Enda Kenny quits Fine Gael leadership to pave way for new taoiseach

BREAKING: Enda Kenny has officially announced his resignation

Drumconrath-based MEP, Mairead McGuinness, who is first vice-president of the European Parliament, said when Enda Kenny leaves the Taoiseach's office he will have left an enormously positive legacy behind him.

Kenny, prime minister since 2011 and leader of his party for nearly 15 years, is expected to be replaced by either Leo Varadkar, the social protection minister, or Simon Coveney, the housing minister.

Quoting our article, Cllr Doyle said: "I have a huge amount of respect for both Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar".

The Taoiseach has resigned as leader o the Fine Gael party.

"And open a conversation with people that don't support us, people who have lost faith in us or people who maybe never considered voting for Fine Gael but start that conversation with them".

He said Minister Simon Coveney is "a very fine politician" but said he believes Mr Varadkar has the "rare combination of intellect and judgement needed for leadership".

The Mayo TD was first elected to the Dáil in 1975, and he made his announcement in a statement this afternoon at a meeting of the parliamentary party this evening. "Having inherited a country and an economy that was decimated by mismanagement, Enda's strong leadership and ability to make hard decisions was recognised both at home and overseas and saw our worldwide reputation restored and strengthened", she said.

More news: UK police threaten to arrest Assange if he leaves Ecuador embassy

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said Mr Kenny "did his best from his perspective" but his "political legacy is dominated by crisis, chaos, and chronic lack of accountability".

Thanks to Enda Kenny, Fine Gael has an abundance of talented representatives, who have an ever increasing experience of governing. No one deserves it more.

Mr Kenny stood down as the party's leader at midnight, but will stay on until his successor is appointed.

FILE - In this Wednesday, May 18, 2011 file photo, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at Government Buildings in Dublin.

Currently, a party leadership contest has officially begun.

Under party rules, Fine Gael's 73 lawmakers make up 65 percent of the vote with the balance split between councillors and ordinary members.

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