Tuesday 12 December 2017

Noonan will be left with the job of telling Kenny it is time to go

They are former enemies but the Taoiseach and the Finance Minister now have a shared interest in survival

Experienced: Finance Minister Michael Noonan (left) and Taoiseach Enda Kenny were once foes but are now close political allies. Photo: Tom Burke
Experienced: Finance Minister Michael Noonan (left) and Taoiseach Enda Kenny were once foes but are now close political allies. Photo: Tom Burke
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

On February 15, 2001 - the day after St Valentine's Day - at around 1.45pm, Enda Kenny listened carefully to a voicemail on his phone asking him to attend a meeting with the newly elected Fine Gael leader Michael Noonan.

A week earlier, Noonan secured a landslide victory over Kenny to replace John Bruton as leader of Fine Gael. It had been a nasty campaign and there was no love lost between the two seasoned politicians.

Noonan's camp tried to paint an image of Kenny as a happy-go-lucky political lightweight who wasn't up to the job and suggested his leadership would essentially be an extension of the Bruton regime.

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