Splitting leader roles shouldn't come as shock
It has been stated on many occasions over the past few days that there has never before been a situation where the offices of Fianna Fail leader and Taoiseach have been held by two separate people during a Fianna Fail government.
However, while the circumstances were different, there is a precedent. On November 19, 1994, Bertie Ahern was elected leader of Fianna Fail, while Albert Reynolds remained as Taoiseach. This continued until December 15, 1994, when Fianna Fail left government.
During this time, Mr Reynolds, as Taoiseach, represented the government at an EU summit meeting in Essen; while Mr Ahern, as Fianna Fail leader, attempted to negotiate the continuation of the Fianna Fail/Labour coalition.