Enda Kenny

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Australian singer, see Enda Kenny (singer).
Enda Kenny
TD
Enda Kenny (13537427703).jpg
Enda Kenny in 2014
Taoiseach
Incumbent
Assumed office
9 March 2011
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore
Joan Burton
Preceded by Brian Cowen
Leader of Fine Gael
Incumbent
Assumed office
5 June 2002
Deputy Richard Bruton
James Reilly
Preceded by Michael Noonan
Minister for Defence
Acting
In office
7 May 2014 – 11 July 2014
Preceded by Alan Shatter
Succeeded by Simon Coveney
Leader of the Opposition
In office
5 June 2002 – 9 March 2011
Preceded by Michael Noonan
Succeeded by Micheál Martin
Minister for Tourism and Trade
In office
15 December 1994 – 26 June 1997
Preceded by Charlie McCreevy
Succeeded by Jim McDaid
Teachta Dála
Incumbent
Assumed office
6 June 1997
Constituency Mayo
In office
12 November 1975 – 6 June 1997
Constituency Mayo West
Personal details
Born (1951-04-24) 24 April 1951 (age 63)
Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland
Political party Fine Gael
Spouse(s) Fionnuala O'Kelly (1992–present)
Children 1 daughter
2 sons
Alma mater St Patrick's College of Education, Dublin
University College, Galway
Religion Roman Catholicism[1]
Signature

Enda Kenny (born 24 April 1951) is an Irish Fine Gael politician, and has been the Taoiseach since March 2011. He has led Fine Gael since 2002. He served as Minister for Tourism and Trade from 1994 to 1997. He is also a two-term Vice-President of the European People's Party.

Kenny has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for Mayo since 1975, having succeeded his father Henry Kenny.[2] He is the longest-serving TD currently in Dáil Éireann, which makes him the incumbent Father of the Dáil.

Kenny led Fine Gael in the 2011 general election. He subsequently brokered an agreement with the Labour Party and formed a coalition government on 9 March 2011.[3] He is Fine Gael's first Taoiseach since John Bruton from 1994 to 1997, and the first Fine Gael leader to win government in an election since Garret FitzGerald in 1982.

Early and private life[edit]

Enda Kenny was born in Derrywash in the village of Islandeady near Castlebar, County Mayo in 1951, the third child of five. He was educated locally at St. Patrick's National School in Cornanool and St. Gerald's College (De La Salle) in Castlebar.[4] Kenny was subsequently accepted into University College Galway but attended St. Patrick's College of Education in Dublin and [5] after two years training he qualified as a teacher and briefly worked as a primary school teacher.[6]

Kenny has been married to Dubliner Fionnuala O'Kelly since 1992. She has been described by the media as his "best asset" and his "secret weapon".[7][8] O'Kelly is first cousin to sitting MEP Seán Kelly,[9] former President of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The Kelly family originally come from the parish of Kilcummin near Killarney, County Kerry. Enda and Fionnuala have three children, one daughter and two sons. The couple met in Leinster House where O'Kelly worked as a press officer for Fianna Fáil. She later worked with RTÉ.[7][8][10]

Kenny has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and completed the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle.[11][12] He is a keen supporter of his native Mayo Gaelic football team. He played Gaelic football for his local club, Islandeady,[13] of which he is the current club president. His father, Henry Kenny, won an All-Ireland medal with the inter-county team in 1936. His grandfather was a lighthouse keeper.[14]

Political career[edit]

Early political career[edit]

From an early age Kenny was exposed to politics as his father, Henry Kenny, became a Fine Gael TD in 1954. In the early 1970s he became directly involved in politics when he started helping his father with constituency clinics. In 1975 Henry Kenny, who was at this stage a Parliamentary Secretary in the government, died after a short battle with cancer. The Fine Gael party wanted one of his sons to stand as their candidate at the subsequent by-election, and so Enda Kenny was chosen. He was elected on the first count with 52% of the vote, and at 24 he was the youngest member of the 20th Dáil.[15]

Kenny remained on the backbenches of the Dáil for almost a decade. He was appointed party spokesperson firstly on youth affairs and sport, then western development; however, he failed to build a national profile as he concentrated more on constituency matters. Kenny was left out in the cold when Garret FitzGerald became Taoiseach for the first time in 1981 and again in 1982. He was, however, appointed as a member of the Fine Gael delegation at the New Ireland Forum in 1983 and later served on the British-Irish Parliamentary Association. In 1986 he became a Minister of State at the Departments of Education and Labour. Fine Gael lost the 1987 general election resulting in Kenny being on the opposition benches for the next seven years. In spite of this his national profile was raised as he served in a number of positions on the party's front bench, including Education, Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht, and the Islands. He was also the Fine Gael Chief Whip for a short period.

