Friday 23 March 2018

The Irish woman who was once behind new UK Prime Minister Theresa May

Zoe Healy worked with Theresa May in the early 2000s
Zoe Healy worked with Theresa May in the early 2000s

Tomas Heneghan

A Dublin woman who previously worked with Theresa May has said she believes the new UK prime minister will work well with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the aftermath of Brexit.

Zoe Healy, who worked with Ms May in the early 2000s, said the new UK leader is forward-thinking but has a keen awareness of our country's shared history.

"Theresa would be aware of what Brexit could mean for Ireland, positively or negatively, and that Ireland will play an important role in terms of their negotiations out of the EU," Ms Healy told the Irish Independent.

Read more: Theresa May appointed UK's second female Prime Minister

"I think she will be turning her attention to Ireland's place in all this, definitely," she said.

Ms Healy, who began working with Theresa May in 2003 as her media advisor while she was chairperson of the Conservative Party, said that new prime minister has already established relations with Ireland and in particular with the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald.

"She already has a good working relationship with the Irish Government," said Ms Healy. "She has worked very closely with Frances Fitzgerald because the Home Secretary, is pretty much the same as the Department of Justice. They would have a good, strong working relationship already. I'd say she'll probably be meeting with Charlie Flanagan and also with Enda Kenny, sooner rather than later."

Read more: Theresa May vows to govern for all not just 'privileged few' - New PM's speech in full

Ms Healy, who also worked with Fine Gael on its 2007 General Election campaign, said she had every confidence Ms May would be a great leader. "I had no doubt that she could [lead the Conservative Party]. I always knew that she was leadership material. What makes me so pleased is that she's never been one to talk about it," Ms Healy said.

"We could be looking at Hillary Clinton, Theresa May and Angela Merkel all working together - that would be something else."

Ms Healy, who now runs her own public relations firm, Zenith PR, said that she is confident Ms May and Mr Kenny will work well together.

"I've worked with them both and I think that they are absolutely resolute in doing what's best for their country," she said. "I know that Theresa May and Enda Kenny will be talking soon about maintaining the good relationship that the UK and Ireland have."

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business