Monday 5 December 2016

'He's one of Europe's most experienced leaders' - Charlie Flanagan defends Kenny

Published 01/11/2016 | 08:41

Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan
Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan

Foreign affairs minister Charlie Flanagan has launched a defence of Taoiseach Enda Kenny after his former colleague Ivan Yates claimed he would be carried out of office "in a box".

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Mr Yates will say on a documentary about the Fine Gael leader set to air tonight that everything he does in Government is based "on his own political interests", a claim the minister strongly denied.

"I don’t agree with Ivan Yates on that. Enda Kenny has been a really good leader in the context of what we’ve just been speaking of, the recovery of our economic fortunes.

"He’s now one of the most experienced European leaders faced with a  real challenge of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, one of the major economies from the European Union.

"Enda Kenny has a full agenda, I believe it’s important that he play out that agenda and continues to engage in the manner in which he has been," Mr Flanagan said on Newstalk Breakfast this morning.

The minister also quipped the former broadcaster was "always good for a soundbyte".

Mr Flanagan also continued to reject allegations that Dublin is trying to poach investment and undermine the North's economy following the Brexit vote.

Tensions between Dublin and Belfast have been heightened recently after comments from Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Fosrter. A special all-island Brexit conference is due to be held in Dublin Castle comorrow.

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