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What Is This Strange Link Between Dublin GAA And Fine Gael Governments?

What Is This Strange Link Between Dublin GAA And Fine Gael Governments?
By Conor Neville
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Blessed be the days - and they're not that long ago - when neutrals hoped the Dubs might go far in the championship for the sake of the ould glamour.

But there's apparently no glamour in them steamrolling opposition every week. They're gone too good. It's just another cross for rural Ireland to bear these days. There's no economic recovery down the country and there's no end in sight to the Dubs' dominance.

They'd have those glamour-free days when the Dubs were losing to Kildare and Westmeath back in a shot.

Former Monaghan and Meath manager (though we won't talk about the latter) Seamus McEnaney finds their superiority 'scary'.

Only today, he told the Star that the capital is 'way ahead of everybody else', financially and talent-wise.

We want to remain above electioneering here but it's obviously clear that Fine Gael governments bring with them Dublin All-Ireland victories.

Never once has it appeared in any of their manifestos but it seems to be an inevitable consequence of their rule. And it's something that both Dublin and non-Dublin voters need to be made aware of at election time.

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In the past 50 years, Dublin have won a mere eight All-Irelands, with seven of them arriving under Fine Gael Taoisigh - '74, '76 (Liam Cosgrave), '83 (Garret Fitzgerald), '95 (John Bruton), and '11, '13, '15 (Enda Kenny).

The only exception was 1977 and even then, the year began with a Fine Gael Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave, in situ.

Considering that Fine Gael have only been in power for a combined total of 17 years in the past half-century (34% of the time), this is quite a coincidence.

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It's curious because our impression has always been that Dublin GAA was stuffed to the gills with Fianna Fáil types. And when we think of the true blues in public office, we think immediately of Bertie Ahern. Not Leo Varadkar. One of the Dublin's All-Ireland winning captains, John O'Leary, even ran for Fianna Fáil in Dublin North in 2007.

Maybe once they're out of office, they can concentrate on the important matter of returning Sam to the capital.

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Earlier this week, Mayo's Sinn Féin candidate Rose Conway Walsh made one of the more ambitious, not to say reckless, 'promises' of the campaign by suggesting that her election made a Mayo All-Ireland win more likely.

The rationale being that no county has won Sam in the past fifteen years without the inspirational presence of a Sinn Féin TD or MP in the county. It transpired that she omitted Cork's victory in 2010 - a victory which has been roundly ignored by posterity - achieved without the boon of having a Shinner in the Dáil. Jonathan O'Brien and Sandra McLellan were elected five months later.

Read more: Sinn Féin's Candidate In Mayo Is Making Very Ambitious 'Promises'

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