Tuesday 6 December 2016

Taoiseach tells his TDs: Ignore election speculation and get on with your job

Daniel McConnell and Niall O'Connor

Published 30/09/2015 | 19:16

Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Mark Condren
Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Mark Condren

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny told a private meeting of the Fine Gael party to ignore speculation of an early election, saying "Get on with your jobs."

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After 24 hours of intense speculation that Mr Kenny is preparing to go the country early, the Taoiseach addressed the weekly meeting of the party.

"He said each TD and Senator has a job to sell the merits of the Capital Plan and the Budget to the people. The boss told the meeting to ignore the speculation and get on with their job," said one source.

One TD, Derek Keating, said the speculation had the risk of becoming a distraction while others spoke of the need to keep steady nerves.

Read more: Be ready for election in November, Hogan tells FG activists

Earlier in the day, Tanaiste Joan Burton said the Government will "stay the course".

"My knowledge of the Taoiseach is that he is a man who is careful with money. He is unlikely to throw a €50 bet away as was thrown down

yesterday, even in the scheme of things it is a relatively small amount,” she said.

"No, we stay the course and as far as I am aware that is the Taoiseach's position because we have a lot of lifting to do to help people. We will be doing that in the context of the Budget," she added.

She also said the country needs to hear from what the Opposition will offer in terms of an alternative because she said we haven't heard

that so far.

"What we have heard so far is quite a lot of criticism but very little alternative offerings of alternative  programmes," she said.

Labour junior minister Kevin Humphreys said that while the party is ready for an early election, he does not believe it is on the cards.

“We’ll be prepared for any election whenever it comes. All parties I think at this stage are in preparation but we’re expecting a spring election and I don’t see an election in November,” Mr Humphreys said.

Meanwhile, Ms Burton told her party at their weekly private meeting that Labour's annual conference will take place in Mullingar next January.

Her announcement was seen as a further means of dampening down talk of an early election.

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