People Tell Me, You Don't Have Experience in Government. I Say, Does Anyone Ask a Woman about to Have a Child If She Has Had Any Training? Enda Kenny Talks about Gay Marriage, Religion, Sex Symbols. and That Hair

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Byline: ENDA IN HIS OWN WORDS by Jason O'Toole

BETWEEN 2007 and last year, Irish Daily Mail writer Jason O'Toole conducted hours of in-depth interviews with Enda Kenny. In these deeply personal conversations, the Taoiseachin-waiting talked in unprecedented and intimate detail... and they reveal Enda the man as never before.

| MY HAIR KENNY insists that he hasn't undergone a 'makeover' since becoming leader of Fine Gael. In fact, he maintains that the only change in his appearance has been his hairstyle. 'I haven't had any makeover,' Enda said. 'The woman who cuts my hair told me, "Your hair is the wrong shape for the way you comb it. I am going to change it." I said fine.

'There is no colour in it. It is still growing. I changed the way the front of my hair is and fine, if that's all they have to talk about. You get people shouting to you around the country, "Leave it the way it was", or "I love this". It's my own hair,' he said, running his finger through it.

|MY FAVOURITE SEX SYMBOL IT'S perhaps unsurprising to learn he has similar taste in the opposite sex to JFK, one of his political heroes.

When I asked who his favourite sex symbol is, he jokingly replied: 'Am I supposed to start this by saying my wife? Well, I suppose, I mean Marilyn Monroe would have to be in there, wouldn't she?' |MY TAKE ON DRUGS BUT unlike Bill Clinton - or Brian Cowen and Eamon Gilmore, for that matter - Enda has never tried marijuana. 'Bill Clinton never inhaled it, but I never tried it.' He will be an ultra conservative Taoiseach - he is anti-abortion and against gay marriages.

He also does not believe in the legalisation of soft drugs, saying that they are nothing more than a gateway to going 'straight into harder drugs'. Legalisation would mean that 'the next generation would be on crack cocaine'.

'I think, you know, that if you take that line, you send out the word internationally: "This is a haven for soft drugs and everything else that comes along with it".

'You could have invasions from all over the world, saying: "Ireland is the place you can go if you want to do your drugs' - whether they be soft or whether they be hard.

'Who distinguishes between these things? The Government can't distinguish these things.

The Government has failed to deal with it as it is.

He has such zero tolerance attitude to drugs that he once told me he favoured the idea of random drug testing in secondary schools, adding that 'the same could apply to universities'.

When I asked, 'Why stop there - why not have random drug tests on the streets?' he didn't dismiss it.

|GAY MARRIAGE AND ABORTIONS FINE GAEL may pride itself on being a party that supports equality, but Enda is against the idea of same sex marriages - just like Lucinda Creighton, who caused controversy last week when she twitted her objection to homosexual marriages.

'No, I don't favour same sex marriage.

We were the first party down here to produce a document on civil unions and registration of civil unions, and to deal with tax and hereditary property and all of all - that's as far as we went. I don't fair same sex marriages,' he told me.

So it's no surprise to discover that he's also pro-choice. 'I don't favour abortion. Obviously, I am aware that people travel to other countries for abortion.

'I would try to make as serious a case as possible in advising young people, informing young people, and educating young people about these matters.' But his anti-abortion stance doesn't appear to be rooted by any deeply religious conviction. When I asked if he believed in God, he replied: 'Well, I am a Catholic and I am a Christian. I wouldn't be the best Catholic in the world - I am probably a better Christian than a Catholic!

'I will go to Mass on Sunday mornings in Castlebar at 10 o'clock, if I am around. I do believe there is something out there. …