Tuesday 24 April 2018

Dear Friend… Enda’s last letter as Fine Gael leader

Enda Kenny. Photo: Tony Gavin
Enda Kenny. Photo: Tony Gavin
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has today written a final letter to the membership of Fine Gael as their leader.

In it he describes the two men battling to be his successor as “outstanding candidates” and claims credit for cleaning up the economic mess after 2011.

He also pays “a special tribute” to his wife Fionnuala and his family “for the man intrusions into our private lives by politics”.

Here is the full wording of Mr Kenny’s letter:

Dear Friend,

This is my last message to you as Leader of Fine Gael.

Today, a new Leader will be chosen by the Fine Gael membership from two outstanding candidates, Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar. I wish them both the best and thank them for making the contest really exciting and worthwhile. It certainly brought a new energy to our members who participated in the meetings around the country.

Our Party now leads the Government for the second time and you are aware of the many decisions we had to take in order to clean up the economic mess we inherited in 2011. Not for the first time!

I am happy that we have retrieved our sovereignty, restored our economic independence and have given our people back our national flag with respect and credibility. Ireland’s international reputation is now at a very high level as others express their astonishment that we could recover so quickly.

But this is a day for a new Leader. I know how this feels. It is a mixture of excitement and nervousness because of what the future might hold. On the 5th June 2002, I became Leader of a Party that has suffered serious losses in a General Election. I spent the following nine years up and down the country and through the 2007 Election before entering Government in 2011.

I thank you once again for all your support and help during that time and since. It has been my absolute privilege to work with you and for you. I will ask you to give the same support to whoever is elected Leader today.

I will continue as Taoiseach until a new Taoiseach is elected by the Dáil.

I have to pay a special tribute and special thanks to Fionnuala and our family for the many intrusions into our private lives by politics. I could not have done a job I loved without their understanding at all times.

I wish Fine Gael nothing but the best in the time ahead and will continue to assist in any way I can.

Slán agus beannacht.

Enda Kenny TD


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