Growing rift - Taoiseach under pressure

DESPITE the efforts of ministers loyal to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the Government will find it hard to dispel perceptions that a rift over his leadership is growing within Fine Gael.

 The latest senior minister to come to his defence is Finance Minister Michael Noonan, the most senior minister to back Enda Kenny in the face of a damning call for a change of leadership in the party over the summer months.

In contrast with the line taken by some backbenchers, mostly in private, it has to be said, besides Kerry TD Brendan Griffin, who want Mr Kenny to go, Mr Noonan said last night in Brussels that the country is fortunate to have him as Taoiseach. In an earlier circling of the wagons, Education Minister Richard Bruton warned against undermining the Taoiseach’s authority.

What the public finds perplexing was the elevation of former health minister James Reilly as deputy leader of the party. Not only did he fail to reform the country’s ailing health service, he also failed to be re-elected in the recent general election and was appointed to the Seanad by Mr Kenny.


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