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Micheál Martin defies political gravity by losing three elections and being dubbed 'former future leader' to become Taoiseach

John Downing


But Fianna Fáil may pay a high price for joining this coalition

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Challenge: Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at Government Buildings during talks on a programme for government. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Challenge: Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at Government Buildings during talks on a programme for government. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Challenge: Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at Government Buildings during talks on a programme for government. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Imagine a keen student of politics trying to grasp the Micheál Martin riddle. He lost three consecutive general elections, in 2011, 2016 and 2020.

And just last week he was left presiding over Fianna Fáil when it had a worse popularity rating than its worst ever electoral meltdown.

But then, with one bound, our hero was set to become Taoiseach. How did he do that?