Enda Kenny to announce his retirement as leader of Fine Gael from midnight tonight…

Have I misremembered a pledge to tell the Dail before the papers and the news organisations from some time ago. However, it seems that Enda Kenny will resign as leader of Fine Gael effective from Midnight tonight…

It’s being reported he will stay on as Taoiseach until early to mid June…

And here’s the man himself…

…I will retire as Leader of Fine Gael effective from midnight tonight, 17th May 2017.

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.

I have asked that the Fine Gael Executive Council expedite this process and to have it concluded by close of business on Friday June 2nd.

I want to assure people that throughout this internal process, I will continue to carry out my duties and responsibilities as Taoiseach in full.

I intend to provide a brief but appropriate period for my successor to engage with groups and members supportive of Government, and with other Parties in the Dáil regarding provision of Government for the future.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • WindowLean

    Leadership contest to be concluded by June 2nd.

  • Jag

    Betting is, Leo Varadkar will win the leadership, and there’ll be minimal change in a reshuffle (there are 33 ministers out of 56 TDs already, unlikely to be any huge change). Michael Noonan almost certain to remain as finance minister.

    FF may bring pressure for Frances Fitzgerald to be replaced as justice minister, but the betting is, if FG stand firm, FF will fold; they won’t collapse the government over it.

  • chrisjones2

    A decent man who worked hard and was often simply overtaken by events

  • SDLP supporter

    Overall, Enda did a decent job and in retrospect will be seen to have been a good Taoiseach. The only negative thing I can think about him is his rather shabby treatment of Alan Shatter. He had the stamina of a mule, physically was tremendously fit and was irrepressible in his optimism and good humour.

  • Dan

    Hardly matters, does it?
    They’ll just receive their instructions from EU HQ.

  • Nordie Northsider

    There’s going to be some trigger-happy Fianna Fáil TDs baying for an election. Martin is known to be cautious about pulling the plug on the current arrangements but who knows? There must also be a worry that Varadkar (a popular politician, and not just in Dublin media circles) might reinvigorate Fine Gael. The ongoing Garda scandals are a ready made excuse for FF to bring it all crashing down.

  • Gopher

    I concur with that

  • Jag

    Good riddance, ye west Brit poodle who broke with protocol today https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ca72054d25fd453393d5076efb449817c51b381a233079129d878fb84f31f47e.jpg by calling Southern Ireland “our Country”, as opposed to “our State”; it’ll be “our Country” again after re-unification.

  • Granni Trixie

    Too subtle for me.

  • SDLP supporter

    Keep on taking the pills.

  • ted hagan

    Southern Ireland? Are you English perhaps?

  • ted hagan

    Yea, events like the water charges fiasco that has caused the taxpayer many millions, a mediocre health service and now the Garda scandal which he handled with mindboggling incompetence and not a little economy with the truth.

  • AstralWeeks666

    He may a decent man but he is also a shining example of the deep mediocrity of Irish politics. He won a massive mandate for change but he did almost nothing with it. After his first election he could have reformed the Irish public sector from top to bottom but the truth is that Enda was a placeholder politician who had no vision and who wanted to protect the status quo.

    Also his government rolled over for the ECB as he refused to burn a single bondholder. What a legacy.

  • Katyusha

    I will retire as Leader of Fine Gael effective from midnight tonight


    I will continue to carry out my duties as Party Leader in an acting capacity

    Good man yerself Enda. I’d expect nothing less.
    I have to say I’ve loved Enda’s latest bout of tactically hanging on to the leadership. And WWN’s rolling commentary on it.

    If there’s one thing I’ve always admired Enda for, its his ability to outmaneuver his rivals in his own party.

  • Katyusha

    I’ve a feeling Enda’s vision extended to him being at the head of Fine Gael first and foremost, and then to himself as Taoiseach. He was an effective politician but no visionary. To this day I would not be able to ascribe any particular vision or ideological goals to his premiership, apart from the implementation of an austerity program at the behest of the EU and IMF.

  • Katyusha

    He could hardly say “building our State”, given that he spent much of his premiership dismantling it.

  • AntrimGael

    A pleasant enough fellow but politically and intellectually way out of his depth. He was pressganged into the job and it showed throughout his tenure. He struggled badly without an autocue or prompting from minions and couldn’t really think on his feet. He had no interest in the North and when he was forced to speak on the subject it was from a preset, partitionist anti Republican Fine Gael agenda. He brought mediocrity to new heights though!

  • AntrimGael

    Take your choice from two right wing, anti working class Thatcherite clones. Though some rural, religiously conservative FG’s may not be ready for an openly gay leader Dublin support should give to Varadkar who has the charisma of an umbrella stand.

  • Mark Petticrew

    Should Leo Varadkar win the Fine Gael leadership, it’ll be interesting to see how far he would go in imprinting his libertarian-esque politics upon the party and its future direction. Similar to the impact of Sinn Féin’s emergence in 2011, a Varadkar-led Fine Gael has the potential to further broaden the ideological spectrum of Irish politics in generating a more recognisable left-to-right divide in Ireland where it previously wasn’t so easy to identify.

