Well, I always get confused. (And for the avoidance of doubt, I am the English Numpty in the title)
Fine Gael seem to be the slightly more right-wing party of the two, but usually form coalitions with Labour. Garret Fitzgerald, one of the most eloquent and reasonable former Irish Taoiseachs was leader of Fine Gael – as was John Bruton and Liam Cosgrave. Michael Collins was one of their founders and they identify as Christian Democrats, caucussing with the European People’s Party in the European Parliament.
Fianna Fáil are somewhat to the left of Fine Gael and caucus with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. They have been somewhat difficult to pin down in government, as far as their main political direction, forming governments with all and sundry. But they have certainly clung onto power – being in government for 61 of the last 79 years. Their past leader list is like a Who’s Who of prominent Irish politicians: Éamon de Valera (1926–1959), Jack Lynch (1966–1979), Charles Haughey (1979–1992), Albert Reynolds (1992–1994) and Bertie Ahern (1994–2008).Tweet