Saturday 7 December 2019

Donohoe rules himself out of any future race to succeed Enda Kenny

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Photocall Ireland
Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Photocall Ireland

Niall O'Connor

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has categorically ruled himself out of any race to succeed Enda Kenny as leader of Fine Gael.

Mr Donohoe said that even if a leadership contest takes place after the General Election, he will not be putting his name forward.

This is despite calls from a number of Fine Gael politicians, including Sports Minister Michael Ring, for Mr Donohoe to seriously consider a leadership bid after Mr Kenny steps down.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Donohoe said he was encouraged by the support from his junior minister but that he will not enter any contest to succeed Mr Kenny.

"Michael is a fantastic colleague and has been a partner in much of what I have achieved in my time in government," Mr Donohoe said.

"The only thing on my mind is getting re-elected. And if the Taoiseach was to decide to step down as leader of Fine Gael in the future, I will not be one of those people putting his name forward," he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Donohoe appeared to shift his stance somewhat on the issue of terminations in the prospect of fatal foetal abnormalities.

In a previous statement, Mr Donohoe said he welcomed the establishment of a Citizens' Convention to discuss the various sensitive issues surrounding abortion.

But pressed on the issue again, the minister said he wants to see "more support" provided to couples whose child will be born with a fatal foetal abnormality.

"We have had discussions within our party and within government in relation to it, that for me the matter of fatal foetal abnormalities is something I do want to see examined. I do want to see if we can find a better way of offering support for families who are dealing with this, than is currently the case at the moment," Mr Donohoe said.

"If I were to be re-elected, that is the view I would be articulating," he added.

Irish Independent

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