‘Neither gender nor geography should be considered when choosing a leader' – Daly

May 28th, 2017 10:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

Jim Daly's daughter Emma has a pat on the back for Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar during his speech at the opening of her dad's new office at High Street in Skibbereen last summer. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

Share this article

Fine Gael needs to pick the best person to get the party back into government after the next election, and Leo Varadkar is that man, writes Jim Daly

Fine Gael needs to pick the best person to get the party back into government after the next election, and Leo Varadkar is that man, writes Jim Daly

AS someone who chaired dozens of interview panels for very senior positions within the education sector – I never ever stopped at the address line while perusing a CV for a position in such an important role. 

Similarly, in choosing the next party leader and possible Taoiseach, I have looked well beyond the Carrigaline and Castleknock addresses in making my decision.

Leo Varadkar, in my opinio, offers Fine Gael the best possibility of taking the party back into government after the next election. Leo is a unique politician who transcends party politics and appeals to a very wide electorate.  

Fine Gael requires the maximum number of votes in the next election in order to get back into government to implement our policies. 

Leo as a leader will be a radical and responsible revolutionary and reforming in bringing about a united Ireland, not just geographically, but socially as well.  

The innovation and creativity shown by Leo to date with such initiatives as the abolition of the travel tax, reducing hospitality VAT to 9%, The Gathering and the Wild Atlantic Way have transformed the tourism industry, creating hundreds and hundreds of jobs here in West Cork.  

Neither gender nor geography, guilt nor groupthink is an appropriate consideration when it comes to choosing, arguably, one of the most important and influential positions in Ireland today.  

The fact that only two of the 11 TDs in Munster are declaring for Simon Coveney, or that most of the TDs supporting Minister Coveney’s campaign are from the greater Pale – including his Meath-based campaign manager, is a very welcome indicator that the majority of TDs have taken the necessary time and attention in choosing their next leader and dispensed with the historically shallow and easy geographical opt-outs.

I believe Leo Varadkar is a once-in-a-lifetime generational talent who has extraordinary leadership vision and skills, and the courage and compassion to lead Ireland in to the next phase post the economic crisis. 

I passionately believe in his commitment and determination to transform the Ireland we live in by encouraging everyone to make an appropriate contribution and thereby ensuring opportunity for every citizen.  

There is never a wrong time to do the right thing and my sincere appreciation goes to those who have supported me in my decision to vote for Leo Varadkar.  

Of course there are those who don’t agree, but I am acutely aware that doing the right thing is not always popular and doing the popular thing is not always right.


Jim Daly is a Fine Gael TD for Cork South West and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs.

Share this article