Monday 23 January 2017

James Downey: Kenny's first year marked by confidence and political skill

Published 25/02/2012 | 05:00

ENDA Kenny has been a member of the Dail since 1975, when he won a by-election at the age of 24. In all that time, he spent only two-and-a-half years in a cabinet job. Along with his lack of experience, his boyish appearance and folksy manner made it hard for people to take him seriously.

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Yet he had 'form' long before he became Taoiseach a year ago after the most sensational Irish election since 1918.

When he took over the leadership of a shattered Fine Gael following the 2002 General Election he promised to "electrify" the party. For this, he was widely mocked. But he did indeed electrify it, with the simple -- but also classic -- strategy of cultivating the grassroots.

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