Thursday 23 February 2017

Former teenage tearaway 'obsessed' with being Taoiseach

Simon Coveney may not have his rival Leo Varadkar's talent or charisma - but he is the ultimate safe pair of hands

Shane Coleman

Shane Coleman

Ambitious: Simon Coveney. Photo: Tom Burke
Ambitious: Simon Coveney. Photo: Tom Burke

Chalk and cheese. The two main leadership contenders to succeed Enda Kenny could hardly be more different. Politics has always come easy to Leo Varadkar - like a county minor star, great things were expected of him from the time he was elected a councillor.

No so for Simon Coveney. He's got to where he is today by application and perseverance. He is Steve Ovett to Varadkar's Sebastian Coe - elbow grease and a ferocious work ethic rather than effortless talent; more Larry Tompkins than Gooch Cooper. More Roy, than Robbie, Keane.

More Enda Kenny than say Garret FitzGerald. And, perhaps - to recall a different leadership contest in a different party - more George Colley than Charlie Haughey (though, a shared very obvious charisma aside, it wouldn't be fair to compare Leo to CJH).

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