Government minister[edit]

In late 1994 the Fianna FáilLabour Party government collapsed; however, no general election was called. Instead a Fine GaelLabour PartyDemocratic Left "Rainbow Coalition" came to power. Kenny, as Fine Gael chief whip, was a key member of the team, which negotiated the programme for government with the other two parties prior to the formation of the new government. Under Taoiseach John Bruton, Kenny joined the cabinet and was appointed Minister for Tourism and Trade. During his tenure as minister, Ireland saw a significant growth in tourism business and in its international trade position[citation needed]. As minister he chaired the European Union Council of Trade Ministers during Ireland's six-month Presidency of the European Council as well as co-chairing a round of the World Trade Organization talks in 1996. Among Kenny's other achievements were the rejuvenation of the Saint Patrick's Day parade in Dublin and the successful negotiations to bring a stage of the 1998 Tour de France to Ireland. In 1997 the government was defeated at the general election and Kenny returned to the opposition benches.

2001 Fine Gael leadership election[edit]

In 2001 John Bruton resigned as leader of Fine Gael following a vote of no confidence in his ability.[16] Kenny was one of a number of candidates who stood in the subsequent leadership election, promising to "electrify the party".[17] In the final ballot it was Michael Noonan who emerged victorious (it is Fine Gael's custom not to publish ballot results for leadership elections). Noonan subsequently failed to give a spokesperson's assignment to Kenny. This led Kenny to accuse Noonan of sending a "dangerous message".[18]

Fine Gael leader[edit]

At the 2002 general election Fine Gael suffered its worst electoral performance ever, losing 23 seats, a figure larger than expected and with its overall vote down 5%. Kenny himself came close to losing his seat and even went so far as to prepare a concession speech. In the end he won the third seat in the five-seat constituency. Noonan resigned as Fine Gael leader on the night of the result, an action which triggered another leadership election. Protest meetings were held by members of the party against the speed with which the leadership election had been called and the failure to broaden the franchise to the membership. It was suggested that it was foolish to choose a leader before conducting an electoral post-mortem.

Kenny once again contested the Fine Gael leadership and emerged successful on that occasion.[19] On becoming leader he faced an unenviable task. He not only had to rebuild a demoralised party that had been cut down to 31 seats, but also had to face a very popular Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern. In the beginning his leadership style was also criticised. The tide began to turn for Fine Gael in 2003 as the Fianna Fáil-led government's popularity took a downturn. Fine Gael's membership increased and the party became a much more united entity. Kenny's first major televised conference speech in November 2003 was well received by the media and, for many, marked a turn in Fine Gael's fortunes as it began to offer more vigorous opposition to Ahern's government.[citation needed]

Viktor Orbán, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, and Enda Kenny during an EPP Summit on 11 December 2008

In September 2002, Kenny was accused of making racist remarks after he used the word "nigger" in a joke relating to Patrice Lumumba, the assassinated first Prime Minister of Congo. Kenny wanted his "obscure joke" to be suppressed and specifically asked journalists not to report it, though Enda's "chortling repetition of the inflammatory word" was carried by the Sunday Independent newspaper.[20] He was subsequently condemned by race campaigners in Britain and abroad.[21][22] Matters were made worse when it emerged that several of Lumumba's relatives, including a son and several grandchildren, lived in Tallaght.[23]

Fine Gael out-performed expectations at the 2004 Local and European elections, which saw Fine Gael increase it representation from 4 MEPs of 15 from Ireland, to 5 from 13. This was the first time Fine Gael had ever defeated Fianna Fáil in a national election, as well as the first time Fianna Fáil had lost a national election since it finished second in the Irish general election, September 1927 to Cumann na nGaedheal, Fine Gael's immediate predecessor.

In July 2005, five men from the north of Kenny's Mayo constituency were jailed over their opposition to the Fianna Fáil-led government's plans for the Corrib gas project. One of the men, Philip McGrath, worked for Kenny as an election agent for Rossport during general elections. Unlike his fellow Mayo Fine Gael TD, Michael Ring, Kenny was cautious about backing the men's stance (Ring would later be forced to adopt the same policy).[24] The Shell to Sea campaign that was founded to help release the men and get the government to change its mind shut down work on the project for fifteen months. When Gardaí were brought in to remove protesters with tactics that saw many hospitalised, Kenny said: "The law must be obeyed."[25]

In November 2005, Kenny called for the abolition of compulsory Irish for the Leaving Certificate examinations. This was opposed by all the major Irish language organisations.[26] In March 2006 Kenny was elected Vice-President of the European People's Party (EPP), the largest European political group to which Fine Gael is affiliated.[27] In his speech to the EPP he stated that Fine Gael would be in government within two years.

