Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

An issue worth confronting.

Posted by Jason O on Jun 20, 2010 in Irish Politics |

We'll show dem bastards up in Dublin.

We'll show dem bastards up in Dublin.

“Mayo has it!” A Fine Gael councillor shouted outside Leinster House on the news that Enda Kenny had won the motion of confidence. Mayo has it? It’s a telling remark, because it highlights an issue that has been there, is noticed, but doesn’t get as much attention as it should, because it has a significant effect on Irish politics. I’m talking, of course, about the urban-rural divide, and in particular, the Greater Dublin/Everyone else divide.

There have been quite a few people who have voiced an opinion to me that the move against Enda is a Dublin Four conspiracy, and in particular, media driven. Is there a Dublin bias against country politicians?

Not if you ask Mary Hanafin, Eamonn Gilmore, Lucinda Creighton (born in Mayo, elected in D4), Joe Higgins, Tom Kitt, Pat Rabbitte, Richard Bruton, Olivia Mitchell, Mary Upton, Joe Costello or Finian McGrath, all of whom have been elected to represent Dublin constituencies. Maybe we should ask all those born and bred Dubliners elected to represent non Dublin constituencies. Like…em…eh. I see. (By the way, I struggled to find someone born and raised in Dublin elected outside Dublin, but am ready to be corrected) 

But aside from that, the other issue is one of culture. Dublin elected Charlie Haughey and Ray Burke and Liam Lawlor and Ivor Callely, so Dublin isn’t perfect. But it also denied Haughey a majority, and sacked Liam Lawlor and Ivor Callely at election time.

But then, consider the Flynns and the Healy-Raes and Michael Lowry. The fact that the Flynns and Lowry and Healy-Rae were held in such low esteem in Dublin almost certainly helped them get elected. To show Dublin. There are voters who voted for the Flynns and Jackie Healy-Rae and Lowry to say to Dublin “F**k you. This is who we are.”

And you know what? Dublin looks at the Healy-Raes and the Flynns and Michael Lowry and probably agrees. But let’s be honest. There are faults on both sides. The country is undoubtedly Dublincentric, and one only had to look at the situation when Galway had its water crisis. If that had been Dublin, population difference notwithstanding, it would have been declared a national emergency.

But the other side is that Dublin sees someone like Dick Spring sacked by Kerry voters the same day they elect Jackie Healy-Rae (Two different contituencies, admittedly) and wonders about how parts of the country see themselves. And there is also the fact that in a political system that is dominated by non-Dubliners (Only one party leader is a Dubliner, and name all the FF cabinet ministers who are Dubliners, I dare you) who is responsible for centralising all power in Dublin anyway? Why didn’t our Taoisigh from Offaly, Meath, Longford, Cork or Clare create proper local government for the rest of the country to run their own affairs without Dublin interference? Was it because non-Dublin never asked? Or was it because they wanted taxpayers from other counties than their own to pay for it? Or is it because deep down they know that the rest of the country dominates Irish politics more than Dublin does?

And what about D4 trying to force its ways on the rest of the country, then?What ways? When Dublin voted Yes to Divorce in 1986, the rest of the country vetoed Dublin. But what Dublin values has Dublin forcibly imposed on the rest of the country? What strange, alien, unIrish ideas has D4 tried to subjugate the rest of the country to? Trying to fight political corruption, and asking politicians to account for taxpayers money? Trying to stop ministers committing perjury? John O’Donoghue’s expenses were paid by Kerry taxpayers every week through PAYE. Do those same taxpayers really believe that it’s just D4 being “all fancy” asking questions about what happened to the taxes of Kerry taxpayers? Seriously?


Jun 21, 2010 at 10:05 am

Eamon O’Cuiv is a dub elected in Galway West. He hides it well though.

James Lawless
Jun 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm

That’s a very interesting point Jason. You have me stumped with your question. Eoin above did well to think of that one. There are ‘Dubby’ Councillors starting to spring up in the commuter counties, the current Mayor of Newbridge has an accent that could compete with anything on Hil 16.

In my adopted county of Kildare, none of the reps are actually natives. We have Aine Brady (FF, Galway), Michael Fitzpatrick (FF, Cavan), Emmett Stagg (Lab, Mayo) and Bernard Durkan (FG, Mayo).

As a “blow in” myself, I say long live diversity! 🙂

James Lawless
Jun 22, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Oh yeah, and a recent Mayor of Naas had previously been Lord Mayor of Dublin! Before the move West. He also went on to be an FF GE candidate in 07.

Dermot Lacey
Jun 24, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Hi jason,

some great writing there and hopefully i will still be calling on your assistance soon but in answer to your quest:

Eamonn O’ Cuiv that “interesting” Galway TD was born and bred and lived for at least twenty years on Herbert Park Road in the middle of D4 – he was in school with my brothers in Oatlands in Mount Merrion.



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