Gov't will 'not lose any momentum' despite support loss - Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted the Government will "not lose any momentum" despite a major slump in support for Fine Gael in a new opinion poll.
Speaking in Dublin at the announcement of 100 new jobs at internet hospitality company, Airbnb, Mr Kenny said in politics as in life "you take the highs with the lows".
Mr Kenny was commenting after a new opinion poll in the Irish Times this morning saw support for Fine Gael down five points to 25 per cent, while support for the Labour Party was down one point to 8 per cent.
Asked if the recent controversies surrounding Justice Minister Alan Shatter and secret Garda recordings were to blame for the drop in support, Mr Kenny declined to be drawn.
"No I don't comment on polls ever. I deal with the reality of politics everyday. We are driving on with the double mandate given to us by the Irish people to sort out our public finances and getting our people back to work," he said.
"The point is yesterday we announced 500 new jobs, another 100 new jobs here today. We have a big programme of work ahead. At the end of five years the people will judge us in any event. This government will fulfil that mandate," he added.
"You will appreciate I have never commented on any polls. So, let's get on with it. It is like life, you take the highs with the lows. So I see the programme up ahead as being strong. We are not going to lose any momentum," he said.
Also speaking at the event, Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton, said the Government "always knew it would be difficult" to be in office, but that they stand to be judged in 2016.
"We have known this would be a difficult transition with a lot of difficult issues and we have had to make some hard choices. We are very happy to be judged in 2016. We have been given a mandate for five years, and the Taoiseach has made it clear we will use all of that mandate because we have so much work to do."
"We expected it and any reasonable person would expect there to be some ups and downs on that road," he added.
Mr Bruton insisted the Government is not damaged by the recent justice controversies.
"Well I am a long time in politics, I have seen polls come and go. We are dealing with legacy issues in the justice area. We push on. No the Government isn't damaged. We are focused on what we were put in to do."
"We knew going into office that a huge rake of reforms on many institutions were needed. Once you turn over stones there is going to be change and people are going to be upset. But we are determined to make those changes, and when we come to 2016 we will account for our stewardship."