It is fair to say that calls for Marc MacSharry to be reinstated in the parliamentary Fianna Fáil party are a peripheral political development.
But the dynamic behind the urging of the hot-headed TD, who is a fervent critic of Martin, to return to the party reveals a narrative of far more political intrigue. For example, it was none other than Barry Cowen, the Midlands’ former Minister for Agriculture and now Machiavelli, who put forward the proposal for the reinstatement of Sligo-Leitrim’s TD.
Cowen is not shy about expressing his dissatisfaction with the way he was treated by Martin after the controversy surrounding his drunk driving case.
Those still plotting to oust Martin believe there is a short time for soaring high
His supporters would also point out the Taoiseach’s very different approach to the recent troubles of Fianna Fáil’s landlord TD Robert Troy. The point is that MacSharry’s request for reinstatement was denied by a senior party figure who wouldn’t be dissatisfied if Martin chose to continue. However, as required, the motion was supported by another member of the parliamentary group, in this case Senator Diarmuid Wilson.
It is worth noting at this point that Wilson launched a lawsuit against Fianna Fáil after believing he had lost his top post in the Seanad following the formation of the current government.
It doesn’t end there. Wilson was not originally intended to be the second for MacSharry’s reinstatement. It was to be the recently appointed junior minister, Dara Calleary. The Mayo TD, who lost his Cabinet appearance due to the Golfgate controversy, was unable to attend the party meeting due to Dáil deals.
However, the optics of two short-lived agriculture ministers – both of whom are, of course, offended by their leader – to call for the reappointment of a critic of the Taoiseach would have been quite a deal. Calleary wasn’t shy in his support for MacSharry’s return. He said that in a recent Sunday independent Interview in which he called the TD a “good buddy”.
This time last year, MacSharry was collecting names from TDs to motion for a no-confidence motion on Martin.
He is believed to have received eight of the ten names required for a vote on the Taoiseach’s leadership. He hoped Dublin Bay South’s Jim O’Callaghan would sign the motion, but attorney TD publicly distanced himself from a coup that led to a falling out with MacSharry.
That episode, coupled with frustration at how Fianna Fáil has been dealing with Secretary of State Simon Coveney’s changing declaration of a Covid-rules-breaking party in his department, led to MacSharry leaving the party last year.
In another significant move, the Sligo politician’s cousin, Dr. Edel McSharry, elected to Fianna Fáil’s internal government committee at last weekend’s ard fheis party. This was highlighted by Wilson during a terse exchange with Agriculture Secretary Charlie McConalogue, who was protesting MacSharry’s reappointment at Wednesday night’s party meeting.
There are still TDs who would sign a motion to vote on Martin’s leadership of Fianna Fáil, but whether there’s enough to start a riot is debatable.
Martin has a good hand ahead of the change of power by being able to encourage backbenchers.
Those still planning to oust Martin believe there is a brief period for a rebound between the upcoming Oct. 22 party president dinner of Fianna Fáíl and the Dec. 15 move.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/intrigue-of-marc-macsharrys-mooted-fianna-fail-return-points-to-a-party-papering-over-cracks-42046747.html The intrigue of Marc MacSharry’s controversial Fianna Fáil return hints at a party that’s papering over cracks