During the first half of 2006 Kenny went aggressively after a more populist line on the cost of immigration, street crime, paedophilia, and homeowner's rights. A graphic description of a mugging he had experienced was given to the Dáil in the context of a crime discussion, only for it to be revealed a day later that the incident had occurred in Kenya, not in Ireland.[28]

Responding to the banking crisis in County Cork on 15 February 2009, Kenny asked the entire board of the Central Bank of Ireland's Financial Regulation section to resign.[29]

2007 general election[edit]

Kenny, speaking at the Young Fine Gael conference in 2007

Under Kenny the Fine Gael Party agreed to enter a pre-election pact with the Labour Party to offer the electorate an alternative coalition government at the 2007 general election held on 24 May. The so-called Mullingar Accord was agreed in September 2004 following the European and local elections that year.[30] The Green Party also signalled via the media to be in favour of membership of such a coalition government after the election.[citation needed] They refused to commit to an agreement prior to polling day however.

Kenny's leadership has attempted to define Fine Gael as a party of the progressive centre. Its policy initiatives have concentrated on value for money, consumer rights, civil partnerships, reform of public spending, reward and enterprise, and preventative health care policy. The party has sought to retake its former mantle as the law-and-order party committed to defending the institutions of the state. At the Fine Gael Ardfheis in March 2007 Kenny outlined his platform for the forthcoming general election entitled the "Contract for a Better Ireland".[31] The main aspects of this "contract" included: 2,300 more hospital beds, 2,000 more Gardaí, tougher jail sentences and tougher bail for criminals, free health insurance for all children under 16 and lower income tax.

Bertie Ahern was perceived by many to have comfortably beaten Kenny in the pre-election Leaders' debate.[32]

When the votes were counted it emerged that Fine Gael had made large gains, increasing its number of seats by twenty to give a total of 51 seats in the new Dáil.[33] However, Labour and the Greens failed to make gains, leaving Kenny's "Alliance for Change" short of a majority. Despite predictions to the contrary, the Fianna Fáil vote recovered sufficiently to bring it to 78 seats, and a third term in government for Ahern.[34]

Media commentary[edit]

In December 2008, Vincent Browne criticised Kenny in The Irish Times for not having a grasp of the issues, notably of economic issues.[35]

2010 leadership challenge[edit]

An opinion poll published in The Irish Times on 10 June 2010 triggered a challenge to Kenny's leadership of the party. The Ipsos MRBI poll indicated that the Labour Party had become the most popular political party in the country for the first time ever, and also showed a drop in backing for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and for their leaders. It showed a five-point drop in Fianna Fáil support since January 2010, leaving that party on 17%, Fine Gael down four points to 28%, and Labour up eight points to 32%. Satisfaction with Kenny's leadership dropped 7% to 24%.[36]

Following the failure of the party's deputy leader Richard Bruton to support him, he was dismissed by Kenny on 14 June. He also tabled a motion of confidence in his leadership, to be held on 17 June.[36][37] On the following day it was revealed that nine members of the Fine Gael frontbench did not have confidence in Kenny to lead their party – composed of Simon Coveney, Denis Naughten, Olwyn Enright, Olivia Mitchell, Fergus O'Dowd, Michael Creed, Billy Timmins, Leo Varadkar, and Brian Hayes. Denis Naughten said frontbench members did not have Kenny's support and would like him to withdraw his motion of confidence and stand down in the interest of the party.[36]

The motion of confidence in Kenny was passed.[36][38] He announced a major reshuffle of his party's front bench on 1 July 2010, re-appointing Bruton, Coveney, O'Dowd, and Varadkar.[39]

2011 general election[edit]

At the start of the 2011 general election, Kenny said Fine Gael recognised the importance of "the giving of hope and confidence to people through the taxation system", when speaking to reporters outside party election headquarters in Dublin. "The Fine Gael party in this election is the only party that is categorically saying that there will not be any increase in income tax over our period in government", he said. He said the country needed strong government and not an administration that depended on the support of Independents. "I think that this is a time for courageous and strong government. It is not a time for government that might self-combust or that would be dependent on the whim of any mercenary Independents. This is a judgment call for the people."[40]

There was several leaders debates on television during the campaign. There was uniquely three debates on stations TV3, RTÉ and TG4 between Enda Kenny, Michaél Martin, and Eamon Gilmore and a five way leaders' debate on RTÉ also including Gerry Adams and John Gormley along with the other participants from the three way debates.

Kenny however refused to participate in the three-way leaders' debate proposed by TV3, stating his unhappiness that Vincent Browne would chair the debate.[41] Browne is a well known critic of Fine Gael and Kenny. In 1982 Browne appeared on The Late Late Show where he poured scorn on Kenny, claiming he was "purporting" to be a TD.[42] In October 2010, Browne was forced to make a public apology to Kenny after jokingly asking whether Fine Gael was requesting that he go into a darkroom with a gun and bottle of whiskey. This was in reference to Fine Gael's position in the polls, where they were in second place to Labour, and a previous leadership challenge to Kenny by Richard Bruton.[43] Kenny refused to appear on the leaders debate despite an offer by Browne to be replaced by a different moderator for the debate if Kenny would appear.[44][45]

Kenny participated in a three party leader debate on RTÉ, moderated by Miriam O'Callaghan[46] and also in a five-way debate on RTÉ, which was a new departure involving all party leaders of the outgoing Dáil, including Kenny, moderated by Pat Kenny.[47]

He participated in a three-way debate in the Irish language with Micheál Martin and Eamon Gilmore on TG4.[48]

Kenny makes a speech to Fine Gael party members on the day of the election results.

