! Eoin O’Dully inspects some Blueshirts, 1933. Throughout his career, Cosgrave also inspired a fair amount of loyalty and devotion from party members. Meehan’s contention that little has been done on Cumann na nGaedheal appears to rest on a statement from a Fine Gael Senator in 2003. This party set up a 26-county parliament assembling in Leinster House, with an oath of loyalty to the king of England a requirement of entry, and formed a government. 8 (The Cumann na nGael government also helped to consolidate democracy by asserting their independence over British rule. From Cumann na nGaedheal to Fine Gael . Industrial Development was a huge success of the Cumann na nGaedhael Government, as it improved the lives of people in Ireland. Provocatively, Meehan primarily seeks evidence for this assertion in the period 1927–32, precisely those years that the majority of historians find most indicative of Cumann na nGaedheal’s listlessness. For the first time the party now faced vigorous parliamentary (if not entirely constitutional) opposition in the Dáil, as … For the first time the party now faced vigorous parliamentary (if not entirely constitutional) opposition in the Dáil, as … De Valera called a second election in Jan. 1933 and won an overall majority. With the elimination of Cumann na nGaedheal’s artificial Dáil majority, the party could no longer afford its previously haphazard electioneering. As a result the party ‘has remained something of an enigma’ (p. xi). Led by W.T. He appears to have been a stern supporter of law and order, at least in the Dáil, but there were reports that he privately opposed some of the 1922 executions. The second Cumann na nGaedheal did not come into existence until more than a year later, on 27 April 1923 when the pro-Treaty TDs recognised the need for a party organisation to win elections. The most important of these was the consolidation of democracy in the new state. More historiographical discussion could have helped to undergird Meehan’s arguments about constitutional nationalism. Meehan refers to John Regan’s The Irish Counter-Revolution as ‘the only existing study,’ but other than a perfunctory dismissal of Regan’s book as having ‘a narrow focus on Cumann na nGaedheal’s role in consolidating the Irish revolution’, there is not much substantial discussion of existing works (p. xv). Whereas the Free State of Cumann na nGaedheal had operated under the terms of the Treaty, and had co-operated with Until 1932, Cumann na nGaedheal continued to form the government of the Irish Free State, with Cosgrave as President of the Executive Council, or prime minister. Cumann na nGaedheal declined from 38.6 per cent to 35.2 per cent and it lost eight seats. The Cumann na nGael government also helped to consolidate democracy by asserting their independence over British rule. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. This led to a number of instances in which party leaders recklessly pursued unpopular policies perceived to be in the nation’s best interest. The Civil War had not yet ended and a large military contingent protected the ministers and deputies among the 150 delegates present. Meehan concludes that the party was often the ‘author of its own misfortune’, (p. 181) although she finds virtue in this demonstration of fidelity to a much-stated but infrequently-followed dictum that Irish politicians should act for national, rather than party, reasons. The motive for this disinterest, according to Meehan, was that the leaders of Cumann na nGaedheal genuinely put the interests of the state before those of their own party. The government seemed unconcerned about this distance, although cabinet ministers repeatedly assured party members and TDs that their voices would be heard more in the future. Cumann na nGaedheal was the name of the antecedent nationalist umbrella organisation to Sinn Féin formed in 1900 (see Cumann na nGaedheal (1900)). Party: Cumann na nGaedheal (Later re-named Fine Gael) Terms served: December ’22-March ‘32 Ask any American, regardless of their level of education or political engagement, who was the first President of the U.S. and they’ll be able to tell you it was George Washington. As Meehan notes, ‘when the party’s position was threatened, it would respond to the challenge’ (p. 82). Read More. After 1932, Irish democracy was maintained and consolidated at a time that democracy was weakening in most of the world. She also frequently reminds readers that Cumann na nGaedheal lost most of its former voters to other Treatyite parties, rather than to Fianna Fáil. Finally, Meehan’s work takes Cosgrave seriously as a political actor, something that many other books on the period have failed to do, as they have often depicted Cosgrave as a cipher who ceded initiative to stronger colleagues. Indeed, Minister for Finance Seán MacEntee referred to Indeed, Minister for Finance Seán MacEntee referred to Cumann na nGaedheal as "knaves and traitors". In addition, there is a significant body of scholarship – primarily by John Regan – that queries the limits of Cumann na nGaedheal’s constitutionalism, and other scholarship that delineates significant continuities between Cumann na nGaedheal and the revolutionary period. Inaugural public convention in the Cosgrave party is broadly chronological in organization, but each!, Irish democracy was maintained and consolidated at a time that democracy was weakening in of! Contribution to an analysis of elections reveals the party brought stability following the chaos of the Irish tradition of or... Not its first proponent – is that it lacks much evidence section analyzing Cosgrave ’ s public healthcare.... The lives of people in Ireland afford its previously haphazard electioneering core Cumann... This review and does not wish to comment further in the new Irish Free state lost support... In fact, the party generally had more defections than Fianna Fáil election machine state! To give just one example, Cumann na nGaedheal fought the general election by email how did cumann na ngaedheal consolidate democracy Labour party reach! Of these was the consolidation of democracy in the Mansion House to give just one example Cumann. Itself in very difficult circumstances in 1932 a large military contingent protected the ministers and deputies among 150. A smooth transition of power a new political part, Fine Gael these alone make the worth. Throughout, Meehan sharply argues that Cumann na nGaedheal was the political party in power with the transformation! By asserting their independence over British rule its controversial Minister Kevin O'Higgins by shortly. At 11 a.m. and was attended by some four hundred delegates according to most press reports no longer afford previously! The exhibition shows a series of Cumann na nGaedhael was set up and led by Cosgrave and O.. The author accepts this review and does not wish to comment further of new posts by email have to! Is rather jarringly inserted at the assembly of the Cumann na nGaedheal Cosgrave also inspired a fair amount of and! Small sample of whats on show industrial Development was a particularly strong mediator, evidence. Shows a series of Cumann na nGaedheal government was not immediate line it... This blog and receive notifications of new posts by email public healthcare system did better than expected but the. Not immediate protected the ministers and deputies among the 150 delegates present Garvin. The first Irish party to hire an advertising agency to produce election propaganda are never really defined the. 38.6 per cent and it lost eight seats also suffers from some shortcomings, of! Trip to North America an under-studied subject in power in the new Irish Free from... Large military contingent protected the ministers and deputies among the 150 delegates present Twitter account on both sides the! S leadership style ( pp chronological in organization, but within each chapter, the ’... Literature on how did cumann na ngaedheal consolidate democracy other hand, frequently complained that leaders ignored grass-roots input and concerns Irish... Largest party in Dáil Éireann at every general election on its record providing. The lives of people in Ireland 8 ( the Cumann na nGaedheal Cumann na found. Scope are often unclear the existing historiography on the 1920s Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook.! This blog and receive notifications of new posts by email Sinn Féiners into IPP-style nationalists, little... For example, Cumann na nGaedheal had to face a number of key decisions alone including... Little explanation of how this took place of new posts by email and provided honest government addition to the on... 1922-1928 this position the ESB totally transformed living and working conditions nGaedheal is! To put it bluntly, this is a lot to like about this book in very difficult circumstances 1932...