  • Katyusha

    He struggled badly without an autocue or prompting from minions and couldn’t really think on his feet.

    A piece of satire on 2FM, dating all the way back to EK’s days in opposition, has always stuck in my head with regards Kenny.
    “Sure ye can’t even give a speech without your notes!”

  • Jeff

    No he was stating facts the southern state is his country… he is no west Brit poodle (im assuming in your context Brit is an insult)

  • chrisjones2

    Another anonymous troll

  • ted hagan

    ‘Pressganged into the job’?
    Hardly. He fought tooth and nail to get it, against the odds, and saw off challenges from Richard Bruton. His best moment was his Dail speech early on in office when he castigated the Vatican over its failure to investigate the abuse scandals. As for the North, who in Dublin, in any party, apart from the usual suspects, gives a toss about it?

  • the rich get richer

    Now that he will have more time on his hands…….He is going to head North and Blonde his Way to the Stratosphere of Politics in the North…….

    He is completely at home with his Blondness and has never denied his Blondness …..

  • Ciarán Doherty

    A neoliberal shill, no more, no less and one of many.

  • Deeman

    Bit harsh. I thought enda pushed himself into the limelight. 😉

  • NotNowJohnny

    Perhaps the revolution passed him by and he’s stil operating under the Government of Ireland Act 1920.

  • AntrimGael

    Or in Britain?

  • SDLP supporter

    Yes, the areas where Sinn Fein and its representatives hold sway, like North and West Belfast, are a veritable political Shangri-La.

    When I scan some of the recent guldering from you on Slugger against the ‘Free State’ and everything in it, I quite understand why a lot of people there have no interest in the North.

  • AntrimGael

    North and West Belfast where that rare species the SDLP person can only be found in leafy avenues at election times? Oh the Free State has a lot to gulder at, from it’s political and policing corruption to it’s tribunals, Tuam/Kerry babies, Magdalene Laundries, institutionalised child abuse and cover ups etc.
    Irish Unity is a two way street, it’s not in the sole gift of the 26 counties and the two sides of the same dodgy coin FF and FG.

  • Paddy Ferris

    He took the job at a time of great disaster and while many feel his decisions were unfair, there is no mistaking the fact that the country is on the mend.

  • hollandia

    Whilst not a massive fan of Enda, he is to be commended for steadying the ship. On the downside, as a number of posters have mentioned, he failed to act on the huge mandate for reform handed to him in 2011. As with all political leaders, there are plusses and minuses. Fundamentally a fairly decent man, but prone to bouts of flights of fancy (#manwithtwopints), and also prone to a bit of whataboutery when cornered by the shinners or FF rather than answering the question asked of him. Not the worst, by any means, but also not anywhere near the best.

  • SDLP supporter

    Yeah, saw your Sinn Fein mates out around the leafy suburbs of South Belfast, the very ones that the Amdersonstowm News used to harry and harass Joe Hendron for living in.
    And, by the way, your Sinn Fein TDs wouldn’t have the nerve to use the phrase ‘Twenty Six Counties’ in the Dail.

  • AntrimGael

    Well why don’t you put yourselves up for election in the 26 counties? Probably because you would be an even bigger irrelevance than you are in the North! The SDLP stand for nothing, they are a collection of egos and individual camps all fighting and briefing against each other. You have had more leaders than teeth in a comb. When was the last time the SDLP came out with any relevant policy statement? The SDLP are also responsible for introducing a hierarchy of victims by facilitating the passing of the Special Advisers Bill.
    It’s no wonder the DUP and Tories are now pushing for immunity for British State killers, the SDLP opened the door for this.

  • SDLP supporter

    AG, it is pathetic the way you just ignore genuine points and resort to tirades of abuse. For the record:

    1. West and North Belfast, and particularly in many districts where Sinn Fein are in the ascendant, are social and economic black-spots held to ransom by criminals and druggies where things are made infinitely worse by ‘playing the victim’, which Sinn Fein are so adept at. Even this morning on GMU, hard-working members of O’Donovan Rossa GAA were expressing their despair at the thugs and drug-takers who are making life a misery for people in the Shaws Road area. You just can’t blame ‘the Brits’ for this any more. They’ve been off the streets and out of sight for well over a decade and, despite the many millions poured into these areas since deprivation was first measured in the 1971 census, the twenty most deprived wards then are still the most deprived today. If you don’t like what I say, just read the Andersonstown News editorial which told the truth, until they were forced to abjectly ‘recant’ by Gerry Adams.

    2. Also, you know it’s perfectly true that Sinn Fein TDs would never dare to utter phrases like ‘Free State’ or ‘Twenty Six Counties’ in the Dail. Such weasel words are only used in the North.

