Emotional Kenny promises honesty and a better future
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny yesterday described the start of his reign as the first day of a brighter Ireland.
An emotional Mr Kenny insisted the country was on the threshold of fundamental change after he was elected the 13th Taoiseach of Ireland by 117 votes to 27.
And he vowed that his new coalition Government would tell the people the truth, regardless of how unwelcome or difficult it might be.
Fine Gael's Simon Harris, the youngest TD in his party, nominated Mr Kenny for Taoiseach and the motion was seconded by Labour's Waterford TD Ciara Conway.
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin backed Mr Kenny's nomination, saying he would not support any other person for the position.
Former Fianna Fail TD Mattie McGrath was among five Independents -- Stephen Donnelly, Noel Grealish, Michael Healy-Rae and Michael Lowry -- who also voted in favour of Enda Kenny's election.
Thirteen other Independents, including People Before Profit Alliance's Richard Boyd Barrett, voted against the nomination, while Independent TD Tom Fleming and Fianna Fail TDs abstained.
As his wife Fionnuala and children looked on, Mr Kenny thanked those who had nominated him and insisted he had a deep sense of gratitude and humility.
And he said he was making a "covenant" with the people that the new Government would be open with the public.
"In these times of crisis, full of many unknowns, honesty is not alone our best policy but our only policy," he said.
During his speech, Mr Kenny said his late father Henry and his mother Eithne walked every step with him in this new heart-stopping journey.
"Yes, we are in times without precedent but I believe that for Ireland this current crisis is the darkest hour before the dawn," he said.
"We are a people looking always and ever to the possibilities of a new day. That new day is here, a bright new day where there is no gap, where the people and its Government are one again, a day when our people are united in cause.
"This is the first day of a journey to a better future. That future will be achievable when Ireland can again take charge of its own destiny."
Mr Kenny insisted the country faced challenges but insisted that his Government would recreate Ireland's proud Republic.
"Our people deserve no less. That challenge is truly Ireland's call. The Government and I intend to answer that call and to make our nation proud, prosperous and respected again. That works starts today," he said.