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It was visionary, idealistic, and committed men and women who founded Fianna Fáil, in the La Scala Theatre, Dublin, in 1926, under the leadership of Eamon de Valera. What followed was a momentous national movement encompassing the ideals of a united Ireland, social and economic advancement, and equal opportunities. Fianna Fáil entered government for the first time in 1932 and in 1937 the Irish people ratified Bunreacht na hÉireann, the Irish constitution.
Fianna Fáil, under the leadership of Seán Lemass, implemented the First Programme for Economic Expansion which opened up our economy, encouraged foreign direct investment and set our country on a path of economic advancement.
The education and welfare of Irish people has always been a core value of Fianna Fáil, this is highlighted by the introduction of free secondary education in Ireland in 1969 by Donogh O’Malley, Minister for Education and by the introduction of the Free Travel Scheme for our older citizens in 1967 by Charles Haughey, Minister for Finance. This scheme continues to this day and is enjoyed by thousands of Irish citizens.
In 1973, under the leadership of Jack Lynch, Ireland joined the European Economic Community (EEC), further progressing our economy and establishing a strong and lasting bond with our European neighbours. In 1987, spearheaded by Charles Haughey, the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) was established laying the foundations for future economic growth and development.
In 1993, the Joint Declaration on Peace (The Downing Street Deceleration) was negotiated and signed by Albert Reynolds on behalf of the Irish Government. This established a pathway for peace on our island. In 1998, through the commitment and dedication of Bertie Ahern, amongst others, a peace agreement was reached, the Good Friday Agreement. Brian Cowen, as Minister for Foreign Affairs and as Taoiseach, continued our party’s dedication and commitment to peace on our island.
The education and welfare of Irish people continues to be a core value of our Party. Throughout his career, An Taoiseach Michéal Martin, has stood by this core value. Whether it is on supporting those with special educational needs or safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our population he will not be found wanting. The focus of our Party in Government remains to deliver a fairer Ireland for all.
Fianna Fáil is a National Movement. Its aims are:
- To secure in peace and agreement the unity of Ireland and its people.
- To develop a distinctive national life in accordance with the diverse traditions and ideals of the Irish people as part of a broader European culture, and to restore and promote the Irish language as a living language of the people.
- To guarantee religious and civil liberty, and equal rights, equal treatment and equal opportunities for all the people of Ireland.
- To develop the resources and wealth of Ireland to their full potential, while making them subservient to the needs and welfare of all the people of Ireland, so as to provide the maximum sustainable employment, based on fostering a spirit of enterprise and self-reliance and on social partnership.
- To protect the natural environment and heritage of Ireland and to ensure a balance between town and country and between the regions, and to maintain as many families as practicable on the land.
- To promote the family, and a wider sense of social responsibility, and to uphold the rule of law in the interest of the welfare and safety of the public.
- To maintain the status of Ireland as a sovereign State, as a full member of the European Union and the United Nations, contributing to peace, disarmament and development on the basis of Ireland’s independent foreign policy tradition.
- To reform the laws and institutions of State, to make them efficient, humane, caring and responsive to the needs of the citizen.