Kenny leads the tributes for 'man of integrity'
Published 27/05/2014 | 02:30
Taoiseach Enda Kenny joined a chorus of political well-wishes for Eamon Gilmore after he announced his resignation as Labour leader.
Mr Kenny described him as a man of integrity, courage and conviction and thanked him for his "outstanding service" to the country.
"Eamon Gilmore and the Labour Party have been courageous in making the collective decisions that have pulled Ireland back from the brink of economic collapse and put the country on the path towards recovery," said Mr Kenny.
He also said that Mr Gilmore as Minister for Foreign Affairs had been "pivotal" in restoring the country's international reputation, which led to foreign investment and the creation of jobs.
"He is a man of integrity, courage and conviction," added Mr Kenny.
Deputy Labour leader and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton thanked him for his work in the party.
"I just want to first of all thank Eamon for all his service to the party and then we'll be meeting the parliamentary party on Wednesday," said Ms Burton.
His predecessor as leader and current Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte, left, believes the Tanaiste took the right decision in resigning as leader of the party after the national Labour wipeout in the local elections.
"He has taken the honourable decision today. He has made a very valuable contribution to the Labour Party and I believe him when he says he will continue to do that in the years ahead," said Mr Rabbitte.
Mr Gilmore stated his reason for resigning as the party needing renewal and a change at the "microphone" would facilitate that.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn said: "I'm very sorry to see him going."
Labour Party whip Emmet Stagg also expressed his sadness over Mr Gilmore's departure.
"I'm very sorry that he found it necessary to go; it was entirely his own decision," Mr Stagg said.
The party chairperson Lorraine Mulligan said: "Eamon has been in charge at arguably the most difficult period of the State's history, and he has spearheaded Labour's efforts to rescue our country from the abyss.
"The Irish people have endured pain to bring about this progress and they are now impatient to ensure recovery benefits them in a tangible way."