Tuesday 17 January 2017

'Gaffer' Enda has done some of his best work overseas

Published 17/03/2016 | 02:30

Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaks during the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon at the US Capitol in Washington. Photo: Reuters
Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaks during the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon at the US Capitol in Washington. Photo: Reuters

Enda Kenny began his first Dáil term as party leader with an apology back in September 2002. He publicly told a tired old joke, which had aged very poorly, and had the 'n-word' as a punchline. At the time we were told that Mr Kenny was "adjusting" to a new role in which he was a potential Taoiseach and he would have to curb his naturally "folksy" laid-back approach to public life.

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But those periodic gaffes have kept coming and coming. His loyal defenders always insist he is taken far too literally and that critics are in the business of "knocking Enda" every time they can.

And he has often seemed at his most gaffe-prone when on public duty overseas. There was 'Davos One' in January 2012, when he told the high-flying world leaders at that posh conference in Switzerland that the Irish economic crash was caused when "everyone went mad borrowing". For many people he was 100pc right. But it contradicted his earlier statements exonerating the ordinary Irish citizen.

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