By what yardstick is Kenny a great leader?

Fergus Finlay is a champion of the young and vulnerable in our society and would have first-hand knowledge of that continuing scandal of neglect and deprivation of thousands of children in Ireland at this time.

By what yardstick is Kenny a great leader?

By any yardstick you would have to say that he is an outstanding citizen, but, for the life of me, I am struggling to identify that yardstick by which he places Enda Kenny on a possible list of great taoisaigh (Irish Examiner, May 10).

Enda Kenny has presided over a government far removed from that which was elected to serve the people and the common good. Their dirty tricks toolbox has included lack of transparency and accountability and delaying tactics when faced with resolving scandal after scandal, “trial by innuendo” when trying to gain political advantage over opponents, appointments of their ilk to high places shoring up their ability to hold on to power when the need arises. Demonstrations of incompetence abound during his tenure, not to mention the erosion of civil liberties. The list goes on and on.

As for “the great economic recovery” (we’re still €200bn in debt) they were forced to do what any other party in their position would have had to do, borrow their way out of it, and when the going got tough their master juggler just arranged the stretching of the loan (austerity) period through another generation or three to ease the interest repayments. We are still paying €10bn per year in interest payments alone. Sure our great grandchildren won’t mind!

They also failed to challenge the ECB in the European Court of Justice when a yoke of debt weighing multiple billions of euros was illegally placed on the shoulders of every man, woman, and child in Ireland.

While Mr Finlay’s column was going to press so also was a leaked copy of the O’Higgins Report to the media so that the great one’s party could get their particular slant over to the public before the official release.

The not so subtle resignation (removal?) of Alan Shatter bears all the hallmarks of undue interference by government and ‘people in high places’ in what was supposed to be an independent inquiry.

I reread Mr Finlay’s column confident that I would find an element of ball hopping in it which would explain the “great taoisaigh” bit but sadly I could not. However, I do instinctively feel that the honourable Mr Finlay knows in his heart that the real yardstick for leadership and government performance is revealed, not in the much-lauded growth figures nor on the balance sheet, but in the hospital corridors and city doorways and on the many lists of the dispossessed and the neglected in our society.

Joe Brennan


Co Cork

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