Leo Varadkar is an Irish Fine Gael politician.
The Dublin Bay South by-election represents something of an electoral earthquake for Fianna Fáil. It secured only 4.6pc of first preferences, a paltry 1,247 votes. If this result were replicated in a general election, the party would be wiped out. The problem is not just that the vote was so low, but more the fact that Fianna Fáil simply did not register as an option for voters.
Dublin Bay South voters are picking a new TD today. For the rest of the nation tomorrow’s count will offer a chance to read the runes on all our leaders’ – and their parties’ – political futures.
In a shock development, Fine Gael is now left wondering if picking a dynastic scion who helped found a conservative party, to run against a feminist icon campaigner and legislator, was the brightest of ideas.
The rallying cry of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar (‘Fourth wave won’t lead to lockdown: Varadkar’, Irish Independent, July 3) in his insistence “there is no reason to believe we will be forced to go into a fourth lockdown because of the variant” is an empty promise, a declaration which is unsubstantiated.
‘Ihave to tell you,” Shane Coleman declared on Newstalk Breakfast (Mon-Fri 7am), “the texts coming in to the show are angry. And they’re all asking the question: who’s running the country? Who’s making the decisions? Is it the Government, or is it, as people think, Nphet?”
A worrying reluctance to take the Covid-19 vaccine among a sizeable minority of young people – and a conflict of official advice about summer travel from Government and the health experts – are compounding the challenges to defeat the virus.
The week began with Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar bigging up the chances of a united Ireland in his lifetime — and ended with new DUP leader Edwin Poots resigning after just 20 days, following a rebellion in his party.
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