Irish leader Enda Kenny stepping down as head of his party

May 18, 2017, 00:39
Irish leader Enda Kenny stepping down as head of his party

Enda Kenny, the Irish Taoiseach, is stepping down as party leader, he announced in a statement on his Twitter account Wednesday.

After 15 years at the helm, including two stints as Taoiseach, Mr Kenny wants the party executive to expedite hand over process by June 2 but stressed that he will continue to perform his duties as Taoiseach until a new leader has been elected.

The veteran politician, from Castlebar, Co Mayo, is to resign after 15 years at the helm of the party and more than six years at the head of government.

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I intend to provide a brief but appropriate period for my successor to engage with groups and members supportive of Government, and with other Parties in the Dáil regarding provision of Government for the future.

"I could not have engaged as I did without that base".

The Fine Gael Press Office told JOE that the parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday, which takes place at 5.30pm, has been described as a "regular meeting".

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He also noted Mr Kenny's contribution to job creation, his role in the marriage equality referendum and his encouragement of intergenerational change in Fine Gael. With his vision, determination, positivity and relentless work-rate he led our Party back from defeat and to sustained electoral success, culminating in victory in the 2011 General Election and a record result for our Party.

Mr Kenny delayed the transition to a new leader on a number of occasions this year, asking colleagues for time to visit the United States for the annual St Patrick's Day celebrations and to meet President Donald Trump, continuing the unique tradition Ireland has of access to the White House every March 17.

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