Monday 17 June 2019

Watch: Enda Kenny questioned over removing line from speech that suggests he is on the verge of stepping down as Taoiseach

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been on a tour of the US.
Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been on a tour of the US.
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A speech in which Taoiseach Enda Kenny was to give a first publication acknowledgment that he is on the verge of stepping down has been edited to remove any mention of his resignation.

Earlier today officials issued an embargoed copy of a keynote address which Mr Kenny was expected to deliver at The Ireland Fund dinner in Washington.

Among the attendees who will be at the event are US Vice President Mike Pence and former senator George Mitchell.

Mr Kenny's speech was to include the line: "On this night – my last with you as Taoiseach – I want to remember particularly Lew Glucksman."

However a revised copy of the speech was issued over an hour later with the significant line removed.

Although the Taoiseach had privately told the Fine Gael parliamentary party that he will deal with the leadership question on his return from the US, he has never publicly stated that he will step down in coming weeks.

Asked about the speech Mr Kenny said the line should not have been included but refused to elaborate on why it was included in the first instance.

A spokesman told "The speech issued was not approved by the Taoiseach."

Speaking at a press conference tonight Mr Kenny said "it shouldn't have been in there".

When asked if he could give his first public acknowledgement on plans to step down he said:

"I've already explained to my own parliamentary party [my intentions]".

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