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Saturday 29 April 2017

'Northern Ireland and Brexit take precedence over Fine Gael leadership' - Enda Kenny in New York

Taoiseach Enda Kenny shakes hands with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Taoiseach Enda Kenny shakes hands with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Forming a new government in Northern Ireland and setting the terms for Brexit negotiations take precedence over the Fine Gael leadership, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

Speaking in New York, Mr Kenny rejected several questions on his future plans, saying: “I’m not going to answer that for you. I’ll deal with my own parliamentary party.

“I spoke to them before I came to New York, I’m telling you now I have a number of immediate priorities on my desk when I arrive back tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock and I intend to get started on those.”

Several backbench TDs indicated last month that they would be prepared to table a motion of no confidence in Mr Kenny if he does not set a definitive date for stepping down.

It was expected that he would do this shortly after returning from his St Patrick's Day tour of the US.

But he said: “I have to deal with a number of priorities here. The first priority is to form an Executive in Northern Ireland. We have no devolved authority in Northern Ireland not,” Mr Kenny said.

"I think these are priorities that take precedence over anything else," he added.

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