Wednesday 21 February 2018

Kenny will wait until injury time before making changes

John Downing

John Downing

ENDA Kenny knows that most successful managers make important team changes after half-time. He is going to follow that example – but not yet, preferring to continue into 2014 with the first 15 he unveiled on March 9, 2011.

Kenny will recall that his first government post, a junior ministry given to him by Garret FitzGerald on February 13, 1986, was a sidebar in what was seen as a major publicity disaster for that ill-starred Fine Gael-Labour coalition. The utter refusal of Labour's Health Minister Barry Desmond to move to another department had left FitzGerald looking even more inept and weak and his government even more unpopular than ever.

Mr Kenny's relatively low-key job, with responsibility for youth policy and training, was one of the few positive stories at local level to emerge from a total botch. So he has grounds for staying with his 'not-broken-don't-fix-it' approach to freshening up his team. But his decision to wait into 2014 also suggests that the appointment of a new European Commissioner may well be part of his eventual plan to reshape his team. The European Commissioner's appointment remains the biggest plum in the gift of any Taoiseach.

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