Wednesday 23 August 2017

Kenny's record will stand up to scrutiny

'Enda Kenny was rated by the Barack Obama White House, and by the EU Commission President Jose Barosso, not for any special intellect or skills, but as someone who was guiding the Irish economy out of recession.' Photo: Tom Burke
'Enda Kenny was rated by the Barack Obama White House, and by the EU Commission President Jose Barosso, not for any special intellect or skills, but as someone who was guiding the Irish economy out of recession.' Photo: Tom Burke
John Downing

John Downing

History will very probably judge Enda Kenny more positively than many contemporary commentators and even many of his own party colleagues.

He is by now Fine Gael's longest-serving Taoiseach, and while he appeared to lack the gravitas or intellect of his party predecessors, Garret FitzGerald or John Bruton, he represented Ireland well on the world stage. In fact this "unlikely Taoiseach" was often better received in Brussels, London, and Washington than he was at home.

On the crucial issue of the economy, things went from a slough of despond in March 2011, when Enda Kenny took office, to a surprisingly quick economic revival. Unemployment has more than halved on his watch while emigration has become immigration. With such economic progress, the hopeless mishandling of the February 2016 Fine Gael re-election bid will be pondered for many years to come.

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