Monday 5 December 2016

Enda Kenny resigns as Taoiseach after failing to get re-elected as leader

* No Taoiseach elected on first day of Dáil
* Will inform President of his resignation
* 'I respect the verdict' - Taoiseach
* Party leaders Martin and Adams also lose bids

Kevin Doyle and Niall O'Connor

Published 10/03/2016 | 17:07

Enda Kenny Photo:Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Enda Kenny Photo:Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Enda Kenny travelled to Aras an Uachtarain this evening to resign as Taoiseach after failing to get re-elected to the position in a Dáil vote.

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The Mayo TD said the Cabinet will continue its work while the various parties try to form a government.

A government statement issued this evening reads: "The Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny, T.D., has this evening conveyed to the President his resignation from office.

"In accordance with the Constitution, the Government and the Taoiseach will continue to carry on their duties until successors have been appointed."

Mr Kenny, Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams and AAA-PBP Richard Boyd Barrett were all nominated for the position of Taoiseach but failed to secure enough votes.

“It’s not the outcome that I personally would have liked to see but I respect the verdict of the people,” Mr Kenny said.

Michael Healy Rea TD thanks all the Healy Rea supporters from the bonnet of his jeep with his brother Danny TD and Cllr Johnny Healy Rea [ Danny's son] outside Leinster House
Michael Healy Rea TD thanks all the Healy Rea supporters from the bonnet of his jeep with his brother Danny TD and Cllr Johnny Healy Rea [ Danny's son] outside Leinster House

He cited the upcoming commemorations of the 1916 Rising and his St Patrick’s Day visit to Washington as two items that he would continue to take part in.

In the medium term he said a government was necessary to deal with the impending Brexit referendum in the UK and issues such as climate change.

Michael Healy Rea TD celebrates with his brother Danny TD and Cllr Johnny Healy Rea [Danny's son] from the bonnet of his jeep with outside Leinster House
Michael Healy Rea TD celebrates with his brother Danny TD and Cllr Johnny Healy Rea [Danny's son] from the bonnet of his jeep with outside Leinster House

Mr Kenny said when Fine Gael and the Labour Party entered government five years “our very survival was in doubt”.

“The Government had to face unprecedented sets of difficulties. Many believed the situation was hopeless,” he said, adding: “The country is in a different place now.”

The outgoing Taoiseach said he was “fully committed” to working with other parities and independents to form a new government.

He added that “a substantial number of people do not want to serve in government”.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the situation was not unprecedented and people should put aside the notion that “speed” was an issue in forming a government.

“Ireland is relatively unusual in how fast it carries out the formation of government,” he said.

The vote for the former Taoiseach stood at: For 57, Against 94, Abstain 5.

A total of 50 Fine Gael TDs were re-elected to the 32nd Dáil.

The five abstentions in the Enda Kenny vote were TDs Michael Harty, Noel Grealish, Denis Naughten, Michael Collins and Mattie McGrath.

Mattie McGrath and the four other independent TDs said they will abstain on each vote for Taoiseach in an indication they are willing to hold further coalition talks.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin's votes stood at: For 43, Against 108, 5 Abstain.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams' votes stood at: For 24, Against 116

The vote for Richard Boyd Barrett as Taoiseach stood at: For 9, Against 111

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