    3. I’ve lived both in West and North Belfast and in the South over my life. If you went down there shouting about the Irish State’s failures, you soon be sent smartly on your way, and that by Sinn Fein activists. The last thing people in the South want to hear is loudmouths from the North, undoubtedly a failed entity, criticising their set-up,

    4. Do you remember the totally disreputable deal cooked up between Peter Hain and Sinn Fein to give amnesty to both British soldiers, or in your phrase ‘British State killers’ and the IRA, until that was derailed by Mark Durkan MP? Do you deny that?

    5. Yes, SDLP has had six leaders in its nearly 47 year history, all democratically elected. During most of that time Gerry Adams has been dictator of Sinn Fein, a party so bereft of democracy that he has the arrogance to “appoint” Michelle O’Neill and wouldn’t even trust the members to make their own choice.

  • AntrimGael

    For the record I don’t throw out abuse, I merely respond to others and you are not behind the door yourself at putting down SF and their voters in a condescending way. Throwing out words like weasel and loudmouths hardly helps your case.
    1. The failure to bring proper investment and economic prosperity to places like North and West Belfast lies with quangos like Invest NI who have neglected these districts preferring to fund pet projects like Titanic Quarter and low paid Call Centre jobs in Belfast City Centre.
    They also pump large amounts into sustaining struggling engineering, manufacturing outfits etc east of the Bann. Invest NI has ignored N & W Belfast, Derry, Strabane etc and should be held accountable, what are the SDLP doing?
    2. I have family and friends all over the South and believe me their views on the political Establishment there makes my opinions and words seem very mild. They never get angry or object when I throw my tuppence worth in.
    3. Do you accept the Special Advisors Bill HAS created a hierarchy of victims and given succour and encouragement to those Unionists who want to write the definition of a victim? Do you also accept that their campaign for an amnesty towards British State killers stems from the Special Advisors Bill?
    4. Michelle O’Neill is the SF leader in the North. Should the election have been thrown open to the party membership? Yes it should and that will be raised, and more than likely put into the SF Constitution, at a future Ard Fheis.

  • chrisjones2

    Did you ever see a Shinner give a speech that isn’t in relation to

    the border
    intransigent unionists
    Tory misrule
    Unionist bastards
    Our glorious dead / sacrifice?

    When have you seen presented coherent plan to improve peoples lives ?

    And yes, you can apply that to the DUP as well,

    The Assembly Parties dont do Government

  • chrisjones2

    “Should the election have been thrown open to the party membership? ”

    But you assume that SF internally is like a democratic party. Big mistake.

  • chrisjones2

    Well someone has to pay for water and one way or another it will be the people

  • chrisjones2


  • AntrimGael

    The DUP under Paisley? The SDLP under Hume?

  • SDLP supporter

    AG, , I consider myself to be an Irish republican who wants to live in a united and reconciled Ireland at peace with itself. That is probably what you say you want too and I accept that you are sincere in that belief.

    I do accept that you have enough independence and integrity to acknowledge that Michelle O’Neill’s nomination as Northern Sinn Fein Leader on the nod of Gerry Adams is wrong.

    As I type this reply to you, two items on the BBC local news have caught my attention. One is the report on the absolutely shameful and disgusting details of the IRA massacre of the Kingsmill Massacre which, along with all the other killings, will be a blot on the good name of Irish people for generations to come.

    Another story on the BBC news is the rally in the Lower Falls tonight of the people there who are at the end of their tether with the hoodlums in that area.

    Would you not accept that violence, which Sinn Fein supported for a quarter century, has been an absolute, unmitigated, total disaster?

    Of course, other people resorted to violence too, but that is not the point. We can only take responsibility for what is done in our name.

    You rightly say that areas like North and West Belfast were starved of investment for decades.

    Do you not also accept that the bombing and the mayhem and the murder of people like Thomas Niedermayer made it all too easy for those antagonistic to these areas to ignore the need?

    Joe Hendron was MP for West Belfast 1992-97. During that time he put endless pressure on the Industrial Development Board to bring jobs to his constituency, which he did with some success, and I was told by the then Chairman of that body that officials were absolutely harried for years by Joe.
    He told me, also, that in the previous decade they had heard virtually nothing from Gerry Adams, the then MP.

    You will recall that Adams once said, in justification of the bombing campaign once famously said ‘there will be no economic normality’.

    You will also be aware that Gerry Adams has been enormously successful in raising funds for Sinn Fein in the United States-$12 million to date. Does it not strike you as strange, AG, that during all that time he appears not to have brought a single job to West Belfast?

    We are probably in agreement that Brexit changes everything in ways which we are only vaguely able to come to terms with at present.

  • SDLP supporter

    AG, John Hume was an impeccable democrat and the SDLP has always been a wholly democratic party. Neither did it have a military wing. I can remember Sinn Fein Ardfheiseanna where masked IRA men gave the message from ‘the boys’,

    Can’t speak for Paisley and the DUP.

  • Neilo

    Grand. Give me a manager over a leader any day.