Monday 16 December 2019

A pleasant change: straight answers from the Taoiseach

Enda Kenny. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Enda Kenny. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

It has taken Enda Kenny a fortnight to finally and definitively rule out dealing with Michael Lowry.

It has taken him two years to catch up with the view held by the bulk of Irish people that the issue of fatal foetal abnormality must be faced up to.

And during the course of a radio interview yesterday, he actually managed to answer 'yes or no' questions.

The Taoiseach was clear, articulate and up-front in a way that we in the media are not used to.

Perhaps he felt he had nothing to lose after a rough couple of days that caught many within Fine Gael on the hop.

The Government party wants the debate to be based around the economy - but it couldn't have legislated for Mr Kenny insulting the public by refusing to explain "economic jargon", or the emergence of "fiscal space" as a point of controversy.

So there was a lot of pressure on the party leader as he took to the airwaves yesterday - and it's hard not to admit that he delivered a solid performance.

He made a strong argument about why the next government shouldn't rush head-on into an abortion referendum and he was refreshingly honest about the fact that Fine Gael "failed" to live up to its promises on health.

Mr Kenny sounded humble as he credited ordinary people with the recovery, and there was little of the usual antics, of trying to talk around questions that weren't given to him on a list in advance.

There was no talking down the clock.

Asked if he would rule out Mr Lowry, the answer was simply: "Yes."

Thrown a question on whether he will serve a full five years: "Yes."

It's too early to say whether it was a turning point for Mr Kenny, but whatever prompted him to actually answer the questions that were asked is to be welcomed.

More of that please.

Irish Independent

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