27 Jun 2022

Longford's Mattie Fox: After a promising start Taoiseach Varadkar has disappointed greatly

Mattie Fox

Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox

I listened to Leo Varadkar speaking to Marian Finucane on Saturday last. Taoiseach Varadkar is a clever guy, and this no longer is necessarily a complimentary thing to say.

He answered Marian’s questioning with calm deliberation, even when he was engaging in monstrous whitewashing and blurring of the reality of what occurred with former Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

I’ve never held Government office, nor shall I ever.

However, I’ve been involved in significantly serious operations, and know first hand, the sheer volume of email traffic that occurs every day, in any administrative occupation.

When on a large scale tour of, say, the United States, as main manager one had experience of a significant number of employees, with several heads of departments.

Take for example the Tour Manager, who answers immediately to the overall manager per se. The tour manager receives reports from all structures. On a tour bringing 150 people to every venue, the amount of emails incoming every morning is truly gigantic.

Every single email passes, either by cc copy or by direct contact, to the overall manager.

On a tour of the United States, taking in multiple dates in multiple territories, one has maybe twenty individual sets of communications representing twenty dates.

This is nothing like the administration of a country, where the government has over 3,000 civil servants.

How many emails does Michael O’Leary read in a day?

I’ve travelled many times to the US, where every single morning, I would have up to one hundred and twenty emails waiting on my computer.

That’s 840 per week - acts still work on Sundays!

Of course one doesn’t have to read every single one in full, but the manager must be responsible, and could not be seen to ‘miss’ a single email. In any case, especially important mail is flagged in red.

Leo Varadkar talking about the number of emails, giving what he knows are huge numbers, is a case of defending the absolutely indefensible.

Government ministers are always busy; I wouldn’t consider taking such a role without being sure of my own ability.

For the Taoiseach of our country to call the Dáil a “kangaroo court” is not only a very dangerous departure from correct behaviour, it is utterly wrong.

No such act should be alluded to, at all.

Leo has disappointed greatly in his outing as Taoiseach, thus far, after a wonderful promising start. Yet he still has real intelligence.

Maybe he’ll recover.

But he should not cite hundreds of emails as even the remotest reason for the Minister not to know what the hell was going on.

The second email that appeared in the recent email revelations alerted Frances Fitzgerald to the strategy that was planned to take down Maurice McCabe, and clearly, alerted her to the fact that the accusations were incorrect.

Yet, Leo says she did nothing wrong.....oh my God.

More from Mattie Fox:

Time to give the worker his or her due

Both Varadkar and Martin will be in trouble at election time

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