ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com May 24, 2017


Taoiseach Enda Kenny to step down

20 May 2017, 02:42 | Erica Roy

Image Enda Kenny celebrating after Ireland voted in favour of legalising gay marriage in 2015

Enda Kenny celebrating after Ireland voted in favour of legalising gay marriage in May 2015

From Thursday to Sunday next week, there will be four regional debates or hustings - in Dublin, Carlow, Ballinasloe and Cork.

"Believe it or not it was my proposal back in the late 90s that we should extend the vote of FG leader to members and councillors".

Earlier on Friday the Waterford TD John Deasy, who is personally close to both candidates, came out in support of Mr Varadkar.

Setting out his stall, he said: "I want to take the country forward".

"And also devolving a new social contract".

Mr Kenny became known as the "Father of the Dáil" due to being the longest serving Taoiseach in Irish history.

Leo Varadkar has said he is "humbled" by the support he has received in the Fine Gael leadership race so far.

The Minister for Social Protection told reporters: "This is day two of a 16-day campaign".

Mr Varadkar now has the support of twice as numerous party's TDs and Senators as his main rival, Simon Coveney, during the first 24 hours of the race.

Mr Donohoe said it is a matter for the next taoiseach whether he would have a Cabinet role, refusing to say whether he would seek the role of Minister for Finance.


Meanwhile, Leo Varadkar described him as an "extraordinary Taoiseach and Fine Gael's most successful leader ever". "This country needs a leader for the 21st century and Leo is that person".

Mayo's third Fine Gael senator, John O'Mahony, is reported to be backing Minister Simon Coveney for the post. He has a very tough job at the moment as Minister for Housing.

While Noonan and Kenny have been widely praised for their management of the economy, their Fine Gael party lost a quarter of its seats at elections a year ago as voters complained they were not feeling the recovery.

Minister of State Paul Kehoe, Louth TD Fergus O'Dowd and Sligo TD Tony McLoughlin have also confirmed their support for Mr Varadkar.

But Minister Coveney says despite this the campaign isn't over yet.

Mr Coveney dismissed the idea of cutting short the contest and said he has never lost an election.

This is important as the 73 TDs, senators and MEPs who are members of the parliamentary party have a 65% share of the overall vote with party members having 25% and councillors 10%.

"I will be supporting Coveney", he said.

"I hope now Leo goes on to win this Fine Gael contest and help lead our country after the enormous progress of this Government over the past six years".



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