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Christina Finn
Teflon Tánaiste

'We'll go the distance': Tánaiste steadies ship as another coalition leader heads for the door

The players may have changed, but the game remains the same, was the Tánaiste’s message today.

MICHEÁL MARTIN WAS being dubbed the ‘Teflon Tánaiste’ by some today as he paid tribute to the second coalition party leader to announce they would be stepping down. 

As soon as Eamon Ryan told the media at Government Buildings that he was stepping down as the Green Party leader, Martin was hot on his heels and out at the mic telling reporters that all is well.

“Nothing to see here,” was the message.  

When asked if the leaders can continue to bat away the suggestions of an early election, he said the programme for government remains the focus.

This government has never been about “personalities”, he said.

Martin said this government will “go the distance”, stating that the key focus now is on the budget in autumn. 

The players may have changed, but the game remains the same, was the Tánaiste’s message today.

He has seen Leo Varadkar head for the hills and now Ryan is packing it in. 

Martin has had to adjust to a new Taoiseach in Simon Harris, and now another new coalition partner, whoever that might be.

The scenes were familiar today. 

Staff (and Minister of State Malcolm Noonan) with their offices looking out at the courtyard were seen peering out when Varadkar made his speech. It was the same today, with the faces of workers looking out at Ryan as he announced he wouldn’t be seeking re-election. 

156Eamon Ryan Resigns_90707566

Martin is the “steadying hand” in this government, joked one government source, stating that only a year or so ago, the speculation was that a heave could be imminent against him from his own party. 

Now he is the last one standing. 

The Fianna Fáil leader is happy with the local and European election results, retaining the crown as the largest party in local government. 

All three party leaders have been at pains to pour cold water over any suggestion that this government won’t go the full term. Martin was on message again today. 

The budget is the next key item on the agenda, he said, stating that the finance and public expenditure ministers are currently working on the summer economic statement which will be brought to Cabinet shortly.

The Tánaiste said the government is “determined” to deliver a budget and go all the way. 

With yet more uncertainty being sparked today, there are many in Leinster House who have their doubts. 

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