Sunday 22 October 2017

Elaine Byrne: Trust takes time to earn but seconds to disappear

If the Taoiseach didn't know about Denis O'Brien attending the NYSE, writes Elaine Byrne, then he should have. Full stop

TALK: Taoiseach Enda Kenny, left, greeting US House of Representatives minority leader Nancy Pelosi, right,
with Denis O'Brien, at the American Ireland Fund’s annual national gala in Washington on March 20, 2012
TALK: Taoiseach Enda Kenny, left, greeting US House of Representatives minority leader Nancy Pelosi, right, with Denis O'Brien, at the American Ireland Fund’s annual national gala in Washington on March 20, 2012

THE first time I met Enda Kenny was in the South Court Hotel, off the Raheen roundabout in Limerick city. Michael Noonan's heartland. It was the summer of 2002, and Enda had just become Fine Gael leader that June, 10 years ago next week.



Fine Gael was on its knees after the party's worst ever election results since 1948. The front bench had been virtually wiped out and the party was decimated in Dublin.

I was a student at the University of Limerick, and a member of the Limerick East constituency strategy committee for Fine Gael. One of Enda's first tasks as new leader was to visit our organisation, which was utterly demoralised and dejected after Michael's resignation as party leader.

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