Thursday 8 December 2016

What goes up must come down

Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 14/02/2016 | 02:30

Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/REUTERS
Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/REUTERS

It may have taken two weeks, but Enda Kenny finally met someone on the campaign trail who was genuinely pleased to be seen and photographed with him.

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Less flatteringly for the Taoiseach, it was only his wife, Fionnuala, whose job it is to put up with his funny little ways. Still, at least that's one No 1 preference in the bag. Unless the former press officer for Fianna Fail is still a secret Soldier of Destiny. Don't panic, Enda, those transfers still count.

The Taoiseach had a good week, all things considered. He didn't fall over, punch a baby, or tell any of those far-fetched stories about meeting a man with two pints.

For Enda, it's all about managing expectations. When you and your coalition partners hoovered up a whopping 55pc of the vote between you last time, the only way is down. What matters is: how deep can you sink before you're not waving but drowning?

Micheal Martin has the opposite problem. For him, the only way is up after Fianna Fail's disastrous 2011 result. His main worry is going up far enough to convince his colleagues that it was the rising son wot won it, rather than just an inevitable bounce in the face of an unpopular coalition.

The last thing the Corkman needed as polling date nears was a reappearance by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. So, sod's law being what it is, up he popped.

Out of the blue, Ahern declared that he doesn't foresee the two Civil War rivals entering government together. Though if he was that good at foreseeing the future, surely Bertie would have jumped ship before the recession hit the proverbial fan? Oh, that's right, he did.

Sunday Independent

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