Ahhh Dick Spring (who used to be one of my local TD’s growing up)…In his stand up show Dermot Morgan used to ponder whether that was the name of a person or a contraceptive device.
The really thing which was the kicker for him was that prior to the '93 election, his party had been the effective opposition and were fairly proactive about harrying the government. When they went into government the expectation was that they would keep it honest. When they were seen to be doling out jobs for the boys, just like everyone else, any moral authority they might have had eroded away. And the 1993 election was a blip for them (as indeed was getting 37 seats in 2011).
I have met him a few times over the years (coming from the same town). He seemed a nice enough chap.
Edit: I was trying to sort the Chronology out in my head…Of course, the whole Harry Whelehan/Brendan Smith affair happened in 1994 which brought down the coalition with Fianna Fail, and gave us the Rainbow Coalition…How could I forget Johnny Brutal as Taoiseach?