IN AN EXCLUSIVE interview with Edwin McGreal of The Mayo News, Taoiseach Enda Kenny outlined his belief that Ireland is “nearly there” in terms of economic recovery.
Urging Irish people to “stick with” the economic challenges of austerity and the bailout programme, he said exiting the programme will ‘bring back the sunshine to people’s lives’.
In the two-part interview, the Fine Gael leader also told his constituents that his position at the head of government supersedes local issues, including job creation.
It’s been a hard slog, on a journey of one-to-ten we’ve travelled eight-and-a-half steps. We’ll have one and a half to go and that’s to get up on the dry land and prepare to fly ourselves.
So I would say to people: stick with it now. We’ve got a lot of momentum, we don’t want to lose that by doing anything stupid here. Life is never easy at the best of times; it’s not easy these times but I see where the opportunity lies up ahead.
Emigration is always a difficulty … [Some of the] people I meet in many other countries go there for experience because it is their choice, they want to go. The ones I feel sorry for, who feel that they have to leave because there’s no hope here, and if politics is about anything, it is about demonstrating that there is hope and there is an opportunity for the future.
On the bailout:
I’m happy that our programme is being followed here, we are emerging from this programme and that’s all about bringing back the sunshine to people’s lives, where they’ll have the opportunity to work and have employment and have prosperity and have a bit of confidence that their futures and their families are intact and in safe hands.
On local politics:
So for those who say just because you happen to be in government that you can pinpoint any individual area and say ‘here’s a big bonanza for you’, it never works that way until you get the big picture right.
On job creation in Mayo:
You’re not going to be able to deliver jobs locally unless you sort out the nation’s problems and that’s why the big and difficult decisions about Ireland’s economy have been so crucial and so difficult for people to have to accept and have to deal with but the reality is the people gave this government an unprecedented mandate. They gave me an unprecedented mandate.
Part two of the interview will be published online next Tuesday afternoon.