The political dynasty is as well-established tradition in Ireland, but most particularly in Kerry, where nearly all politicians can trace their political lineage back several generations -- with some unbroken representation extending back to the foundation of the state!
O'Shea explores the grip on power these families have, and how they exclude new entrants to the political system; the pressures on family members to continue the traditions of their forefathers; the intense local rivalries and the impact of these families on the national political scene.
Politics does not get any fiercer than in Kerry, and this original and well-researched book throws a light on how Irish public respresentatives get and keep hold of power and incluence.
Owen O'Shea writes a weekly political column in the Kerry's Eye newspaper. He worked in the Labour Party Press Office with three party leaders for five years. He was a candidate at the local elections in 2004 and worked behind the scenes on a number of election campaigns nationally and in Kerry. A graduate of UCD, he lives in Milltown, County Kerry.
Foreword by Michael O'Regan 11 Preface 19 1. A Kingdom of dynasties 27 2. A centuries-old tradition 39 3. What's in a name? 55 4. Getting the kids to run 69 5. Keeping it in the family 88 6. By-elections and the sympathy vote 103 7. Using the Council incubator 118 8. Putting the dynasty to work 138 9. When dynasties clash 155 10. Defending the dynasty from attack 173 11. When the well runs dry 187 12. Exporting the dynasty 203 13. Obligations that outlive them 215 14. Comfort in what you know 230 Endnotes 245 Appendices 269 Bibliography 291 Index 297