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'I've a job to do here': Enda rules out top EU role... again

The Taoiseach said he expects Jean-Claude Juncker to become the next president of the European Commission, but David Cameron is trying to block this from happening.


THE TAOISEACH HAS dismissed speculation that he could be appointed the new president of the European Commission.

Enda Kenny had ruled himself out of the running months ago, but was put back into the frame following moves by UK Prime Minister to block Luxembourgian politician Jean-Claude Juncker from taking up the role.

Downing Street sources have said that Cameron will force fellow EU leaders to vote on who should head the bloc’s executive body if they try to impose Juncker.

Cameron feels the former Luxembourgian Prime Minister will not heed the backlash voters inflicted in last month’s European Parliament elections, but instead press on regardless with Brussels business as usual.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Meaning of Life, Enda Kenny said that he could not envisage a scenario where Juncker was not elected President.

Juncker is a member of the European People’s Party, as are Kenny and German chancellor Angela Merkel.

I expect he will be appointed President … I’ve a job to do here and I’m happy and privileged to do that job as Taoiseach.

Also during the interview, which will air on RTÉ 1 at 10 pm today, Gay Byrne asked Kenny about meeting his wife Fionnuala and his religious upbringing.

Kenny said that his family didn’t say the rosary every day, but did attend mass every Sunday.

“It was a house where we went to mass every Sunday, either in the local church or in Castlebar. I observed all the religious occasions, but it certainly wasn’t by any means extreme.”

Cloyne Report

Byrne also asked Kenny about his emotional speech in the Dáil in 2011 following the publication of the Cloyne Report into how church authorities dealt with allegations of abuse in the Cork diocese.

The Taoiseach said he became emotional as he was aware of the fact that ”things could have been so different and things should have been so different.”

He added that American senators and congressmen had told him:

You know something, I wish to God I had the courage to say what you said.

Related: Cameron move to force vote could open the door for Kenny to take EU President role

Watch: One year on: What’s happened since Enda Kenny’s landmark Cloyne speech?

Watch: Here’s a taster of Gay Byrne’s interview with Enda Kenny tonight

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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