Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Irish leader Enda Kenny stepping down as head of his party

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny announced on Wednesday ( May 17th) that he would resign at midnight from his party head the Fine Gael.

Ms Fitzgerald said Mr Kenny's "work on behalf of the country and our party has been vast and extraordinary".

He chose to use Twitter to announce the decision, saying he will continue to carry out his duties as Taoiseach in full.

The decision to stand down was revealed to party members at a private meeting and comes after delaying the announcement for several months.

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

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Kenny led Ireland through a difficult recovery from the 2008 global financial crisis, which hit the debt-fueled "Celtic Tiger" economy particularly hard. "Enda Kenny's strong support for agriculture was evident in in the taxation measures and funding of farm schemes implemented in recent Budgets", Healy said.

Indian American venture capitalist Mohanjit Jolly, who has backed several Indian and US companies with bases in Ireland, told India-West: "The fact that Ireland is considering Leo Varadkar, an openly gay man of Indo-Irish origin, speaks volumes of the people and culture of the country".

He set himself a deadline of the end of June to end the practice of putting up thousands of families who need emergency accommodation in hotels and B&Bs.

Before serving as the Minister for Social Protection, Varadkar served as Ireland's Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sports, beginning in 2011.

"My role as referee is a very important one, and also as a member of the Ethics Committee, as part of Executive Council, my focus will be very much on the process and ensuring the process is done right".

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That means the party can only today begin to officially draw up the plans for how he will be replaced.

Mr Kenny delayed his resignation on a number of occasions this year.

Last week his role on the global stage continued when he held talks with European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier at Government Buildings in Dublin.

Mr Kenny has since been under pressure to explain when he was first made aware of the case.

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