On 14 February 2011, Kenny met German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the Irish economy. Kenny and Merkel have close political ties because Merkel's CDU party and Fine Gael are both members of the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) and seating at EPP meetings is arranged by alphabetical order of surname.[49] The close relationship between these two leaders is illustrated further by the fact that Angela Merkel also backed Enda Kenny and Fine Gael during the 2007 election.[50]

Opinion polls of 23 February 2011 sponsored by Paddy Power,[51] the Irish Independent,[52] and The Irish Times[53] suggested that Kenny would lead Fine Gael to its largest total of seats to date in the 31st Dáil, and that he would be elected Taoiseach.

In the election, Kenny led Fine Gael to a decisive victory. The party won 76 seats, the most in its 78-year history, becoming the largest party in the Dáil for the first time ever. Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil suffered the worst defeat of a sitting government in the history of the Irish state, its representation being reduced by 75%. Kenny himself topped the poll in his Mayo constituency and uniquely three others from Fine Gael were elected alongside Kenny. At a victory party in Dublin, Kenny declared Fine Gael had "a massive endorsement" to govern, and the election marked "a transformative moment in Ireland's history".[54] Later, he told RTÉ that he fully expected to become Taoiseach after what he called "a democratic revolution at the ballot box".[55] While there was some talk that Fine Gael would govern alone as a minority government, senior Fine Gael leaders indicated as soon as the election result was beyond doubt that they would likely enter a coalition government with Labour.[56] Late on the night of 5 March, Fine Gael and Labour formally agreed to form a coalition government with Kenny as Taoiseach[3] and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore as Tánaiste, with Labour being given four other seats in cabinet.[57]

Kenny said that his first priority upon taking office will be to renegotiate the bailout, calling the original deal "a bad deal for Ireland and a bad deal for Europe".[58]

Taoiseach (2011–present)[edit]

2011[edit]

Kenny with US President Barack Obama

The members of the 31st Dáil convened for the first time on 9 March 2011 and elected Kenny as Taoiseach by a vote of 117–27.[59] Kenny received his seal of office from President Mary McAleese. He also announced ministerial appointees to his Government on 9 March 2011.[60] At just under 59 years and 11 months on accession, Kenny is the second-oldest person to have assumed the office for the first time,[61] the oldest being Seán Lemass.

On 9 March 2011, Kenny appointed 15 junior Ministries. He also appointed a Minister for political reform, and sent a request to the OPW as to how he could address ministerial transport.[62] On 15 March it was announced that only the current President, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Minister for Justice were to have Garda drivers. All other Ministers would have to make use of their own transport with a mileage allowance and a commercial chauffeur as an expense. There was no announcement as to the continuing engagement of three government jets.[63] The media reported that this would reduce the ministerial motor vehicle transport bill to 7 million euro annually which is more than the combined annual tax contributions of 16,000 people on minimum wage.

A report in the Sunday Mirror said Kenny would be the first Taoiseach to use the Steward's Lodge at Farmleigh as his official residence; however this proved false.

Government pay cuts[edit]

In one of his first acts in the top office, Kenny slashed his own pay by €14,000 (a reduction of 7% which leaves his weekly net income at over €2,500). The new government also decided to cut the pay of senior ministers. The Taoiseach's pay was cut from €214,187 to €200,000. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore's pay was cut from €197,486 to €184,405. Ministers' pay was reduced to €169,275 (from €181,283), while pay for Ministers of State was cut from €139,266 to €130,042. In another cost-cutting measure, Kenny asked the Garda, the Departments of Justice and Transport, as well as the Office of Public Works, to come up with a plan to reduce the amount spent on transporting ministers and their teams.[64]

Financial and banking policy[edit]

On 11 March, his third day as Taoiseach, Kenny attended his first summit of European Union leaders in Brussels. During that summit he engaged in a heated confrontation with French President Nicolas Sarkozy (which Kenny termed "a Gallic spat") over Ireland's comparatively low 12.5% corporate tax rate, which EU leaders have frequently posited as a condition of more favourable terms for the Irish bailout.[65] Kenny held firm on his refusal to alter the corporate tax, which he reiterated in his first Leaders' Questions the following week—also declaring his government's intention to withhold further state funds from Dublin banks until the EU agreed to new terms that forced banks' senior bondholders to share in the losses.[66]

