Sunday 30 April 2017

Niall O'Connor: Gamble on a vacancy that may never arise

'The focus for Mr Donnelly now will be positioning himself for a place in the next cabinet.' Photo: Fergal Phillips
'The focus for Mr Donnelly now will be positioning himself for a place in the next cabinet.' Photo: Fergal Phillips
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Dick Roche could barely believe his eyes. To his left a sea of jubilant Fine Gael supporters flooded the Greystones count centre celebrating the 2011 election of three of their TDs. To his right was Labour, the victorious party that capitalised on the demise of Fianna Fáil. As Mr Roche contemplated his political downfall, he might well have caught a glimpse of the candidate whose subsequent election took many by surprise.

Months after arriving on the political scene in 2011, Stephen Donnelly was on the cusp of causing a major disruption to the status quo.

The 35-year-old Harvard graduate and former McKinsey consultant said goodbye to the private sector as he embarked on a career in politics.

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