If John Bruton had won the 1997 election, how different would Ireland be today?

The former taoiseach died on Tuesday

Listen | 20:03

On Tuesday, former taoiseach John Bruton died at the age of 76 following a long illness.

Over two and a half years, the coalition government he led oversaw economic growth, the legalisation of divorce and the removal of university fees.

Despite this record, he failed to regain power in 1997, when Bertie Ahern became taoiseach.

That election was a pivotal moment, says Irish Times political editor Pat Leahy, who reflects on the life and political legacy of John Bruton on today’s In the News podcast and argues that, had Bruton won a second term in power, Ireland may have been set on a very different path with implications for the economy, politics and the North.


Presented by Sorcha Pollak. Produced by Declan Conlon.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast