Saturday 20 January 2018

Cormac McQuinn: Ambitious Harris's hopes of winning FG leadership no laughing matter

Simon Harris. Photo: Mark Harrison
Simon Harris. Photo: Mark Harrison
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

As the old saying goes, 'Many a true word is spoken in jest'. Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan's WhatsApp gaffe about Health Minister Simon Harris could be seen to fall into this category.

In his message, leaked from a Fine Gael social media chat, Mr Flanagan said: "He hasn't announced yet but Frances [Fitzgerald] is encouraging him. He wants out of Health."

This has been dismissed as a joke by both men and Mr Harris has emphasised his dedication to the job, saying he's giving it his "absolute all" and will continue to do so. "I am working morning, noon and night as Minister for Health. It is the greatest honour of my life," he said. He also indicated he would serve as Health Minister again if asked by whoever replaces Mr Kenny, saying, "Who serves in what role is a matter for the Taoiseach of the day."

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