'YOU DON'T NEED TO BE A TD TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO OUR COUNTRY!'
Young Fine Gael policy is formed by the membership. In this way, it is a crucial vehicle for political growth in Ireland. While in other parties, politicians drive their agenda based around their constituents' needs or lobbyists' demands, in YFG we are an independent and autonomous organisation.
This means that the issues which are important to you, the member, can become the basis for campaigns, and possibly become a parliamentary bill. YFG policy has been adopted by FG parliamentarians, TDs, Senators, and MEPs. It has been adopted by government and passed into law. One famous case of this was the abolition of the status of "Illegitimate" in Irish law, for children born out of marriage.
HOW POLICY IS FORMED:
The most popular forum for policy discussion is the local or college Branch. Here a discussion can take place and an opinion adopted by the group.
Another forum for policy discussion is the Regional Council. This operates on a provincial wide basis, where delegates can raise issues discussed by their branches. A local issue can become regional policy if it is adopted by this body.
National Assembly is a forum for the discussion of policy on a national level. Occurring at least once a year at our annual Garret FitzGerald Summer School, motions are submitted in advance. Those that pass, if adopted by the National Executive, can become policy.
The National Conference is our largest forum for policy discussion. Here, the branches and councils can submit their motions. These will be discussed by members from all over the country. Debate is the order of the day, and every member can exercise their right to speak. A motion which is passed here, becomes YFG policy.
The National Executive can adopt policy in its own right. Frequently, if there is a need to forward an opinion on an issue, the Exec will discuss the issue and reach a conclusion. This is then made YFG policy.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A POLICY IS ADOPTED:
YFG is an active organisation with a vocal membership. When we can act on an issue, we do so in a number of ways;
Public Representatives of Fine Gael are lobbied to raise questions within the parliamentary party, and often at question time in the Dáil and Seanad. Many issues become Private Member motions in the Houses of the Oireachtas.
YFG tables motions to be discussed at the annual Árd Fhéis (rally) of Fine Gael. Motions passed here become Fine Gael policy automatically and government policy, when FG is in power.
YFG runs public campaigns where members take to the streets, highways and roads of the country to raise the issue, with public displays, leaflet and poster campaigns, and appearances on national media. Towns, cities, universities and colleges are particular focuses of these campaigns.
Cosgrave’s achievements have not been recorded as they should be. He is the man who rebuilt a nation ravaged by war. The man who brought about an end to the civil war. The man who guided Ireland through the chaotic years of the 1920s when countries across Europe fell under the control of extreme political groups. His crowning achievement however was in 1932 when he transferred power peacefully to Eamonn De Valera following the election, ensuring that Ireland would remain a stable democracy. His democratic principles remain everpresent in Fine Gael.
In honour of his achievements, Young Fine Gael named its Policy Award after Cosgrave, to ensure his legacy is not forgotten. He deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Collins and Griffith. When they died, Cosgrave was left to carry the weight of a nation on his shoulders. Cosgrave held steadfast and is the reason peace was maintained after the Civil War. During his long time as leader, Cumann na nGaedhael and subsequently Fine Gael were known as “Cosgrave’s Party” with Fianna Fáil known as “De Valera’s Party”, showing clearly that he should be regarded an equal to De Valera in terms of historical significance.
W.T. Cosgrave served Ireland not out of ambition but out of public duty. During his time as President of the Executive Council he served Ireland well. De Valera, once he took office, begrudgingly remarked to his son Vivion, “They did a magnificent job”. Fine Gael leaders must always struggle to emulate the legacy of Cosgrave. All in Fine Gael should be inspired by his commitment to public service and democracy. Fine Gael must remember and follow in the footsteps of Cosgrave.
YFG Policy Documents
YFG Pre Budget Submissions
Branch Policy Documents