Monday 18 December 2017

Now we need real leadership

THE Fianna Fail leadership battle has been full of surprises. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the newest -- that the man most damaged by it may be Brian Lenihan. Yet that is the immediate conclusion to be drawn from the Taoiseach's victory in last night's confidence vote.

As someone once said of university politics, the contests are so bitter because the stakes are so low. That would not usually be the case with the leadership of Fianna Fail, but this time an election is only weeks away and the dominant Irish political party faces something close to destruction.

If that happens, Mr Cowen will be gone, despite his impressive tactical win. In such circumstances, one wonders what was the point of it all. Whatever the purpose was, who did what in this heave may well have a considerable bearing on who does succeed Mr Cowen in a couple of months' time.

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