However, less than three weeks later on 31 March, the Central Bank of Ireland published the results of its "stress tests" on Ireland's four surviving banks (Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, EBS, and Irish Life & Permanent) —indicating that the banks needed to raise an additional €24 billion to remain solvent.[67] Despite his earlier promise, the government announced the same day that the state would supply the necessary funds to keep the banks afloat, with Kenny stating that seeking the money from bondholders would be neither "reasonable or logical".[68] Kenny was heavily criticised for his government's action, with the Irish Independent noting that "this is the fifth time Irish people have been told over the past couple of years it would be the last payout they would have to endure".[69]

Nevertheless, the first national opinion poll since Kenny took office, published on 10 April, showed that public support for Kenny's Fine Gael party had increased since the election from 36% to 39%, although a plurality also indicated deep dissatisfaction with his rescue of the banks.[70]

On 21 July 2011, Kenny announced that an agreement had been reached by Eurozone leaders to reduce Ireland's interest rate by 2% and extend the repayment period.[71]

Pension levy controversy[edit]

On 9 May, Kenny's government announced a new job creation program, along with plan to finance it via a 0.6% tax levy on private pension savings.[72] Public pension funds, however, would remain untouched. The pension levy caused an immediate and intense outcry, leaving Kenny to defend the initiative as "a modest proposal" and refuting charges that the government would next tax personal savings.[73][74] However, the controversy surrounding the levy intensified on 12 May, when Kenny admitted that the holders of Approved Retirement Funds—most of whom were among the highest income earners in Ireland—would not be included in the levy.[75]

Political reforms[edit]

Enda Kenny shakes the hand of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2008.

On 3 May 2011, Kenny's government approved a set of political reforms that adhered to promises Kenny had made in the 2011 election.[76][77] Among the approved reforms were a binding Constituency Commission scheduled for June 2011, with the specific purpose of reducing the number of TDs by up to 20;[76] an act to establish a six-month time limit for holding by-elections to the Dáil; a €750,000 spending limit in the 2011 Irish presidential election; Legislation to ban corporate donations, to be enacted by summer 2011; establishment of a Constitutional Convention in 2011, which will include discussion of the Seanad; and a referendum to abolish the Seanad, to be held in the second half of 2012.[77] The promise to cut up to 20 TDs caused some controversy and scepticism due to the Constitutional requirement that there be no less than one TD for every 30,000 people, which would necessitate a minimum of 150 TDs—meaning that the current number of 166 TDs could be reduced by 16 at most.[78]

Vatican reprimand and response[edit]

On 13 July 2011, the Cloyne Report was published, detailing the investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse by 19 priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cloyne.[79] Among the report's findings were the revelation that the vast majority of allegations made in the diocese were not reported to the Garda, as required by the Church's 1996 guidelines; that the Bishop of the Diocese, John Magee, and others had withheld full co-operation with the Government's investigation and had deliberately misrepresented his own response to the allegations; and that the Vatican itself had both refused to co-operate in the investigation and counselled the Diocese that the 1996 guidelines were not binding.[80]

On 20 July, Kenny condemned the Vatican[81] for its role in the scandal, stating that the Church's role in obstructing the investigation was a serious infringement upon the sovereignty of Ireland and that the scandal revealed "the dysfunction, disconnection and elitism that dominates the culture of the Vatican to this day".[82] He added that "the historic relationship between church and state in Ireland could not be the same again".[83][84]

Kenny's attack on the Vatican was unprecedented by a high-level official in Ireland, whose formal relationship with the Catholic Church had long been viewed as intimate and inextricable.[citation needed] The speech was widely regarded as extraordinary, with the Daily Mail commenting that the "attack was the first time that Ireland's Parliament has publicly castigated the Vatican instead of local church leaders during the country's 17 years of paedophile-priest scandals".[84] The Guardian remarked that " the political classes have...lost their fear, namely of the once almighty Roman Catholic church."[85]

On 3 September, the Holy See issued its response to Mr Kenny's speech noting that "the accusation that the Holy See attempted "to frustrate an Inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago, not three decades ago", which Mr Kenny made no attempt to substantiate, is unfounded. Indeed, when asked, a Government spokesperson clarified that Mr Kenny was not referring to any specific incident". The response added that "Those Reports [...] contain no evidence to suggest that the Holy See meddled in the internal affairs of the Irish State or, for that matter, was involved in the day-to-day management of Irish dioceses or religious congregations with respect to sexual abuse issues".

