Fine Gael ( – meaning "Family" or "Tribe of the Irish") is a centre-right to centrist political party in the Republic of Ireland. It is the largest party in Ireland in the Oireachtas, in local government, and in terms of Members of the European Parliament. The party has a membership of over 35,000, and is presently the senior partner governing in a coalition with the Labour Party, with the Fine Gael party leader Enda Kenny serving as Taoiseach. Enda Kenny has led the party since 2002.
Fine Gael was founded on 8 September 1933 following the merger of its parent party Cumann na nGaedheal, the National Centre Party and the National Guard (popularly known as the "Blueshirts", a name still used colloquially to refer to the party). Its origins lie in the struggle for Irish independence and the pro-Treaty side in the Irish Civil War, identifying in particular Michael Collins as the founder of the movement.
Fine Gael is generally considered to be more on the political right in comparison to its more centrist rival, Fianna Fáil, but Fine Gael has never governed Ireland without the Labour Party, a social-democratic party on the centre-left of Irish politics. Fine Gael describes itself as a "party of the progressive centre" conforming strongly to the ideals of Christian democracy and compassionate centrism, and is often seen as being moderate on social issues but conservative as regards economics. The party lists its core values as equality of opportunity, fiscal rectitude, free enterprise and reward, individual rights and responsibilities. It is strongly in favour of the European Union and opposed to physical force republicanism. The party's youth wing, Young Fine Gael, was formed in 1977, and has approximately four thousand members. Fine Gael is a founding member of the European People's Party and a member of the Centrist Democrat International.
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