Fate of Fianna Fáil clear from early on

Es­ther Hay­den, Myles Buchanan, Deb­o­rah Cole­man and Mary Fog­a­rty re­port on the lo­cal can­di­dates’ re­ac­tions to Gen­eral Elec­tion 2011 LOUD CHEER GREETS ELIM­I­NA­TION OF ROCHE

Bray People - - ELECTION 2011 -

LESS THAN two hours into the tally on Satur­day, and it was clear it was the be­gin­ning of the end for Fianna Fáil.

Out­go­ing Min­is­ter Dick Roche was faced with los­ing his seat al­though pre­sum­ably he was fac­ing it in the com­fort of his own home as he was nowhere to be seen at the count cen­tre on Satur­day.

And ar­riv­ing at the cen­tre shortly af­ter it opened at 10am on Sun­day Dick said the elec­tion was ‘ as bad as it could get' for Fianna Fáil.

‘ Things are not look­ing great for Fianna Fáil right across the coun­try, I mean it's been an as­ton­ish­ing elec­tion from the point of view of Fianna Fáil.

‘We were ex­pect­ing a very, very bad hit and this is about as bad as it could get. In Wick­low the re­sult was very dis­ap­point­ing I have to say, very dis­ap­point­ing be­cause it wasn't that we failed to de­liver.

‘We de­liv­ered big time in this con­stituency but when the tide is against you the tide is against you and that's it.

‘It was very ob­vi­ous from day one that the mood of the elec- torate was to pun­ish Fianna Fáil and they did pun­ish Fianna Fáil very strongly.'

He was also very dis­ap­pointed with his own per­sonal vote hav­ing seen his vote go from 10,200 in 2007 to a dis­ap­point­ing 3,891 at the week­end.

‘Ah I was (dis­ap­pointed) yeah, it was a very dis­ap­point­ing show­ing. Par­tic­u­larly as dur­ing the can­vass we had put in an ex­traor­di­nar­ily heavy can­vass.'

Dick said he had made no de­ci­sion about the fu­ture. ‘I have never been one to make in­stant de­ci­sion and I need to sit back and think about where we are. I still have work to do in Europe as vice-pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Lib­eral Demo­cratic Re­form party.'

Al­though dis­ap­pointed with the Fianna Fáil vote both na­tion­ally and in Wick­low, Dick said ev­ery­one had to ac­cept some mea­sure of blame.

‘Of course, yes, there is a col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity and it would be an act of cow­ardice if you didn't ac­cept we all had a role to play in that.

But when you are part of a team there is no point in blam­ing the cap­tain, ev­ery­body has to ac­cept their fair share of the blame but we do have fun­da­men­tal prob­lem with the way we com­mu­ni­cate with the peo­ple and that's been show­ing through and has been frus­trat­ing some of us in the po­lit­i­cal party for the last while and it was shown through, ul­ti­mately, in the change of lead­er­ship.

‘ There was a dis­con­tent there so we all have to ac­cept a role in that. There is no point in blam­ing one per­son, you have to just ac­cept that there is a col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity. We all have a role to play and maybe at the end of the day his­tory will be bet­ter to us than the con­tem­po­rary writ­ing but at the end of the day we have to bear re­spon­si­bil­ity.'

Out­go­ing min­is­ter Dick Roche at the Gen­eral Elec­tion count.

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