On the quoting of then Cardinal Ratzinger, the response notes that "the quotation in question is taken from the Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, otherwise known as Donum Veritatis (The Gift of the Truth), published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 24 May 1990, and signed by the then Prefect and Secretary of the Congregation. It is not a private text of the then Cardinal Ratzinger but an official document of the Congregation. This document is concerned with the theologian's service to the Church community, a service which can also be of help to society at large, and not with the manner in which the Church should behave within a democratic society nor with issues of child protection, as Kenny's use of the quotation would seem to imply".[86]

2011 national address[edit]

Kenny gave a televised address to the nation on 4 December 2011, ahead of the delivery of the 2012 Irish budget.[87] He warned that Budget 2012 "will be tough", and that "it has to be". He also said that it will move Ireland towards a manageable deficit of 3% of GDP by 2015.[88] This was only the sixth time that a taoiseach has addressed the nation,[89] reflecting the gravity of the Irish economic condition, in what Kenny stressed were "exceptional" circumstances.[90] The broadcast was the second most watched television programme of 2011 in Ireland, attracting an audience of 1.2 million viewers.[91]

2013[edit]

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with some of the cabinet, March 2013

Promissory notes[edit]

In February 2013, a deal was reached with the European Central Bank in relation to the promissory note used to bail out the former Anglo Irish Bank. Kenny described it as a "a good day for the country and its people".[92] He told the Dáil that, as a result of the changes, there would be a €20 billion reduction in the borrowing requirement of the National Treasury Management Agency in the years ahead, but also cautioned that the agreement was not a "silver bullet".[93]

Magdalene Laundry apology[edit]

On 19 February 2013 in Dáil Éireann, Kenny apologised on behalf of the State to the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries. The government also told the estimated 800 to 1,000 surviving Magdalene women that a compensation scheme would be set up for them.[94]

2013 national address[edit]

To mark the end of the Troika bailout in December 2013, Kenny gave a second address to the nation, saying that the country was moving in the right direction, and that the economy was starting to recover.[95]

2014[edit]

Resignation of Martin Callinan[edit]

In March 2014, in response to reports that garda stations were bugged, Kenny informed the Dáil that he had sent Brian Purcell, the Secretary General of the Department of Justice, to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan the day before Callinan's sudden departure from his role. Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said this meant Kenny had effectively "sacked" Callinan. Kenny also said that he had been personally briefed on garda surveillance by his Attorney General Máire Whelan as Whelan did not wish to speak of the matter over the telephone.[96]

