Sunday 4 December 2016

Perfect political spouse acts as sturdy sounding board in troubled times

Gerard O'Regan

Published 05/11/2016 | 02:30

Enda Kenny first set eyes on wife Fionnuala in the Dáil Photo: Tom Burke
Enda Kenny first set eyes on wife Fionnuala in the Dáil Photo: Tom Burke

The story goes he thought her "a spectacular beauty''. And then one day, during some obscure Dáil debate, he saw her in the press gallery distributing documents to the assembled journalists. She was wearing a blue dress which somehow turned his head completely. That's the way the story goes.

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The two-part exploration of Enda Kenny's life on RTÉ this week did not feature such an aside. But it was reaffirmed once again that his wife Fionnuala is a major influence on his political career. It was confirmation of what is common knowledge in political circles - in as much as people outside a family circle can know about such things.

In any case, the programme resurrected the tale of how the then Fine Gael-man-about-town went to various lengths to woo a woman who was working for Charles Haughey's rigidly controlled Fianna Fáil. It surely was a case of love blossoming across enemy lines.

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