Kathy Sheridan: Is Stephen Donnelly out of his depth as Minister for Health?

Despite his armour-plated confidence, the Fianna Fáiler fails to convince

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly: Stratospheric levels of self-confidence are required to stride into the hottest job in Government mid-pandemic, with no ministerial experience of any kind and both your secretary general and chief medical officer vanishing out the door. Photograph:  Julien Behal

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly: Stratospheric levels of self-confidence are required to stride into the hottest job in Government mid-pandemic, with no ministerial experience of any kind and both your secretary general and chief medical officer vanishing out the door. Photograph: Julien Behal

If Stephen Donnelly is fond of marking anniversaries, he surely raised a glass on Sunday. Four years in Fianna Fáil. Many words of sympathetic coverage in a Sunday newspaper suggesting caddish attempts by colleagues to undermine him. Four years since he abandoned the Social Democrats –the party he co-founded – to become an Independent again, then to join the party which he had catapulted tons of excrement at since his election as an Independent in 2011.

As a simple Fianna Fáil TD in February 2017, he had only his constituents to worry about and used his Sunday newspaper column to explain why he was now on his fourth iteration as a TD in six years. Responders were mean. That evening he tweeted : “Kids are sick, Scotland won, and everybody hates me. Not gonna lie, I’ve had better weekends.”

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