Saturday 20 July 2019

Varadkar needs to rest before facing 'big issues', says Ahern

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Photo: Frank McGrath
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Photo: Frank McGrath

Colm Kelpie

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has urged Leo Varadkar to take the summer months to read himself into the role, as he faces a raft of "big issues".

As for outgoing Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Mr Ahern advised him to keep busy and active in retirement from office.

"He [Mr Kenny] should take a rest for the summer and then get on with doing whatever it is that he wants to do," Mr Ahern told the Irish Independent.

"You're best to be active. I have certainly found the things that I have been involved in, you're better off to keep your mind going.

"If you just stop altogether after being so busy, it's very difficult."

For Mr Varadkar, Mr Ahern said at least he has the summer to get up to speed.

"There's so much involved, especially with Brexit, you need to get out and get briefed in so many ways. With Brexit, not that much will happen over the next few months, so they have to get on top of it," Mr Ahern added.

Mr Ahern, who left office in 2008, said Brexit obviously presented the new Taoiseach with a number of serious issues, including the arrangements for the financial services industry, security co-operation with the British, and how Ireland builds a bridge with the UK after Brexit.

"They're all big issues and they're all going to come up between now and the election period which will probably be sometime late next year."

Irish Independent

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