Taoisigh, Politics /

Portraits in Power: Brian Cowen

Portraits in Power: Brian Cowen

Brian Cowen was regarded as one of Bertie Ahern’s most able lieutenants, but his time as Taoiseach would be haunted by decisions he made as finance minister during the boom, writes Cathal Mac Coille

Portraits in Power: John A Costello

Portraits in Power: John A Costello

John A Costello did not seek the role of taoiseach, but his detachment from the Rising and Civil War made him the compromise choice. He is an often forgotten figure, but he presided over two major episodes in the state’s history, writes Ciara Meehan

Portraits in Power: Éamon de Valera

Portraits in Power: Éamon de Valera

A political force of nature for almost 60 years, Éamon de Valera strengthened Irish sovereignty but accelerated the divergence between North and South, writes David McCullagh

Portraits in Power: Enda Kenny

Portraits in Power: Enda Kenny

Enda Kenny’s time as taoiseach was marked by extremes: from recession to recovery; from huge Dáil majority to the electoral disappointment that curtailed his time in office, writes Gavan Reilly

Portraits in Power: Albert Reynolds

Portraits in Power: Albert Reynolds

Albert Reynolds was a late starter in the business of politics, and he would find that running a company was very different to running a country, writes Eoin O’Malley

Portraits in Power: WT Cosgrave

Portraits in Power: WT Cosgrave

WT Cosgrave was referred to as a ‘ninny’ by Éamon de Valera, but this deceptively mild-mannered man would defy objectors to allow the Anglo-Irish Treaty to be ratified and ruthlessly stem the chaos of the aftermath of the Civil War, writes Tim Pat Coogan

Portraits in Power: Jack Lynch

Portraits in Power: Jack Lynch

Jack Lynch’s legacy has long been obscured by myths about his economic policies, his position in Fianna Fáil and the significance of his sporting achievements. The Corkman is overdue a reappraisal, writes Micheál Martin

Portraits in Power: Bertie Ahern

Portraits in Power: Bertie Ahern

Wily strategist, ruthless foe, able statesman, bankers’ pal and perennial crowdpleaser: Bertie Ahern arrived as a riddle and departed as an enigma, writes Lise Hand

Portraits in Power: John Bruton

Portraits in Power: John Bruton

Luck was on John Bruton’s side when he was installed as leader of the Rainbow coalition. He led what some analysts describe as one of the best governments since independence, but good fortune deserted him in the end, writes Pat Rabbitte

Portraits in Power: Garret FitzGerald

Portraits in Power: Garret FitzGerald

Garret FitzGerald was a man ahead of his time, blazing a trail for the pluralist, more liberal and outward-looking society we have today, writes Josepha Madigan

Portraits in Power: Leo Varadkar

Portraits in Power: Leo Varadkar

He ascended to the top job aged just 38. Since then, three issues have hung heavy over Leo Varadkar’s time as taoiseach: Brexit, healthcare and housing, writes Michael Brennan

Portraits in Power: Seán Lemass

Portraits in Power: Seán Lemass

Seán Lemass worked to ensure that Ireland played its part on the world stage, changing the course of the country’s future, writes Leo Varadkar

Portraits in Power: Charles Haughey

Portraits in Power: Charles Haughey

Charles Haughey saw himself as the chieftain of his people, but his lifestyle was fuelled by corruption and greed, writes Peter Murtagh

Portraits in Power: Liam Cosgrave

Portraits in Power: Liam Cosgrave

Appointed taoiseach of a Fine Gael-Labour government in 1973, Liam Cosgrave proved himself a canny coalition leader by putting a number of clever and ambitious politicians into unexpected and key posts. Unfortunately, global economic events were to prove the government’s undoing, writes Eunan O’Halpin