By Fionnán Sheahan
AT THE sprightly age of 36, Cork North-West TD Micheal Moynihan remains Fianna Fáil’s youngest member of Dáil Éireann.
But his days as the party’s youngest deputy could be numbered, judging by the talent on display at the FF Árd Fheis.
Considering Bertie Ahern was just 25 years old when first elected to Dáil Éireann, Brian Cowen was 24 and Mary Coughlan was only 21, Fianna Fáil was keen to show young blood is running through its veins.
Undeterred by the prospect of speaking in front of a packed hall of 4,000 party members, Donegal local election candidate Tiernan Brady’s oratory skills showed up many of the senior party members on the podium as he elucidated upon what he described as the party’s real Republican policies.
"That is practical Republicanism," he hammered out repeatedly to considerable acclaim.
Fellow young turks Marguerite Fitzpatrick in Dublin North Inner City and Órla Leyden from Roscommon are bright hopes for the future, along with the likes of Brendan Kiely and Cormac Devlin in Dún Laoghaire, Dublin Michael McGrath in Cork and Cathal Crowe from Clare.