Monday 18 December 2017

Chris Donoghue: No free pass for Taoiseach – it's time you answered the questions Mr Kenny

The Taoiseach's natural energy and enthusiasm is once again on show with his grand tour of the United States. Local TV news in southern Texas last night, where I currently find myself, carried a report saying President Obama had shared a joke and a bowl of shamrock with the Prime Minister of Ireland, a country on a comeback.

As a nation, we got very hung up on the infamously negative 'Vanity Fair' article on Irish ghost estates a couple of years ago, so perception is important to us. The Taoiseach has achievements and a positive perception attached to his name but, alongside it, he is managing a level of media avoidance at home that rendered his predecessors Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern out of touch, followed by out of a job.

Take the second anniversary of the Coalition earlier this month, an occasion Mr Kenny and his handlers managed to navigate without any proper examination of his governance. It was marked by an 1,100-word piece written by the Taoiseach in the 'Irish Times'.

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