Analysis: Varadkar and Fine Gael need fresh ideas to show they have not gone stale in power

In an attempt to inject some relevance back into the party, Varadkar will use the think-in to make the case for an increase to welfare and pension rates at the next budget

Leo Varadkar, the Fine Gael leader, has asked his party colleagues to put their phones away over the next two days and pay more attention to each other rather than what the media is saying about them. Picture: Eamonn Farrell/

As Fine Gael began the first official session of its think-in on Monday morning, Tanáiste Leo Varadkar implored his colleagues to put their phones away and not to be in contact with the media.

It would be better, he said, to pay attention to each other over the next two days, and not to what the media was saying about them.

Varadkar may feel he and his party have had a hard time from the ...