I saw this on an archived version of Willie O’Deas Website from 2002.
They see, just like the rest of us, a potentially seismic realignment of Irish politics. Their problem is that they don’t know where to shift to. This indecision is due to the existance of two distinct groupings within Fine Gael.
The fault line running through Fine Gael was papered over by their antipathy to Fianna Fáil. Yet this fault line became almost geographically visible within months of Michael Noonan taking the leadership. Their stance on the abortion referendum exposed the gulf for all to see, including me.
I hate to be an “I told you so”, but I predicted as much last March. In the aftermath of the abortion referendum vote I wrote in the Sunday Independent: “The party (Fine Gael) tried to face two ways at once and it will pay the price. They now seek to claim the urban no voters who according to today’s poll don’t support Fine Gael while turning their back on their traditional supporters outside Dublin who largely voted Yes.”