In May 2014, following the resignation of justice minister Alan Shatter, support for Kenny and his party slumped at the local and European elections.[97] Kenny was later to be seen doing some "happy dancing" at the annual Bloom Festival.[98][99]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Enda Kenny says he is a Catholic". Irish Central. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Mr. Enda Kenny". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 24 September 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Irish parties agree to form coalition government". CNN. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Clongowes (and other top schools) boys back in charge". Evening Herald. 12 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Who is Enda Kenny?". RTÉ News. 2 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "The Meaning Of Life". The Meaning Of Life With Gay Byrne. 22 June 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Reilly, Jerome (8 April 2007). "Enda's been hiding his party's best asset: his wife". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 8 April 2007. 
  8. ^ a b O'Doherty, Gemma (5 February 2011). "Fionnuala Kenny – Enda's secret weapon". Irish Independent. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  9. ^ Minihan, Mary (15 March 2011). "Labour to choose between Higgins and Finlay as presidential candidate". The Irish Times. 
  10. ^ "Keeper of Castlebar". The Irish Times. 8 August 2009. 
  11. ^ "The Restaurant: Enda Kenny". RTÉ Television. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  12. ^ "Taoiseach completes Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle". RTÉ News. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "Islandeady club notes". Hoganstand.com. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  14. ^ Sweeney, Ken (5 July 2011). "Taoiseach shows off his true focus". Irish Independent. 
  15. ^ "Enda Kenny". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 24 September 2009. 
  16. ^ "Bruton resigns as Fine Gael leader". breakingNEWS.ie. 1 February 2001.
  17. ^ "Kenny supported by one third of FG". Sunday Independent. 9 June 2002. "16 months after he famously said during his failed attempt to beat Michael Noonan that he would electrify the party, Enda Kenny is now in charge of Fine Gael."
  18. ^ "Fine Gael leaders sending "dangerous message" – Kenny". RTÉ News. 15 February 2001.
  19. ^ "Enda Kenny elected Fine Gael leader". RTÉ News. 5 June 2002. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  20. ^ Kenny, Colum. "'Nigger' joke reveals ignorance of racism". Sunday Independent. 15 September 2002.
  21. ^ Bright, Martin (15 September 2002). "Fury at Kenny 'joke' spreads". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 13 October 2009. 
  22. ^ "Lumumba's many lovers". Sunday Independent. 22 September 2002. "Patrice Lumumba was the subject of an anecdote by Enda Kenny..."
  23. ^ "Why Enda Kenny is not quite as dull as people make out: Enda Kenny likes to tell racist jokes". JOE.ie. 15 June 2010.
  24. ^ "SF accused of hijacking Corrib oil pipeline protest". Irish Independent. 21 October 2006. 
  25. ^ "Serious confrontation at Corrib gas site". RTÉ News. 10 November 2006. Retrieved 9 April 2008. 
  26. ^ "150 protest against Fine Gael's Irish policy". RTÉ News. 16 November 2005. 
  27. ^ "Enda Kenny elected Vice-President of EPP". RTÉ News. 31 March 2006. 
  28. ^ Hogan, Senan (1 July 2006). "Kenny's comment on attack 'misleading'". Irish Independent. 
  29. ^ "Kenny wants Regulator board to resign". RTÉ News. 15 February 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2009. 
  30. ^ "Opposition leaders unveil 'Mullingar Accord'". RTÉ News. 6 September 2004. Retrieved 9 April 2008. 
  31. ^ "FG Ard-Fheis: Contract for a Better Ireland". RTÉ News. 31 March 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2008. 
  32. ^ "News on Two". RTÉ News. 17 May 2007. 
  33. ^ "RTÉ Election 2007 – Election news and results". RTÉ News. Archived from the original on 31 March 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008. 
  34. ^ "Ahern names new Cabinet". RTÉ News. 14 June 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2008. 
  35. ^ "We are stuck with inept trio and a dismal alternative". The Irish Times. 31 December 2008. 
  36. ^ a b c d "Labour most popular party – poll". RTÉ News. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  37. ^ "Enda Kenny says challenge is 'misjudged'". RTÉ News. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  38. ^ "Kenny survives confidence vote". RTÉ News. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  39. ^ "Bruton & Noonan return to Fine Gael frontbench". RTÉ News. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2010. 
  40. ^ Minihan, Mary (2 February 2011). "Kenny promises not to raise income tax". The Irish Ttimes. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  41. ^ Independent.ie (5 February 2011). "Enda puts the boot into Vincent over three-way debate hoohah". Independent.ie. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  42. ^ Sheahan, Fionnan (7 February 2011). "Fine Gael leader's feud with Browne goes back almost 30 years". Irish Independent. 
  43. ^ Brennan, Michael (4 October 2010). "Browne to apologise for 'silly' suggestion of Kenny suicide". Irish Independent. 
  44. ^ Sheahan, Fionnan; Kelly, Fiach; O'Regan, Eilish (7 February 2011). "Defiant Kenny digs in over snub to TV debate". Irish Independent. 
  45. ^ Cullen, Paul (5 February 2011). "Kenny refuses to take part in TV3 debate". The Irish Times. 
  46. ^ "Party leaders spar off in final election debate". Thejournal.ie. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  47. ^ "Five party leaders debate election issues". RTÉ News. 15 February 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  48. ^ "TG4 to Host Party Leaders Debate As Gaeilge". Iftn.ie. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  49. ^ Simpson, Mark (17 February 2011). "Irish election campaign diary". BBC News Online. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  50. ^ Independent.ie (3 April 2007). "Merkel backs Kenny for Taoiseach". Independent.ie. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  51. ^ "Enda Kenny focused on 'real poll'". RTÉ News. 23 February 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  52. ^ "Live – Election 2011 Debate". RTÉ News. 22 February 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2011. 
