Local Politicians have paid tribute to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny who announced his decision to step down as Fine Gael leader yesterday.
In addition, local Fine Gael representatives have been taking sides in the race to succeed the Mayo man. Both Senator Frank Feighan and Senator Maura Hopkins are backing Leo Varadkar while Senator John O’Mahony was pictured at the launch of Simon Coveney’s campaign this morning.
Senator Frank Feighan has paid tribute to outgoing Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny whom he described as a man who could grace the highest stage but always had the common touch.
“I have always admired Enda’s many qualities – his strong leadership; his tenacity; his patience and not least his humility. When he became Fine Gael leader in 2002, he successfully rebuilt our party. Under his stewardship, we won back 20 seats in the 2007 election and a further 25 in the election four years later. As Taoiseach, Enda brought the economy and country back from the brink while at the same time providing political stability. I have no doubt that his legacy will be a very strong one and there is no question he is a true statesman both on the national and international stage. He was also a very proud Mayo and West of Ireland man.
“I am very privileged to say that Enda has become a close friend of mine and I wish him, Fionnuala and his family all the very best for the future” he concluded.
Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy acknowledged An Taoiseach’s contribution to Irish political life since his first election to Dáil Éireann in 1975.
“There is an air of sadness in Leinster House this week with the resignation of Enda Kenny as party leader of Fine Gael and I want to wish him and his wife Fionnuala and family the very best for the future.
“While Enda Kenny may not have been the most popular figure in County Roscommon following the debacle over the closure of Roscommon A& E and indeed I had my own differences with him in relation to health but on a personal level I found him to be helpful and courteous since my election to Dáil Eireann.”
“I wish Enda and his family well after he leaves office and I want to acknowledge his years of public service and I wish him good health and best wishes in all future endeavours,” concluded Deputy Murphy.
Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins said
“Enda Kenny has devoted over 40 years of his life to serving the public as a T.D., Minister and Taoiseach. He has displayed enormous dedication and energy to doing his job every day and I have found him to have an incredible interest in people.”
“Enda Kenny’s relationship with political leaders at a European and World level has been very important for Ireland particularly recently during the ongoing negotiations on Brexit. I wish Enda, Fionnuala and his family well for the future.”