PEOPLE of a certain age may recall learning as children Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare where, against the odds, the slow moving hare defeats his speedy rival through patience and perseverance.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has more than the touch of the tortoise about him.
He is the Apostle of Patience and it is a characteristic that has served both him and his party well.
Taking over leadership of Fianna Fáil when it was in freefall, he has exhibited grit, determination and perseverance in trying to drag it from the bottom of the political pile to once more become the country’s biggest party.
Two opinion polls published yesterday vary only in the extent to which it has gained traction, but both show that Fianna Fáil has overtaken Fine Gael as the most popular political party in the country.
Some Fine Gael backbenchers fear Martin is simply biding his time before pulling the plug on the Government and forcing a snap election within the next few months.
But that would be a hare-brained idea.
He appears to be content to play the long game in trying to restore Fianna Fáil to prominence.
In that, he is reminiscent of his famous fellow Corkonian Jack Lynch, who was also more a tortoise than a hare and triumphed as a national hero for many years as a result.
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