Kenny says he has 'several' dates in mind for election
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has revealed he has "several" dates in mind for the upcoming general election.
On yet another 'Mayo Monday', Mr Kenny indicated that the election would take place early next year.
He said the election was due at the end of next spring, adding: "I see no reason to change that."
However, he refused to be drawn on comments made by Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan that the election would take place in 35 weeks.
Instead, he said the Government was focusing on the implementation of the Programme for Government.
Mr Kenny was spending yet another Monday in his Mayo constituency, this week opening a new office for Fine Gael TD John O'Mahony.
"The Taoiseach of the day has the responsibility for calling an election," he said.
"That is a singular responsibility of the Taoiseach of the day. I've already made it clear we're focusing on the continued implementation of our Programme for Government, the election is due at the end of spring. I see no reason to change that," he added.
When asked if he had a date in his own mind for the election, Mr Kenny replied: "I've several."
The Taoiseach said that a number of those set to contest the general election may do so on an anti-austerity platform, similar to what occurred in Greece.
However, he insisted the Government was concentrating on implementing the programme it had put in place for the country, including securing 40,000 new jobs this year.
"If I'm not watching it then a lot of others are, but on a serious note our job is to stabilise the recovery here to make it real for every area around the country and for the people in general.
"We are not there yet, clearly the Programme for Government that we set out, that I revised last year with the Tánaiste, is one that we will focus on and continue to implement.
"I want to see 40,000 new jobs this year. We want to be able to provide incentives for access for credit, for more businesses to be set up, for more employment to be created and to continue to be competitive and very attractive for investment into the country," he added.
Mr Kenny said the country had "come a long way in a short time".
However, he added: "We still have quite a distance to travel and Government will not lose focus on those priority issues for our people and for our country."