30 Facts About Fine Gael


Fine Gael is a liberal-conservative and Christian-democratic political party in Ireland.

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Fine Gael is currently the third-largest party in the Republic of Ireland in terms of members of Dail Eireann and largest in terms of Irish members of the European Parliament.

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Fine Gael was founded on 8 September 1933 following the merger of its parent party Cumann na nGaedheal, the National Centre Party and the Army Comrades Association.

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Fine Gael is generally considered to be more of a proponent of market liberalism than its traditional rival, Fianna Fail.

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Fine Gael describes itself as a "party of the progressive centre" which it defines as acting "in a way that is right for Ireland, regardless of dogma or ideology".

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Fine Gael was created in 1933 following the merger of 3 political organisations; Cumann na nGaedhael led by W T Cosgrave, the National Centre Party led by Frank MacDermot and James Dillon, and the National Guard, led by Eoin O'Duffy.

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Fine Gael remained out of government and at a low ebb for a prolonged period until the aftermath of the 1948 general election, which saw the party form a grand coalition with several other parties in order to oust Fianna Fail and place Fine Gael member John A Costello as Taoiseach.

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The party went through a period of soul-searching during the 1960s, in which a new generation of Fine Gael politicians led by Declan Costello sought to revitalise Fine Gael with new ideas.

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In 2018 the Fine Gael government held a referendum on the Eighth Amendment, the provision in the Irish constitution which forbid abortion.

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Fine Gael adopted the "Just Society" policy statement in the 1960s, based on principles of social justice and equality.

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Fine Gael supported civil unions for same-sex couples from 2003, voting for the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Bill 2010, and the party approved a motion at its 2012 Ardfheis to prioritise the consideration of same-sex marriage in the upcoming constitutional convention.

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The Fine Gael-led government held a referendum on the subject on 22 May 2015.

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Fine Gael has an LGBT+ section, Fine Gael LGBT, and in 2017, Leo Varadkar became the first Taoiseach to march in Dublin's Pride Parade.

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In 1983, having initially supported the proposal, Fine Gael came out in opposition to the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution that was being submitted in a referendum in 1983, which sought to introduce a constitutional prohibition on abortion.

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Fine Gael has, since its inception, portrayed itself as a party of fiscal rectitude and minimal government interference in economics, advocating pro-enterprise policies.

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Fine Gael's proposals have sometimes been criticised mostly by smaller political groupings in Ireland, and by some of the trade unions, who have raised the idea that the party's solutions are more conscious of business interests than the interests of the worker.

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The release of equity through the sale of the various state resources, including electricity generation services belonging to the ESB, Bord na Mona and Bord Gais, in combination with use of money in the National Pensions Reserve Fund, was Fine Gael's proposed funding source for its national stimulus package.

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Fine Gael has long wanted Ireland to break with the system of private health insurance, public medical cards and what it calls the two tiers of the health system and has launched a campaign to see the system reformed.

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Fine Gael launched its FairCare campaign and website in April 2009, which stated that the health service would be reformed away from a costly ineffective endeavour, into a publicly regulated system where compulsory universal health insurance would replace the existing provisions.

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Fine Gael is among the most pro-European integration parties in Ireland, having supported the European Constitution, the Lisbon Treaty, and advocating participation in European common defence.

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The party's youth wing, Young Fine Gael, passed a motion in 2016 calling on the government to apply for membership of NATO.

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Since Brexit, Fine Gael has taken a strong pro-European stance, stating that Ireland's place is "at the heart of Europe".

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Fine Gael is a founding member of the European People's Party, the largest European political party comprising liberal conservative and Christian democratic national-level parties from across Europe.

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Fine Gael's MEPs sit with the EPP Group in the European Parliament, and Fine Gael parliamentarians sit with the EPP Groups in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Committee of the Regions.

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Young Fine Gael is a member of the Youth of the European People's Party .

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Current leader of the Fine Gael party is Leo Varadkar, who, as well as being Ireland's youngest ever Taoiseach is the country's first openly gay leader.

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At the 2009 Local elections held on 5 June 2009, Fine Gael won 556 seats, surpassing Fianna Fail which won 407 seats, and making Fine Gael the largest party of local government nationally.

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Fine Gael won 19 seats in Seanad Eireann following the 2011 election, a gain of four from the previous election in 2007.

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In 2004, Fine Gael supported the re-election of President Mary McAleese.

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Fine Gael governed Ireland alone with eight Independent members of the Dail until 2020, when the party emerged as the third party following the general election.

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