Fine Gael

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Fine Gael

(fē`nə gāl), Irish political party. Formed in 1933, it was the successor of the party founded by William CosgraveCosgrave, William Thomas
, 1880–1965, Irish statesman; father of Liam Cosgrave. A member of Sinn Féin, he fought in the Easter Rebellion (1916) and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
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 that held power from the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922 until ousted by the republican Fianna FáilFianna Fáil
, Irish political party, organized in 1926 by opponents of the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 establishing the Irish Free State and setting up Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom.
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 in 1932. The Fine Gael party accepted the British plan that partitioned Ireland, and has generally been less anti-British than its major opposition. Under John A. Costello, Fine Gael formed coalition governments with the Labor party from 1948 to 1951 and from 1954 to 1957. After a long period in opposition it regained power, again with the Labor party, in 1973; and William Cosgrave's son Liam CosgraveCosgrave, Liam
, 1920–2017, Irish statesman; son of William Cosgrave. After studying law, he entered the Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael member in 1943 and served as minister of commerce and industry (1948–54), minister for external affairs (1954–57),
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 became prime minister. Except for a brief interruption in 1982, the party held power again from 1981 to 1987, when it was led by Garret FitzGeraldFitzGerald, Garrett,
1926–2011, Irish political leader. After studying economics and law, he lectured (1959–73) in political economy at his alma mater, University College.
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. From 1994 to 1997, Fine Gael once more formed a coalition government with Labor, with party leader John BrutonBruton, John
, 1947–, Irish politician, b. Dublin. A lawyer and farm owner, he is a member of the centrist Fine Gael party. Bruton was first elected to the Irish parliament in 1969 and during the 1970s served as a junior minister.
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 serving as prime minister. Michael Noonan succeeded Bruton as party leader in 2001. Noonan resigned after electoral losses in 2002 and was succeeded by Enda KennyKenny, Enda
, 1951–, Irish politician. After teaching primary school, he was elected to the Irish parliament in 1975, winning his late father's seat and becoming the body's youngest member.
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. In 2011, amid a financial crisis, Fine Gael and Labor won the election and Kenny became prime minister. The coalition suffered large losses in 2016 and Kenny was able to form a Fine Gael minority government only with the acquiescence of Fianna Fáil; Kenny stepped down as party leader and prime minister in 2017 and was succeeded by Leo Varadkar.