Kenny addresses the nation as Ireland exits its bailout.

Only five times in Irish history has a Taoiseach taken to the airwaves to address the nation and Kenny went for his second go tonight as Ireland exits its bailout programme. Full text of the speech is available here

Overall I found it a bit of a dull speech without any real coherent message or point. At many times it just seemed like Kenny was giving the address simply to tell us everything that we already knew.

He did take the opportunity to annouce a new economic plan

This week, the Government will publish a new medium term economic plan that lays out the road ahead for our country. This plan will set out the steps that we intend to take to grow our economy between now and 2020. It will be a plan based on enterprise, not on speculation. A plan to ensure that never again will Ireland’s stability be threatened by speculation and greed. We are never going back to that culture.

Kenny said out a modest goal for job creation which simply confirms the fear that unemployment will be high for the forseeable future in Ireland as he pledged to have 2 million people in work by 2020. This is hardly a great achievement as nearly 1.9 million are in work at the moment.

Anyway he did end on a defiant note, pledging the to finish the job of fiscal correction;

Throughout our history, the Irish people have always shown that nothing is impossible for us to achieve, when we really apply ourselves to a challenge or cause. Believe me, government will work with you to put in place the foundations for a secure and prosperous futurefor you and the next generation. I thank you for the part that you have played in Ireland’s recovery to date. My commitment to you and to your families is that for the remainder of its term, this government will work, might and main, to finish the job that you entrusted to us.

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

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