Thursday 27 July 2017

'Business as usual' - Enda Kenny attends final Cabinet meeting as Taoiseach

  • Taoiseach to meet with President Higgins to hand in letter of resignation this afternoon
  • Tributes paid across the political spectrum
  • A 'personal milestone' but country faces the same challenges Kenny tells media
His Last Day......Taoiseach Enda Kenny,TD accompanied by his garda escort Det.Garda Frank White arriving for his last Cabinet meeting at Government Buildings this morning (Pic Tom Burke)
His Last Day......Taoiseach Enda Kenny,TD accompanied by his garda escort Det.Garda Frank White arriving for his last Cabinet meeting at Government Buildings this morning (Pic Tom Burke)
Enda Kenny with Micheál Martin in 2015
His Last Day......Taoiseach Enda Kenny,TD accompanied by his garda escort Det Garda Frank White arriving for his last Cabinet meeting at Government Buildings this morning (Pic:Tom Burke)
His Last Day......Taoiseach Enda Kenny,TD accompanied by his garda escort Det. Garda Frank White arriving for his last Cabinet meeting at Government Buildings this morning (Pic: Tom Burke)
His Last Day......Taoiseach Enda Kenny,TD arriving for his last Cabinet meeting at GovernmentBuildings Buildings this morning (Pic: Tom Burke)
His Last Day......Taoiseach Enda Kenny,TD arriving for his last Cabinet meeting at GovernmentBuildings Buildings this morning (Picture: Tom Burke)
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Enda Kenny has said it is 'business as usual' as he attends his final cabinet meeting today before stepping down as Taoiseach.

The Mayo man, whose career in the Dáil spans 40 years, is set to sign off today, giving way for Leo Varadkar to take up the post tomorrow.

But speaking briefly to the media before attending his final cabinet meeting as leader.

"While it might be a milestone for me personally, in the context of the country that's irrelevant. So it's business as usual - we have many challenges up ahead," he told Newstalk.

"I'm proud and privileged that I've been able to serve as Taoiseach for all these years."

II Enda 5 (2).jpg
His Last Day......Taoiseach Enda Kenny,TD arriving for his last Cabinet meeting at GovernmentBuildings Buildings this morning (Pic: Tom Burke)

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said he "probably will" miss Enda Kenny.

Speaking to RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland, Micheál Martin said the duo had "many encounters together".

"Ah, I probably will," he replied when asked if he would miss Enda Kenny.

"As leader of the opposition he was my immediate opponent.

"We had many encounters together, both in the Dáil and in the two general elections.

"On a personal level, we got on very well.

"I wish himself and Fionnuala the very best."

Martin described Kenny as a "patriot" and said he has probably been "enjoying the last number of weeks."

"He was courageous when Fine Gael was at a low ebb.

"He's probably smiling today at the many people who are now out there declaring he's been the greatest leader since Brian Boru... that's the nature of politics.

"I think he's probably enjoying the moment, he's enjoying the last number of weeks.

"I wish him well," he continued.

"I think he worked on behalf of the country extremely enthusiastically. He was a patriot and a great leader."

Meanwhile, deputy leader of Fine Gael, James Reilly, has said Mr Kenny can be proud of his track record.

"He rebuilt the party from the ashes of the 2002 and election... and as Taoiseach he rebuilt the country," he told RTE Radio.

Mr Reilly paid tribute to Mr Kenny's record at home and abroad.

"How many people could have done what he did in Washington?," he added.

To "look Donald Trump in the eye" and make a speech on immigration was an example of Mr Kenny's performance on the world stage Mr Reilly said.

Brexit and the special status awarded to Ireland for the upcoming divorce talks are also examples of Mr Kenny's international track record Mr Reilly said.

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