Ireland's second political party, originally called the United Ireland Party but soon known by its current Irish Gaelic name (translated as ‘Tribe of the Gaels’). It was founded in 1933 in a merger of Cummann na nGaedheal, the National Guard, and the National Centre. Fine Gael is the successor of the ‘pro‐treaty’ parties in Irish politics, but found itself out of government for most of its history until 1973. Although the principal opposition to the Fianna Fáil governments, Fine Gael was the main party in the coalition governments of 1948–51 (which saw the establishment of the Irish Republic in 1949) and 1954–7 (which failed to deal adequately with a renewal of IRA violence, and fell). After 1973, Fine Gael saw greater success in government. In the so‐called National Coalition Government, it formed an alliance with the Labour Party, 1973–7.
A new generation of leaders, under Garret FitzGerald, returned Fine Gael to power in 1981–2 and 1982–7, emphasizing economic development and cooperation with Britain over Northern Ireland. It formed the Government of Renewal in coalition with Labour and the Democratic Left under Bruton from 1994 to 1997. Fine Gael has traditionally been associated with industry, business, commerce, the professions, and substantial farmers. It has considered itself more constitutionally nationalist and conciliatory than its main rival, Fianna Fáil. The party's support declined dramatically in the 2002 elections, when it gained but 31 seats, mainly to the benefit of smaller parties and the Fianna Fáil which gained 81 seats. Led by Enda Kenny, it attempted to rebuild itself into a major political challenger. However, Kenny was unsuccessful at the 2007 elections to convince the elections to convince the electorate that it was time for change.http://www.finegael.ieThe official website of Fine Gael.