Sunday 25 June 2017

Murphy says it would be 'ludicrous' for Taoiseach to step down ahead of Brexit talks

Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD leaves the All Island Civic dialogue on Brexit at Dublin Castle. Picture: Damien Eagers
Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD leaves the All Island Civic dialogue on Brexit at Dublin Castle. Picture: Damien Eagers
Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD at the All Island Civic dialogue on Brexit at Dublin Castle. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD arrives at the All Island Civic dialogue on Brexit at Dublin Castle. Picture: Damien Eagers
Leo Varadkar, Td, Minister for Social Protection and Simon Harris, TD, Minister for Health speak to Brendan Howlin, TD at the All Island Civic dialogue on Brexit at Dublin Castle. Picture: Damien Eagers
Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the All Island Civic dialogue on Brexit at Dublin Castle. Picture: Damien Eagers
Leo Varadkar, TD, Minister for Social Protection and Simon Harris, TD, Minister for Health at the All Island Civic dialogue on Brexit at Dublin Castle. Picture: Damien Eagers
Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD leaves the All Island Civic dialogue on Brexit at Dublin Castle. Picture: Damien Eagers
Taoiseach Enda Kenny attends the second All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit at Dublin Castle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday February 17, 2017. See PA story POLITICS Brexit Irish. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Europe Minister Dara Murphy has said it would be "ludicrous" for Enda Kenny to step down as Taosieach ahead of Brexit negotiations.

He was speaking as he arrived today's All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit in Dublin Castle.

European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy
European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy

Mr Kenny's continuing leadership of Fine Gael has increasingly been in doubt in recent days as the government has found itself mired in controversy over the garda whistleblower issue.

There have been rumblings that he may face a no confidence motion at Fine Gael's parliamentary party meeting next week.

Mr Kenny delivered a speech at today's event.

As he left the conference, Mr Kenny was asked how he's feeling by reporters.

Despite the ongoing political storm, his response was "absolutely wonderful".

Earlier Mr Murphy told reporters: "To change the captain of our team before we run out of the dressing room is a ludicrous proposal."

And he indicated that it should be several months before the party should consider changing its leader due to the importance of the Brexit negoitations.

He declined to provide a specific date when pressed by reporters.

“It is vital that all the people involved in the divorce process as it were [Brexit] focus absolutely on the job in hand.

“The Taoiseach has been clear. He has a unique skill set.

"At this point for our country, the last thing we should be taking about frankly is leadership change.

He said Mr Kenny should remain in the job for some time after the United Kingdom triggers of Article 50 - the mechanism for leaving the EU - which is due to take place in March.

Last night - at an event in Dublin Mr Kenny gave no indication that he intends to step aside any time soon.

He said he was focused on his work and listed a series of engagements he will attend in the coming weeks including trips to Brussels.

Speaking at the conference this morning, Mr Kenny emphasised three points he made at a major speech on Brexit earlier this week.

He said Ireland must remain at the heart of Europe, protect the "hard-won" peace on the island, and prepare prudent but ambitious economic policies.

Mr said Brexit is a British policy, not an Irish or EU policy and restated his belief it is "bad for Britain, for Ireland and for Europe".

He said he respects the British referendum result and pledged that protecting the peace process and the Common Travel Area are priorities for the government.

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