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Michael Kelly: 'Tone-deaf Fine Gael needs to quickly find a sense of empathy for those who get up early'

Michael Kelly


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Failure: ‘The biggest own goals in this campaign are down to a basic lack of compassion and empathy. Both are at the heart of the crisis around healthcare and housing.’ Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Failure: ‘The biggest own goals in this campaign are down to a basic lack of compassion and empathy. Both are at the heart of the crisis around healthcare and housing.’ Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Failure: ‘The biggest own goals in this campaign are down to a basic lack of compassion and empathy. Both are at the heart of the crisis around healthcare and housing.’ Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Any therapist worth spending the money to see will tell you that the first step in addressing an issue is to admit that there is a problem in the first place. Maybe that's what Leo Varadkar had in mind during the television debate on Wednesday evening when he admitted that he finds it hard to show empathy towards the plight of the many people suffering in our country.

On the other hand, it is more likely a public relations strategy devised by spin doctors to soften the Taoiseach's image as someone who appears to lack compassion for those who are struggling.

I can picture the scene as Mr Varadkar's handlers readied him for the debate. "Show a bit of vulnerability… let the people know you find it hard to express emotion," or some such shtick.


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