An Taoiseach Micheál Martin: Life is Short; Value it – This Can Inform How We Approach Issues

Irish Prime Minister An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has served as An Taoiseach in the Republic of Ireland since June 2020 and as leader of the Fianna Fáil political party since 2011. As a member of the Irish Parliament, he has been the Teachtaí Dála (TD) (member of parliament) for Cork City South Central since 1989. Prior to this, he was elected to Cork City Council in 1985 and served as Lord Mayor of Cork from 1992 to 1993. Previous to being An Taoiseach, he served as Leader of the Opposition from 2011 to 2020 and held previous ministries including Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Minister for Health and Children, and Minister for Education and Science. During his time as Minister for Health, Micheál Martin exhibited tremendous leadership and delivered unprecedented health impacts by introducing a ban on tobacco smoking in all Irish workplaces. This made Ireland the first country in the world to introduce a full workplace smoking ban. Born in Cork City, Martin initially worked as a schoolteacher before entering politics. Today, he leads in an era of unprecedented global challenges. We look forward to hearing how influences in his own life have prepared him for such leadership governance.

Today, Micheál joins me to share his story and discuss how it has impacted him. He talks about what was behind his ban on smoking in workplaces, noting the power of prevention and the importance of thinking long-term. He discusses the experience of leading during the COVID crisis and talks about his parents, sharing the important ways they influenced him. He notes the importance of enjoying yourself and discusses the power of self-confidence, talking about why it’s different from arrogance. He emphasises the value of a broad perspective and talks about the importance of family, community, and leaving the world a better place than you found it.

“I’m big on prevention. It’s just something that’s in me. If you can avoid something happening, well, why not take the steps to avoid that happening?”
– An Taoiseach Micheál Martin

“The immediate crisis is just that: it’s an immediate crisis. It’s something that, in the fullness of time, you will get over.”
– An Taoiseach Micheál Martin

“The reading, the walking, the music are very important: to lose yourself in some other space from your workspace[.]”
– An Taoiseach Micheál Martin

This week on In the Doctor’s Chair

  • The workplace smoking ban
  • The power of thinking long-term
  • Leading during the COVID Crisis
  • The importance of enjoying yourself
  • The importance of self-confidence
  • Confidence vs arrogance
  • Thoughts on parenting
  • The power of taking a walk


In the Doctor’s Chair

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