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How does a government handover work? The Explainer podcast asks an insider

Is it a seamless process or can there be bumps in the road? We ask former government press secretary Feargal Purcell as the new government gets settled in.


THE PAST WEEK has seen a new government getting settled in, with new ministers named and even some new departments formed.

But how exactly does a handover from one government to another work? Did Leo Varadkar leave a ‘how to’ manual for Micheál Martin as he took over as Taoiseach? Do ministers inform their predecessors what to do – and what about the civil servants who work in the government departments?

To find out more about the nuts and bolts of the whole thing, we talked to Feargal Purcell. Currently head of public affairs at Edelman, Purcell was appointed by the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the role of Government Press Secretary in 2011. He was re-appointed to the role in 2017 by the then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and held the role for six months. Prior to this, he worked as head of the Fine Gael press office and as its deputy director of communications.

All this to say – he knows a thing or two about how a government handover works. on this week’s episode of our weekly podcast The Explainer, presenter Sinéad O’Carroll asked him about the intricacies of the handover and how things might be progressing for the current government right now.

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Source: The Explainer/SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenter Sinéad O’Carroll, producer Aoife Barry, assistant producer and technical operator Nicky Ryan, and executive producer Christine Bohan. Guest was Feargal Purcell. Design by Palash Somani.

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