Fine Gael can be dominant political force says Deenihan

Fine Gael could become the biggest political force in the country in coming years, it was claimed today.

Fine Gael could become the biggest political force in the country in coming years, it was claimed today.

The Opposition party is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its foundation this weekend with an academic seminar in Dublin.

Mr Deenihan said the main Opposition party boasts 30,000 members and has as many councillors as its political rival, Fianna Fáil.

“With the 20-seat gain in last year’s general election, Fine Gael is seeing a resurgence,” said the Kerry North TD.

“I think a long period of one-party government is bad for a country and people are gradually beginning to realise this.

“If Fine Gael can offer a solid and credible alternative to voters, it can be a political force to be reckoned with and even possibly outstrip Fianna Fáil as the biggest party.”

Fine Gael was founded in 1933 following the merger of Cumann na nGaedhael, the Centre Party and the Army Comrades Association, otherwise known as the ’Blueshirts’.

The one-day seminar in Dublin tomorrow will be opened by Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny.

The event will feature Professor Michael Laffin of the UCC School of History who will discuss the origins of Fine Gael from 1905-1932 while Boston-based author Michael Cronin will speak about the official formation of the party in 1933.

Professor Tom Garvin of the UCD School of Politics & International Relations will discuss Fine Gael performance in government since the 1940s.

Up to 1,000 party supporters will later gather in City West Hotel tomorrow evening for the annual Presidential Dinner, which will be addressed by Mr Kenny.

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