Politician It’s a tremendous privilege being Tanaiste and Labour Party leader, but it naturally means downtime is rare. When there are a spare few hours, usually on a Sunday morning, I hugely enjoy walking. I’m a member of Fingal Walking Group, and love doing long walks with friends along the Royal Canal, over Howth Head or on the Barrow Way, for example.
I love the theatre, and the last play I saw was the Abbey’s terrific take on The Shadow of a Gunman. Like most people, I also enjoy reading, and Colm Toibin’s Nora Webster was a particular recent favourite. I’m not great at making time to unwind — the demands of political life are pretty constant, but I’m not complaining.
The scale of our crisis meant many families had no escape from financial pressures, no unwinding from worries, these past few years. The people put their faith in my party to rescue the country from the brink, and that has been a 24/7 job these past few years.
Ireland is in a much better place now, allowing us to begin the process of raising living standards for every family. I want to finish that job, and the time to unwind can come later.
that encapsulates my idea of relaxing. Bing Crosby’s song with the lyrics, ‘ We’re busy doin’ nothin’, workin’ the whole day through, tryin’ to find lots of things not to do’.
My plan is to dress in T-shirt and tracksuit bottoms; then not wash, shave or change my underwear for as long as possible. An entire weekend is ideal. The joy on Monday morning of a shave with a new blade, and the drenching of a power shower, sets me up for the stresses of the week.