Wednesday 28 September 2016

'My intention is to fight, win and serve a full-term' - Taoiseach denies retirement reports

Published 11/09/2015 | 10:15

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, speaking at the IDA Announcement in Dublin. Photo: Maxwells
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, speaking at the IDA Announcement in Dublin. Photo: Maxwells

Enda Kenny said he is determined to serve another full-term as Taoiseach and denied reports he is considering retirement in the next five years.

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The Taoiseach said he is confident that Fine Gael and Labour will return to Government after the general election next year.

Speaking to RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland from the Fine Gael think-in, Mr Kenny also said he would 'go to every limit' to prevent a collapse of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

“I didn’t say [that I would retire sometime in next term],” he said.

“People put dates on any sort of comment that you make. I want to win this election, I expect Fine Gael and Labour to be returned to Government next year.

“I intend to win this general election, to lead the next government and to serve a full term.”

When asked if he would consider serving another two terms in government, he replied:

“God knows what the future holds… but for me my intention is to fight the election, to win the election and to bring Fine Gael and Labour back into government, continue to secure the recovery, provide stability and to serve a full term.”

The Taoiseach described Fine Gael's pitch at the think-in in Adare, Limerick.

Read more: Stormont on brink of collapse as DUP's Robinson steps down as NI First Minister

“I say the first thing is that we’ve come on a pretty difficult journey over the last four and a half years . I’d be the first to say it from moving around the country to every county, I know there are many people who face challenges every day,” he said.

“I understand that. They come to my office, they write to me, they talk to me and there’s a story behind every door.

“In order to deal with the challenges, you have to have an engine that’s capable of delivering proper services for them. That’s why when we set out in the beginning the mandate was to fix the public finances and put the country back to work.

“So essentially the more people you have working, the less taxes they pay and the better social services they have. It is government or chaos,” he added.

On the ongoing Stormont crisis, the Taoiseach said he would ‘go to every limit’ to prevent a collapse of the Northern Ireland assembly, but said the ‘time is limited to get the show back on the road’.

“First of all the responsibility of the two governments, the Irish and the British, as co-guarantors of the Good Friday agreement has always been to support and encourage and work with the parties who have been given the responsibilities by the people of Ireland to work out these problems.

“This is what politics is about, this is the challenge of politics.

“How many occasions every year, every day, do you hear a difference of opinion in politics?

“I agree that the approach, the mood and the environment is not good but that’s why the opportunity  is limited now in terms of time for people to sit down and work out their differences," he continued.

“The point is, I believe strongly that it is worth saving the executive and the institutions.

“We will continue to work with the parties every way we can to see that they have the opportunity to get this show back on the road.

“To be honest if this came down a situation… of course I would go to every limit [to prevent collapse]”

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