Political Notebook: Leo Varadkar must learn the lessons of his defeat to Micheal Martin
It is being said that Leo Varadkar has been badly bruised by the events of last week. Bruises heal. The damage could be more serious than that, however, akin to a surgical incision. The question is whether a vein has been nicked, and whether Varadkar will slowly bleed out between now and the next election.
In this the season of awards, the Politician of the Year must surely have been taken by Micheal Martin, who at year's end has becalmed Fianna Fail and deftly scalped the Taoiseach, leaving hanging the most serious questions as to Varadkar's temperament and naivety and, consequently, whether he has the required experience for the top job at this stage in his political career.
In some ways, Varadkar's attempt to stand by his Tanaiste, and the former Justice Minister, Frances Fitzgerald was admirable. She is a personable woman with notable achievements. But as the controversy continued, other issues came into play.