Independent Fianna Fail is set for a rebirth in Donegal, veteran campaigner and former County Councillor, Danny Harkin, insisted at the weekend.
“We have had a number of well attended meetings and the consensus is that the traditional Blaney party is being reformed,” he said.
Reflecting on the performance of Dara Blaney - son of the late Neil T. - in the General Election, he said they had entered the campaign too late to make a serious impact.
“We only really had seven days at it - had we had three weeks the vote would have been even better,” said Mr. Harkin.
Dublin based Blaney polled 1,228 first preference votes in Donegal North-East. “He must have been one of the few candidates to get at least a couple of votes at every polling booth. He had a very good manifesto.”
Pointing out that many I.F.F. members had “never accepted” the Fianna Fail party, Mr. Harkin revealed: “We have had meetings in Letterkenny, Fanad and Inishowen over the past few weeks and they have all been very well attended with a large number of people expressing the view that the party should be reformed.
“I have to say it has been very encouraging and there’s a big demand to build up the Blaney organisation again. There’s a lot of interest too in the west of Ireland where Independent Fianna Fail was also particularly strong.
“Over the next two or three weeks we will be keeping the pot boiling. We have left wing parties and right wing parties but no middle ground parties.”
Convoy based Mr. Harkin, who served on Donegal County Council for sixteen years and was chairman in the 1998/1999 term, said he was convinced members of I.F.F., who currently are involved with Fianna Fail, would return to the traditional party.
“There’s a big change in politics and Fianna Fail took a well deserved hammering at the polls. We can take advantage of that here in Donegal and we’ll be pushing hard to put Independent Fianna Fail back on to the political agenda,” he said.