Brexit & Ireland, an inside story of the Irish response

Tuesday, 03 September 2019
Need to understand how Ireland helped to shape the EU's response to Brexit? RTÉ's Europe correspondent Tony Connelly tells the dramatic story of the Irish response to this political and economic earthquake. Read More...

Stanhope Forbes, father of Cornwall's Newlyn School of painting

Friday, 16 August 2019
Dublin-born Stanhope Forbes spent time painting Brittany before founding the influential Newlyn School of painters in Cornwall in the late 19th century. Read More...

Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...

Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...

The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Fine Gael becomes Ireland's most popular party for the first time in its history

Fine Gael becomes Ireland's most popular party for the first time in its historyIreland's political landscape changes dramatically as Fianna Fáil sinks to record low in council and European elections.

Ireland's political landscape changes dramatically as Fianna Fáil sinks to record low in council and European elections.

For the first time in its history, Fine Gael has become Ireland's largest party in terms of local government members and members of the European Parliament.

At the 2009 Local election and European Parliament election, both held on the same day in June 5th 2009, Fine Gael won a third of the vote with 340 council seats and 4 elected members of the European Parliament.

Local election results gave Fine Gael 32.2% of the vote, followed by Fianna Fáil with 25.4%, Labour with 14.7%, Sinn Féin with 7.4%, the Greens with 2.3%, and Independents and other small parties with 18%.

Support for Fianna Fáil, traditionally Ireland's most popular party, sank to record lows after suffering big swings in its traditional strongholds.

The Green Party, which is currently in a Government coalition with Fianna Fáil, suffered also a dramatic collapse with a drop of seats from 18 to just three.

There was further misery for Fianna Fáil as by-election polls in Dublin South and Dublin Central reduced the Government's parliamentary majority down to just three TDs.

Fine Gael won the by-election in Dublin South and Independent Maureen O’Sullivan won in Dublin Central, giving the opposition a total of 81 TDs in the Irish Parliament as against 84 TDs for the Government.

Following the local election results, Fine Gael tabled a motion of no confidence in the Government and called on Taoiseach Brian Cowen to dissolve the Dáil, but the Government won the confidence vote in the Irish Parliament by 85 votes in favour and 79 against.

Latest polls published by The Independent and RTÉ suggests that if a general election was to be called, Fine Gael would win with a 37% of the vote, followed by Labour and Fianna Fáil with a 21% each.


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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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