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White House

Line saying this will be Enda Kenny's last St Patrick's Day as Taoiseach removed from speech

Meanwhile, Kenny has said he will raise marriage equality with Mike Pence if he gets the chance.

Christina Finn reporting from Washington DC

A LINE SAYING this will be Enda Kenny’s last St Patrick’s Day as Taoiseach was removed from a speech Kenny is set to deliver tonight.

When asked about the speech in Washington DC earlier, Kenny played down the issue, telling reporters: “The speech that you got is not the speech that I’m delivering tonight.

“I’ve already explained to my own parliamentary party my intention and how I intend to go about that.”

Can’t watch the video? Click here.

Kenny has previously said he will notify Fine Gael of his timeline for stepping down as leader of the party when he returns home from his St Patrick’s week trip to the US.

LGBT rights

Kenny was also asked if he would raise LGBT rights issues with Vice President Mike Pence, who does not support marriage equality and previously called being gay a choice.

“I haven’t met Vice President Pence before but it’s the first time that we’ve ever had two vice presidents of Irish-American connection following each other in the White House.

“I know that the Vice President’s people come from both Sligo and County Clare and clearly immigration and the question of both comprehensive immigration, and also separate from that, the opportunity to have a bilateral arrangement in respect of E3 visas as piloted by Senator [Chuck] Schumer will certainly be of interest to me.”

enda2 Kenny at the American Institute for Peace in Washington DC today Niall Carson PA Wire / PA Images Niall Carson PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

The Taoiseach said he would bring up the positive aspects of the same-sex marriage referendum passing in Ireland if the opportunity arose.

If I have the opportunity in talking to the Vice President I would be happy to say to him that the experience in Ireland was one of massive relief and release for people who were able to remove themselves from the limbo in which they’d lived for years.

“The following through by the government of the recommendation from the citizens’ convention was an expression of joy and enthusiasm and exuberance and that fact that, where politics really mattered, 80,000 young people came back to cast their vote in that and it was an extraordinary circumstance where that unbridled joy was evident in our people, so I would give him the Irish experience in that regard,” Kenny said.

The Taoiseach was also asked about MEP and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage earlier telling RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke Kenny should apologise for previously saying comments made by Trump were “racist and dangerous”.

Kenny told reporters he didn’t call Trump a racist, and said he doesn’t have to “answer to” Farage.’s political reporter Christina Finn will be bringing you all the latest updates from Enda Kenny’s visit to Washington this week, including his meeting with US President Donald Trump on Thursday.

Stay up-to-date by following @ChristinaFinn8@TJ_Politics and’s Facebook page

Read: Nigel Farage: ‘Enda Kenny should apologise to Donald Trump for vile comments’

Read: Leaked returns show Donald Trump paid $38 million in tax in 2005

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