Wednesday 15 August 2018

By sticking together, political rivals can weather Brexit storm

In going the extra mile for his Tanaiste, Varadkar stands accused of political naivety, writes David Davin-Power

Parting of the ways: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and former Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Parting of the ways: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and former Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Shortly after she was appointed minister for justice, Frances Fitzgerald had the tricky job of chairing a meeting to agree the department's response to the Toland Report, which had branded it as "secretive, inward looking and silo based".

As she went around the table seeking reactions, one senior mandarin quipped: "Minister, it's a reputation we're rather proud of."

The new minister told the story later to illustrate what she saw at the time as the sangfroid of her new charges, who had tried to lighten the mood at a difficult time with a jest about their standing.

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