When Fine Gael entered a coalition government with Fianna Fáil in 2020 the party did what would have been unthinkable for its forefathers who fought and won a bitter civil war to establish the institutions of an independent Irish state almost a century earlier.
Told through the lens of its leaders and Taoisigh, Saving the State is the fascinating story of the wilderness years and the achievements in government, the defeats and crises, the partnerships and the leadership upheavals that have shaped Fine Gael over the decades.
From the special place in the party’s pantheon of heroes occupied by Michael Collins to the dark era of the Blueshirts, and from its role as the founders of the state to its claim to be the defenders of the state, the ways that members perceive their own history is also explored.
This book is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how Fine Gael came to be the party it is today and the role that it played in shaping modern Ireland.
'A superb, illuminating and even-handed look at the highs and lows in Fine Gael's turbulent history,' David McCullagh, author of DeValera: Rise and DeValera: Rule.
‘It is a tremendously well written book. At 418 pages it flows extremely well and is very accessible, even to the uninitiated.’ Barry Shep, The Irish Story
‘Collins and Meehan have made a valuable contribution to the canon of Irish political histories’ David Davin-Power, Irish Independent Review
‘fascinating’ Matt Cooper, Sunday Business Post
‘It’s a fascinating insight into the party from day one right up until the present day’ Joe Finnegan Show, Northern Sound
‘It’s a really really detailed and wonderful book’ Tommy Marren, Midwest Radio
‘Formidable and authoritative’ Andrew Lynch, Sunday Business Post
Stephen Collins is an Irish Times columnist and former Political Editor. One of the most distinctive and respected voices in Irish journalism, he is the author of numerous books, notably Breaking the Mould: How the PDs Changed Irish Politics.
Ciara Meehan is Reader in History and an Associate Dean at the University of Hertfordshire. A leading historian of the Fine Gael party, she is the author of The Cosgrave Party: a History of Cumann na nGaedheal (2010) and A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-1987 (2013).