Taoiseach provides cover story for Time

Fri, Oct 5, 2012, 01:00

The Taoiseach has made the cover of Time magazine with an accompanying headline declaring: "The Celtic Comeback".

The article, written by Europe editor Catherine Mayer, discusses Enda Kenny's rebuilding of the Irish economy and "what the rest of Europe can learn from him".

In an accompanying article on the Time website, Ms Mayer said she was interested in interviewing Mr Kenny because he is "somebody who has a gulf between the way he’s perceived in his home country and the way he is perceived abroad".

Ms Mayer said the Taoiseach was "extremely likable" and "much more fluent and compelling" in small groups than he would appear if judged from big media set pieces. "When cameras train on him he seems to freeze up, which is an interesting problem for somebody in that position. But when he’s relaxed he’s interesting and has a lot to say.

"He didn’t do anything that one would think of as particularly foolish. He’s certainly endearing and has a slightly childlike quality to his enthusiasm," Ms Mayer said, adding the Taoiseach, possessed "a real sense of shrewdness".

Ms Mayer said it was her belief politicians in Ireland are less insulated from reality than in other countries.

"I suspect that in Ireland more politicians know people who are themselves directly in trouble than is the case in many of the more featherbed capitals of the world. So he’s [Mr Kenny] not himself directly suffering but I’m pretty sure he does know what’s going on."

Seán Lemass and Eamon de Valera are former taoisigh who have also made the cover of Time.

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