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The "Gang of 22" was a group of Fianna Fáil TDs (members of parliament) who were opposed to the leadership of Charles Haughey in the early 1980s. The very evident division within the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party left a deep split in the organisation.

The origins of the "Gang of 22" was when Desmond O'Malley challenged Charles Haughey for the leadership of Fianna Fáil in 1983. Disillusioned with the unwillingness of O'Malley, George Colley and their supporters to act, a motion of no-confidence against Charles Haughey's leadership was put forward by Charlie McCreevy on his own initiative. This forced O'Malley's hand and he had to declare his intention to stand against Haughey. The vote failed by 55 votes to 22.

Those who made up the Gang of 22 were:[1][2]

The name is a pun on the Gang of Four, a political faction in the People's Republic of China who were imprisoned after the death of Mao Zedong.

In September 1991 four backbench Fianna Fáil TDs: Noel Dempsey, Liam Fitzgerald, M. J. Nolan and Seán Power (known as the Gang of Four) put down a motion of no-confidence in Haughey's leadership in Power's name. This prompted Albert Reynolds to resign from the Cabinet and launch a leadership challenge. He was supported by fellow Minister Pádraig Flynn and Minister of State Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and subsequently Noel Treacy. The vote failed by 55 votes to 22.

This is a partial list:


  1. ^ "Career built on highly popular Limerick base". The Irish Times. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  2. ^ Joe Joyce & Peter Murtagh The Boss; Poolbeg, pp.361-2.