Thursday 8 December 2016

Leo's sliding tackle on his own team could end in the red card

Gerard O'Regan

Published 29/03/2014 | 02:30

Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar

LOOKING back through the prism of these helter skelter days, in football terms it was that sliding tackle by Leo Varadkar which proved to be a real game-changer. It was all the more dramatic in that he took the feet from right under a player on his own team. In the process, he nudged the already floundering Alan Shatter ever nearer the sideline – and ultimately closer to the exit gate. No wonder team captain Enda Kenny could hardly conceal his rage.

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Much has happened since Captain Kenny made his plea for team unity. He wanted such dissent kept within the privacy of the dressing room, so to speak. But obviously Varadkar's patience for such a strategy had worn out. That's why he decided to break ranks.

When he said the whistleblowers were "distinguished'', rather than "disgusting'', he put a political dagger through the heart of Alan Shatter. That raised the stakes to a previously unprecedented level.

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