Published 8th February, 2011
Like Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael was formed out of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Agreement. Unlike Fianna Fáil they decided to support the treaty. Fine Gael was founded in 1933 as a result of a merger between the Cumann na nGaedheal (which was in power from 1923 to 1932), the National Guard and the National Centre Party.
Traditionally Fine Gael has been considered to be centre right, although in the 1960s it took on a more social democratic hue.
Since its foundation Fine Gael has been the second largest party in the Irish parliament and has governed on six occasions. Fine Gael has formed coalitions with the Labour Party but also some smaller parties.
Fine Gael was the governing party from:
1948 – 1951
1954 – 1957
1973 – 1977
1981 – 1982
1982 – 1987
1992 – 1997.
Perhaps Fine Gael’s most well known leader was Garret Fitzgerald who led the party from 1977 – 1987 and was Taoiseach (prime minister) from 1981 – 1982 and again from 1982 – 1987. The current leader of Fine Gael is Enda Kenny since his election in 2002.
Fine Gael is a member of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament. Fine Gael is also a member of the Centrist Democrat International.