Wednesday 20 June 2018

Philip Ryan: Enda the enigma has severed ties with former Fine Gael colleagues

 

NOW A MAN WITH NO POLITICAL FRIENDS: Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny has become somewhat of a mystery to his former Fine Gael colleagues who no longer hear from him. Picture: Barry Cronin
NOW A MAN WITH NO POLITICAL FRIENDS: Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny has become somewhat of a mystery to his former Fine Gael colleagues who no longer hear from him. Picture: Barry Cronin
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

There are no friends in politics or, at least, very few. It's not a team sport. It's every man and woman for themselves. It doesn't matter if you're in a political party or part of some loose-knit alliance of like-minded politicians. Once the pistol is fired on an election campaign, every politician is on their own in the trenches. It's a matter of self-preservation.

With that background, it is interesting to look at the curious case of Enda Kenny post-life as Taoiseach. Once the country's most-powerful politician, he now lives an entirely different life. He has taken to the speaking engagement circuit, as world leaders of significance do upon leaving their day job. The Dail register of members' interests show trips to New York, London, Liverpool and Newcastle. A source close to Kenny said he spent last week in New Orleans. Those who know him personally say he is enjoying life after politics.

They say there's "not a chance in hell" he will run for the Irish Presidency. His name is regularly mentioned within the European People's Party as a possible successor to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. However, he is expected to lose out on a nomination for the top job in Brussels to EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

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