IT'S hard to imagine Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar retiring to an alcove in the Merrion Hotel to trash out a solution to a difference between their parties over a quiet pint.
For starters, neither are big drinkers but more importantly their relationship has always been very formal and business like.
They are now set to share the Office of the Taoiseach and their political careers are entwined for the next five years.
Martin needs Varadkar to ensure he can fulfil his life-long goal of becoming the leader of the country he has dedicated much of his life to serving.
Similarly, Varadkar needs Martin to convince Fianna Fáil TDs to vote him into office in two and half years time. There’s no guarantee this will happen.
Martin has always been a man of his word but by December 2022 there is every chance Fianna Fáil will be preparing for life after the Cork TD.
Martin may set out his exit strategy before his leaves the Taoiseach’s office but this is unlikely given his determination to hold on to power for as long as possible.
Either way, he will spend the coming years looking over his shoulder for Varadkar and his would-be successor.
From tomorrow afternoon, Martin will be the Taoiseach and will have the upper hand in the relationship for the next five years.
No matter what way you look at it, the Taoiseach holds more power and responsibility than the Tánaiste, even if it is a beefed up office.
This will take some adjusting to for Varadkar, who has become accustomed to the trappings of office.
One of the first things he will have to do is pack his bags and move out of the State-owned Stewarts Lodge on the Farmleigh Estate and move back to his two bed apartment.
Clearing out the office tonight. This portrait has hung proudly over the fireplace for 9 years. Beidh sé ar ais pic.twitter.com/f822EciGKR— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) June 26, 2020
The EU and international leaders he has built relationships will now call Martin to get Ireland’s views on matters of importance.
He will be counting down the days until he returns to Taoiseach’s Office.
If the arrangement is to work until and beyond there will have to a level of trust between the two leaders who have spent years tearing strips off each other.
Trust comes with time and cannot be rushed.
But it will suit Varadkar to have Martin in place when his time comes to take the top job – better the devil you know, especially if he has a reputation for keeping his word.
This shared interest in holding power, while fight off the more extreme Climate Action measures proposed by the Greens, might make for good partnership.
Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan are set to play the key roles in an historic coalition government. Our political team look at each individual throughout their political careers.