  53. ^ "New poll sees FG gain at Labour's expense". RTÉ News. 20 February 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  54. ^ "Kenny leads Fine Gael to win as Fianna Fáil vote collapses". The Irish Times. 27 February 2011. 
  55. ^ "Enda Kenny welcomes 'democratic revolution'". RTÉ News. 26 February 2011. 
  56. ^ "Fianna Fáil trounced as Fine Gael and Labour set to form coalition". The Guardian. 27 February 2011. 
  57. ^ "Eamon Gilmore set for Foreign Affairs". RTÉ News. 8 March 2011. 
  58. ^ "Ireland's next leader Kenny vows bailout review". BBC News. 27 February 2011. 
  59. ^ "Kenny elected Taoiseach of coalition Government". The Irish Times. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  60. ^ "Full list of new Enda Kenny's Cabinet". The Irish Times. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  61. ^ "Enda Kenny will be second oldest Taoiseach in history of the State". Irish Independent. 27 February 2011. 
  62. ^ "One News: Taoiseach Enda Kenny gets down to business". RTÉ News. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  63. ^ Minihan, Mary (15 March 2011). "Ministerial fleet cost to be halved". The Irish Times. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  64. ^ "€14,000 pay cut for Enda Kenny". Businessandleadership.com. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  65. ^ Quinn, Eamon (7 April 2011). "Irish Welcome Portuguese to the 'Debt Club'". Wall Street Journal. 
  66. ^ "Enda Kenny's Speech". RTÉ News. 15 March 2011. 
  67. ^ "Irish banks need €24bn more to survive economic shocks". London: Daily Telegraph. 31 March 2010. 
  68. ^ "Bondholders escape as €24bn put into banks". The Irish Times. 1 April 2011. 
  69. ^ Oliver, Emmet; Noonan, Laura; Creaton, Siobhan (1 April 2011). "New era for banks after €24bn bailout". The Irish Independent. 
  70. ^ "Irish govt support up despite bank bailout". Reuters. 10 April 2011. 
  71. ^ Burke-Kennedy, Eoin (21 July 2011). "Irish bailout rate cut by 2% under new euro-wide deal". The Irish Times. 
  72. ^ Brennan, Joe; Dara Doyle (10 May 2011). "Ireland to Impose Levy on Pension Funds to Finance Jobs Plan". Bloomberg. 
  73. ^ "Taoiseach defends private pension levy". RTÉ. 11 May 2011. 
  74. ^ Sheahan, Fionnan (12 May 2011). "Taoiseach insists our personal savings are safe". The Irish Independent. 
  75. ^ "Some retirement funds escape pension levy". RTÉ News. 12 May 2011. 
  76. ^ a b "Number of TDs could fall by 20, says Hogan". The Irish Times. 3 May 2011. 
  77. ^ a b "Kenny now walking the walk". Mayo Advertiser. 6 May 2011. 
  78. ^ Brennan, Michael (5 May 2011). "Public is entitled to be cynical after latest government U-turn". Irish Independent. 
  79. ^ "Cloyne Report – In Detail". RTÉ News. 13 July 2011. 
  80. ^ "Cloyne report finds failures by church, State agencies". The Irish Times. 13 July 2011. 
  81. ^ Statement by the Taoiseach on the Dáil Motion on the report of the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne – 20 July 2011
  82. ^ "Commission of Investigation Report in the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne: Motion". Houses of the Oireachtas. 20 July 2011. 
  83. ^ "Enda Kenny speech on Cloyne Report". RTÉ News. 20 July 2011. 
  84. ^ a b Taylor, Charlie (21 July 2011). "Reaction to Kenny's Cloyne speech". Irish Times. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  85. ^ McDonald, Henry (21 July 2011). "Irish political classes lose their fear of the Catholic church". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  86. ^ Response to Mr Gilmore
  87. ^ McDonald, Henry (4 December 2011). "Enda Kenny to prepare Irish for more budget pain". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  88. ^ "Taoiseach warns of 'tough' Budget 2012". RTÉ News. 4 December 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  89. ^ Previous addresses to the nation were Jack Lynch's 13 August 1969 statement on the escalating violence in Northern Ireland; Liam Cosgrave's 17 May 1974 response to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings; Charles Haughey's 9 January 1980 "living away beyond our means" address; Garret FitzGerald's 18 March 1983 address on remedying the perilous economic situation in the nation and Europe; and FitzGerald's 15 April 1986 statement regarding a national teachers' strike.
  90. ^ "Kenny wants to be Taoiseach who 'retrieves Irish sovereignty'". The Irish Times. 5 December 2011. 
  91. ^ "Over 1.4m watch Late Late Toy Show". RTÉ Ten. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  92. ^ "Deal reached with ECB over Anglo promissory notes". RTÉ News. 8 February 2013. 
  93. ^ "Government: Project Red 'means €20bn less in borrowings'". Irish Independent. 7 February 2013. 
  94. ^ "Tearful Kenny says sorry to the Magdalene women". Irish Independent. 20 February. Retrieved 20 February 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  95. ^ "Country moving in right direction – Taoiseach". RTÉ News. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  96. ^ "Micheál Martin says Taoiseach 'sacked' Callinan after he sent senior civil servant to see him before resignation". RTÉ News. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  97. ^ Quinn, Eamon (24 May 2014). "Enda Kenny Is Dealt a Blow in Irish Elections: Results Could Test Relations Between Coalition Partners, Say Experts". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  98. ^ "Watch! Taoiseach Enda Kenny dancing at Bloom". RTÉ News. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  99. ^ Murphy, Trisha (30 May 2014). "Bloomin' heck... Enda's got the moves". Irish Independent. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 

External links[edit]

Oireachtas
Preceded by
Henry Kenny
Fine Gael
Fine Gael Teachta Dála
for Mayo West

19751997
Constituency abolished
New constituency Fine Gael Teachta Dála
for Mayo

1997–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
George Birmingham
Minister of State for Youth Affairs
1986–1987
Succeeded by
Frank Fahey
Preceded by
Charlie McCreevy
Minister for Tourism and Trade
1994–1997
Succeeded by
Jim McDaid
Preceded by
Michael Noonan
Leader of the Opposition
2002–2011
Succeeded by
Micheál Martin
Preceded by
Brian Cowen
Taoiseach
2011–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Alan Shatter
Minister for Defence
Acting

2014
Succeeded by
Simon Coveney
Party political offices
Preceded by
Michael Noonan
Leader of Fine Gael
2002–present
Incumbent
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
Baby of the Dáil
1975–1977
Succeeded by
Síle de Valera
Preceded by
Séamus Pattison
Father of the Dáil
2007–present
Incumbent