Sunday 24 September 2017

Taoiseach attends FG's annual dinner despite mother's death

Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

Despite the death of his mother earlier in the day, Taoiseach Enda Kenny still attended the Fine Gael annual dinner on Saturday night in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin.

He insisted to the 1,200 sell-out crowd that the event was a "celebration" as it was the first 'Presidential Dinner' since the party came into power.

His wife, Fionnuala O'Kelly, was also present for the occasion.

Mr Kenny delivered the keynote speech, where he paid a touching tribute to his mother and received two standing ovations.

He also made his way around the room to shake hands with all the party supporters present.

Fine Gael sources said Mr Kenny regarded it as important he attended the event as the crowd were mainly grassroots party activists who came from all across the country.

Tickets for the dinner were €120 a head, meaning the party brought in up to €144,000 in ticket sales -- before the cost of running the event was paid.

Mr Kenny regaled the crowd with an account of a recent meeting with Nicolas Sarkozy in Brussels, during which the French president expressed relief that his new baby daughter, Giulia, didn't look like him.

Mr Kenny had congratulated Mr Sarkozy after his wife, model and singer Carla Bruni, gave birth last month. Imitating a French accent, the Taoiseach revealed Mr Sarkozy's response: "The good news is that the bebe takes after the mother."

Irish Independent

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