Fine Gael to discuss election reports next week

The author of a report on Fine Gael’s general election campaign will be grilled on her findings during a behind-closed-doors meeting with party TDs on Monday.

Dr Marion Coy will hold the private Q&A session alongside Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the first day of the Fine Gael’s two-day pre-Dáil think-in in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

The meeting — which will take in both Dr Coy’s report and a second independent review by TDs themselves on what went wrong during the campaign — will take place during a two-hour ‘Building for the Future’ session.

However, while Fine Gael headquarters will be keen to keep the more controversial elements of the discussion private, the fact both documents have been kept hidden since July means they are guaranteed to draw considerable attention at a time when the party is keen to emphasise its future ambitions.

Dr Coy, who leads the Fine Gael-linked think-tank at the Michael Collins Institute, was asked by the party’s HQ to conduct a review of what went wrong at the last election after the party’s support slumped to just 50 seats despite top-level figures showing sustained economic growth.

The report was due to be published before the end of the last Dáil term. Due to a number of delays, including an arm injury suffered by Dr Coy, it was not given to Mr Kenny until days after the final parliamentary party meeting before the summer recess — meaning there has been no opportunity to discuss its findings to date.

Due to concerns that backbench and grassroots views may not be fully heard in the official report, a number of Fine Gael TDs, including Kate O’Connell, Alan Farrell, Peter Burke, and Maria Bailey were given responsibility for drawing up a second report, with the documents understood to clash on a number of key issues.

The reports are both believed to focus on the failed election slogan to “keep the recovery going”; Mr Kenny’s own performances; and the strategy put in place by MEP and director of elections Brian Hayes.


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