Fianna Fail and Tammany Hall

February 20, 2008 at 5:17 pm 1 comment

Tammany Tiger

As Bertie Ahern prepares for his political lap of dishonour by addressing the US Houses of Congress, he is probably wondering what to include in his speech. Maybe he could discuss the similarities between Tammany Hall, which was a strong political machine dominated by Irish immigrants in New York in the 1800s, and Fianna Fail, which is a strong political machine founded by a New York immigrant in Ireland in the 1900s.

The above cartoon by Thomas Nast portrays Tammany hall as a tiger killing democracy, an icon that came to symbolise its influence. Here are six more comparisons between Tammany Hall and Fianna Fail: >>>

Tammany Fail

  • Tammany Hall was led by Boss Tweed and Boss Croker. Fianna Fail was led by CJ Haughey, the Boss.
  • Tammany Hall was linked to a business and politics clique called the Ring. Fianna Fail was linked to a business and politics clique called the Golden Circle.
  • Tammany Hall was notorious for charges of double voting. Haughey’s election agent Pat O’Connor Pat O’Connor was charged with double voting.
  • Boss Croker spent a month in prison for refusing to give evidence at a court case. Liam Lawlor spent weeks in prison for refusing to give evidence to the Flood Tribunal.
  • Tammany Hall’s influence survived an unwanted coalition of local governments. Fianna Fail’s influence has survived unwanted coalitions with the PDs, Labour and the Green Party.
  • Before the secret ballot was introduced, New York voters were helpfully aided by Tammany Hall ‘shoulder-hitters’. CJ Haughey held open ballots within Fianna Fail, where those who dissented could be intimidated, threatened or even assaulted.

In 2003, a Fianna Fail councillor proposed that a statue of Boss Croker should be erected in Ireland.


Entry filed under: Fun, Ireland, Politics.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Dermot  |  February 22, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Read TJ English’s Book Old Bones and Shallow Graves and you will see where the Dev and the Ffers learned about gangsterism and politics .


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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.


February 2008
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Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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