Kenny resigns as FG leader

The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney T.D., has today paid warm, personal tribute to outgoing Party Leader Enda Kenny, T.D. who announced today his plans to step down from the position he has held since 2002.

However he will continue to carry out his duties as party leader in an acting capacity until a successor is chosen.

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.

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Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime Deputy Ring said Mr Kenny gave all he could as leader of the country and that he did a tremendous job.

He said: "I especially want to thank my wife Fionnuala, our children, my siblings and their families for their understanding of my work, and indeed for accepting the many intrusions of politics into family life in the interest of building our country".

Kenny has been prime minister of Ireland since 2011, and has led Fine Gael for the past 15 years.

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Kenny - who had already said he would not lead Fine Gael into elections due late next year - said he would continue to carry out his duties as prime minister while the leadership contest takes place.

Kenny had agreed to hand over power but repeatedly delayed, asking colleagues for time to visit the United States for St. Patrick's Day celebrations and to meet President Donald Trump in March, then attending a key European Union summit in April to talk about Britain's exit.

Mr Kenny will remain on as Taoiseach until a new leader is elected.

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