Andrei Ghilan from Moldova hangs election posters for Fianna Fail. Their success is a feat of political absolution like none we have ever

There was no Donald Trump running in the Irish election, but the similar voter anger was there for all to see in the result which saw the present coalition government decimated.

Like with Trump, the politicians who gained the most from the anger were perhaps the most unlikely to do so, and their rise would have seemed impossible a year ago.

Five years ago Fianna Fail departed office with an horrific record. Cronyism, corruption, forced emigration, massive unemployment and huge debts were the party’s legacy.

By some accounts the Irish economy was on the brink of collapse. Brown envelopes packed with bribe money became the symbol of Fianna Fail’s reign. The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern credited gambling on horses as the reason for some unexplained wealth.

The electorate in the 2011 race punished Fianna Fail, driving the party down to 20 seats where before they had been the natural party of government for 80 years.

There was a widespread belief at that time that Fianna Fail might never emerge from the doldrums.

So who did the Irish electorate -- still suffering under massive debt burdens and huge repayments and the debts left by crooked banks -- turn to?

You guessed it: Fianna Fail. Like the ghost of Banquo in Macbeth, Fianna Fail has reappeared at the political feast, grabbing many of the prime tables. They have ended up again a few seats shy of being the largest party.

It is a feat of political absolution like none we have ever witnessed. Instead of sackcloths and ashes, it is champagne and caviar for the recently radioactive party.

The Labour Party was decimated, going from 32 seats to seven, claiming they had sacrificed for the national good when they entered office as the junior coalition partner, a strategy that has destroyed every party that took the minor role in recent years. Doing the same thing over and over with the same negative result is the very definition of stupidity.

It was much more about bums at the Cabinet table of course, but the story of the Irish Labour Party, now at its lowest point ever, is that it could have taken power as the majority party in several recent elections, including this one, had they just stayed out of power and waited one election cycle.

The national interest argument is the most bogus argument of all. It is always about power, how to get it and keep it.

Fine Gael looked like a tired entity by the end of the election campaign. The halcyon days of getting the Irish finances back in order was their big selling point, but what people wanted was better hospitals, schools and homes to live in.

The party missed the shift from financial consideration to social issues, especially in the many parts of Ireland where the recession had not lightened.

Sinn Fein will look back on a satisfactory election performance especially given the blanket assault by most of the Irish media on the party. They gained an expected 10 TDs which given the media clamor was a good performance.

The rest are smaller parties and independents, a motley crew ranging from far left to far right.

The process of forming a government will be no easy task and another election looms in the near future.

The story of the election was the Lazarus-like Fianna Fail rise, aided by the far superior performance in debates by party leader Micheal Martin. The rest is muddy waters, and it is tough to discern who will eventually form the government.