Thursday 24 August 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

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

Shane Coleman

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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