Harris says becoming Taoiseach ‘quite a rollercoaster’

Saturday, Apr 13, 2024

DUBLIN: Simon Harris has said becoming Taoiseach has been “quite a rollercoaster”.In his first broadcast interview since taking up the top role at Government, Mr Harris also said that the recent Cabinet reshuffle was “challenging”.Asked about becoming Taoiseach, he said: “It’s been a little bit surreal. Look, it’s a great honour, it’s something that I find very humbling.

“And I’m conscious that I’m one of only 16 people in Ireland to have the honour to have been the Taoiseach of this great country and that means a lot to me, means a lot to my family.“But I’m also very conscious that politics is never about you the office holder … it’s about the difference you can make for people.” He said he first got involved in public life as a “moody opinionated teenager” campaigning for better school facilities for his brother with autism in Co Wicklow.

Mr Harris added: “So to go from there to here, it’s been quite a rollercoaster. “But, I intend to give it my all.” The Taoiseach was speaking to Keith Finnegan on his final day of broadcasting on Galway Bay FM.

Asked if he found it challenging to undertake his recent reshuffle of Fine Gael portfolios in Government, Mr Harris said: “Cabinet reshuffles are always quite challenging because you know everybody involved.

“I mean, I’ve been a member of the Dail now for 13 years, I’ve been in the Cabinet for eight years and these people, many of them are your friends, you know them, you know their families, you know how good they are and how hard they work.

“And what you’re trying to have to do though is, you’re trying to put together the best team you can.”Mr Harris said his priorities were around making “progress around small businesses” as well as farming, law and order, safer streets and housing.He added: “I’m gonna need a bit of time to do that but I’m determined to hit the ground running.”