FF 'Will Not Stop' New FG Leader Becoming Taoiseach

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Enda Kenny is due to address the topic of his leadership when he speaks to the Fine Gael parliamentary party tomorrow evening.

The Taoiseach got a long standing ovation at the meeting of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, which was brought forward an hour and began at 4.30pm.

Kenny, dismissed as a political lightweight before leading his party to its best ever election result in 2011, built up a close rapport with fellow European Union leaders alongside Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who a number of Fine Gael lawmakers expect will also stand down following the leadership contest.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

"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.

In a statement to colleagues in Dublin, Mr Kenny said he was retiring from midnight, with his successor to be in place on June 2.

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"I will continue to carry out my duties as party leader in an acting capacity, until my successor is elected through the Fine Gael leadership election process".

He has overseen Ireland's turnaround from entering a humiliating three-year state bailout, just months before he came to power, to becoming Europe's fastest-growing economy for the past three years.

Fine Gael's chairman, Martin Heydon, described Mr Kenny as a "compassionate, pragmatic and inclusive" leader.

Colleagues are counting on a new leader reviving their fortunes after falling marginally behind rivals Fianna Fail in most surveys.

Kenny is due to visit the US and Belgium early next month in his final trips as Ireland's Taoiseach, or prime minister.

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