So it happened offically today. From the PR:
The Irish Fianna Fàil becomes member of ELDR
After fruitful bilateral negotiations the European Liberal and Democrat party welcomes today Fianna Fàil as a new ELDR member party. Fianna Fail Secretary General Sean Dorgan was warmly welcomed in Brussels today to finalize the application procedure of his party with the ELDR Council, the highest decision-making body of the ELDR Party in matters of membership.
The Irish newcomer will see the ELDR party establish itself as a key player for the forthcoming European elections and finds in ELDR a partner in view of the Lisbon Treaty referendum in Ireland, scheduled probably for the end of October 2009. For ELDR, Fianna Fail’s membership will bring to the liberal family a new and interesting perspective from a strong party currently in government, an additional strong voice in the European Council and a crucial contribution to European liberal politics.
They obviously havent been reading the Irish Opinion Polls? I doubt this will have any effect on the European Elections, but it will allow Fianna Fail to tap into ELDR/ALDE funds for the Lisbon II referendum.