Longford Leader Columnist Mattie Fox: Leo Varadkar is potentially a great Taoiseach

Longford Leader Columnist Mattie Fox: Leo Varadkar is potentially a great Taoiseach

Michael Noonan's advice to Leo Varadkar to be cautious about Ireland’s debt, has thankfully fallen on deaf ears.

Nobody should be surprised by that. 

Noonan is, after all a secondary teacher, and possesses a natural tendency to be thrifty, careful, and preventative.

This is not to imply that secondary teachers are simple, or unintelligent, they're obviously not, and some have heroic records in terms of education.

Mr Noonan's priority is to see a safe bank account; whilst ignoring the multiple areas that are being neglected.

Leo Varadkar is potentially a great Taoiseach. Hopefully he'll make his own mind up, in every decision, because he seems more interested in the commercial reality that the public are entitled to be supported, rather than party protectionism.

That should see him take a more globally intelligent and informed view.

If he does that, we might see some change in the Fine Gael mindset, and a real chance of launching a recovery process that can achieve a spectacular difference.

Without funding, nothing was ever going to be changed, and there's little point in throwing a few million here, another few million there in the hope of patching up bits and pieces.

Such actions are merely visual public relations, little to do with actual change.

Ireland desperately needs investment in the three prime areas of our existence; health, homes, and security.

The health service has long been battling without any sign of anything approaching a decent service; our lack of housing is the worst since the state was formed; and our security services are straining in every sinew of their operation.

These three are more important than roads, trains, or any interconnecting links.

Unless Leo Varadkar tackles each of the three, with money to inject into the respective infrastructures, his potential for success will have been a wasted effort.

Varadkar is a clever and talented guy, educated and skillful, who can - given his age profile - bring new fresh thinking into Fine Gael.