Wednesday 22 February 2017

Unspoken leadership contest casts shadow over talks

The contrast in styles of Varadkar and Coveney indicate that the race to succeed Kenny has begun, writes Eoin O'Malley

Eoin O'Malley

Published 01/05/2016 | 02:30

Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar
Simon Coveney

The image of Enda Kenny hangs like a pall over the formation of a government.

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Kenny was always going to concede on Irish Water and water charges. As I observed here on the day of the election count, he would concede anything to get back into government. He looked a broken man that day, but it is well known that he's resilient and he saw an opportunity in the fact that no other government was likely. He chose to fight on.

Shane Ross later called him a political corpse, but he was only partly right. A bit like a dying Godfather, he might be weak, but he still has power. It's difficult to remove him because there's uncertainty about who would succeed him and how long that might take. An election at this time would be chaotic for Fine Gael.

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