Politics is peculiar, often combining great sentimentality with brutal ruthlessness. For political leaders, there is the challenge of marrying the high purpose they espouse, with the often grubby compromises inherent in a system of government and politics based on agreement and dealmaking. All these were evident in the later career of Eamon Gilmore.
As Ireland careered towards bankruptcy in late 2010 and early 2011, Gilmore made two fateful decisions. Both would define the rest of his career.
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