael
български: Фине Гейл
català: Fine Gael
čeština: Fine Gael
Cymraeg: Fine Gael
dansk: Fine Gael
Deutsch: Fine Gael
Ελληνικά: Φάιν Γκέιλ
español: Fine Gael
Esperanto: Fine Gael
euskara: Fine Gael
français: Fine Gael
Gaeilge: Fine Gael
Gaelg: Fine Gael
Gàidhlig: Fine Gael
galego: Fine Gael
한국어: 피너 게일
hrvatski: Fine Gael
Bahasa Indonesia: Fine Gael
italiano: Fine Gael
Bahasa Melayu: Fine Gael
Nederlands: Fine Gael
norsk: Fine Gael
polski: Fine Gael
português: Fine Gael
română: Fine Gael
русский: Фине Гэл
sicilianu: Fine Gael
suomi: Fine Gael
svenska: Fine Gael
українська: Фіне Гел
Tiếng Việt: Fine Gael