New Taoiseach: ‘More of the same’, says Cllr Shane P O’Reilly

Simon Harris was elected Taoiseach this afternoon

Simon Harris was elected Taoiseach this afternoon after a whirlwind couple of weeks in politics. Much is expected from the 37-year-old minister who has been in the political arena since his early 20s.

Local Independent Cllr, Shane P O’Reilly is not overly enthusiastic about these latest developments and says he expects “more of the same’ in the weeks and months ahead. “It’s going to be more of the same; we have a change in personnel alright but there will be no change in direction.

"I wish Simon Harris well but he has taken over a poisonous chalice and the Fine Gael party has all the hallmarks of previous administrations.” Meanwhile, Cllr O’Reilly says that Fine Gael ‘reset’ perception is not going to wash with the electorate. “One day in Galway (Ard Fheis),” he adds, “is not going to renew or change anything”.

You need to take a root and branch review so for the party to be making statements like that is balderdash. We will probably see a change in focus but I feel it’s too late for that. When it comes to the Irish electorate, the silent majority is what matters and they not want a reset.

“What they want are policies that can help them to live good lives and to be able to get on with their lives as best they can. On any potential cabinet reshuffle, Cllr O’Reilly believes any change will be “minor”.

“The fact that Simon Coveney is stepping down and Leo Vradkar is choosing to stay in the background means that changes in Cabinet could very well be minor,” he continued before adding that Minister Harris has portfolios himself so there are nine positions there including junior and senior portfolios.

“We’ll have to wait and see what happens there. I also want to congratulate Heather Humphreys on her appointment as deputy leader of the party. This is a major boost for Cavan and Monaghan. The Minister is good at her job; she is delivering locally and people are happy with that.”