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Helen McEntee in profile: the rise of a Fine Gael leader in waiting

After a tragic start in politics, the Meath politician has risen fast through the ranks. Now speculation is rife that she could eventually replace Leo Varadkar. Kim Bielenberg profiles the Justice Minister

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Powerful figure: Helen McEntee, in Slane, Co Meath, came across as shy and reserved when she first became TD in 2013 but few now doubt her grasp of the issues. Photo by David Conachy

Powerful figure: Helen McEntee, in Slane, Co Meath, came across as shy and reserved when she first became TD in 2013 but few now doubt her grasp of the issues. Photo by David Conachy

Justice Minister Helen McEntee and husband Paul Hickey seem like the quintessential modern couple, juggling work and family commitments. Photo by David Conachy

Justice Minister Helen McEntee and husband Paul Hickey seem like the quintessential modern couple, juggling work and family commitments. Photo by David Conachy

Helen McEntee's late father Shane McEntee in 2005 during his by-election win

Helen McEntee's late father Shane McEntee in 2005 during his by-election win

Helen McEntee with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and her mother Kathleen after she was won the Meath East by-election in 2013, taking the seat her father Shane formerly held. Photo by Frank McGrath

Helen McEntee with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and her mother Kathleen after she was won the Meath East by-election in 2013, taking the seat her father Shane formerly held. Photo by Frank McGrath

Helen McEntee's former constituency rival Regina Doherty

Helen McEntee's former constituency rival Regina Doherty

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Powerful figure: Helen McEntee, in Slane, Co Meath, came across as shy and reserved when she first became TD in 2013 but few now doubt her grasp of the issues. Photo by David Conachy

Helen McEntee now seems to have a stock response when asked if she hopes to become Fine Gael leader. She gave it another airing this week when talking to Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1.

Asked about succeeding Leo Varadkar, she made it clear that she has ambition, but she is focused on her current role as Justice Minister. Of course, she added Leo has her full support.


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