Friday 23 February 2018

Enda appears to be dug in for the foreseeable

'More ominously for Enda Kenny, no Fine Gael Taoiseach has been re-elected, and only Garret FitzGerald returned to the office after a period in opposition'

Theresa Reidy

The lull in the political calendar each August delivers news that varies from the weird to the wonderful. This week's pronouncement by the government chief whip Paul Kehoe that he believes Enda Kenny will stay in politics - and not only in politics, but at the top of Irish politics - until the 2020s provided a ripple of distraction at an otherwise quiet time in the news cycle.

Later in the week, senior party figures in Fine Gael were quick to remind us that taoisigh serve at the will of the electorate, a rather important clarification. The discussion that followed Paul Kehoe's contribution is useful, though, and it reminds us of an important feature of Irish politics - long political careers.

Several taoisigh have served multiple terms. Going back to the beginning of the State in 1922, taoisigh have served on average seven years in the office, but there is considerable variation.

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