Sunday 25 September 2016

Kenny is not a 'lame duck' Taoiseach, insists Donohoe

Philip Ryan and Niall O'Connor

Published 12/08/2015 | 02:30

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has insisted that Enda Kenny is not a "lame duck" after the Taoiseach announced that he would serve only one more term in office.

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Mr Kenny revealed last weekend that he would not lead Fine Gael into a third general election should he be re-elected as Taoiseach.

He was speaking following comments from Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe, who had suggested Mr Kenny would lead the party beyond 2020.

Speaking at the launch of a new fleet of Dublin buses, Mr Donohoe said Mr Kenny would put all his energy into securing the country's economic recovery if Fine Gael was to be re-elected to the Government.

"The Taoiseach and Fine Gael will be outlining how we want to continue our work if we were to be returned to office after the next election and I think the Taoiseach will show that he has the energy and drive to make that happen and that makes him anything but a lame-duck Taoiseach," he said.

Mr Donohoe insisted that he had "absolutely" no leadership ambitions himself.

He also called on Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin to state "clearly" who his party would be willing to go into Government with after the next election.

"Mícheál Martin has said he doesn't want to go into government with Sinn Féin (and) he doesn't want to go into government with Fine Gael," said Mr Donohoe.

"Prominent backbenchers in his own party are disagreeing with him on both counts and as a leader of that party he has a duty now to spell out very clearly to the Irish people if they do vote for Fianna Fáil, what else are they going to get in return for that vote," he added.

Business and Employment minister Ged Nash of Labour said Fianna Fáil would "do business with the devil himself" in order to be returned to Government.

Mr Nash was responding to Fianna Fáil's finance spokesman Michael McGrath, who said the party should not be afraid to enter Government as a junior coalition partner.

Mr Nash said a coalition option of either Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil or Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin would prove "disastrous" for the economy.

"I think Fianna Fáil would probably do business with the devil himself to get back into government," he said, adding: "Clearly, Michael McGrath was angling for an arrangement with Fine Gael. The only way to prevent Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil going into government is by voting for the Labour Party."

Irish Independent

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