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Enda Kenny buttered scones on TV - and talked about his same-sex marriage 'journey'

The Taoiseach stopped by TV3 this morning, but there was no sign of Vincent Browne.

THE TAOISEACH APPEARED on Ireland AM this morning to discuss several issues including same-sex marriage, public pay restoration and water charges.

Enda Kenny noted that he came to be in favour of same-sex marriage after discussing the issue with gay people, saying: “It’s the stories of people who have brought me on this journey.”

Kenny admitted that many people, particularly in rural areas, do not support same-sex marriage but encouraged them to think about how they would feel if a family member came out.

He spoke about one woman who told him she “cried for six months” when her son told her he was gay, but wants full equality for him.

“Are the Irish people going to deny their own kith and kin their right to a marriage contract?,” Kenny asked.

Source: TV3 Ireland/YouTube

He said he thinks the referendum will pass but will be closer than opinion polls indicate.

Maternity care

When asked about the tragic death of a newborn baby at Cavan General Hospital yesterday afternoon, Kenny said he wasn’t aware of the details and didn’t “want to jump to conclusions” but empathised with the mother and family involved.

He noted that Health Minister Leo Varadkar has accepted all eight recommendation in the Hiqa report into maternity services after Portlaoise Hospital, following the deaths of a number of babies.

Kenny said the report is “completely independent and completely objective”.

When discussing its contents, the Taoiseach said parents were treated unfairly, asking: “How can you say to a mother that has lost her baby to stop crying?”

Irish Water

When presenter Mark Cagney put it to Kenny that the setting up of Irish Water has been “a disaster”, the Fine Gael leader said: “I certainly concede that things could have been handled better here in some respects.”

mark Mark Cagney Source: TV3 Player

Kenny refused to say if he would put former Environment Minister Phil Hogan in charge of overseeing Irish Water if he could do it all again, but remained adamant the semi-state utility is needed to help end leaks and boil water notices.

Public pay

On the issue of public pay restoration, Kenny said Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has “made it clear he hasn’t got a blank cheque”.

Kenny denied the pay talks were a bid to get votes, saying: “No matter what I do now people are going to associate it with the fact that there’s going to be an election in 2016.”

When Kenny was asked about the cost of childcare, he said an inter-departmental group is looking into the issue, admitting: “We’re not going to get it all right in one fell swoop … It’s not as satisfactory as I want it to be.”

Kenny said that if his “health stands up”, and he gets the opportunity, he has the appetite to lead the next government. However, he denied this was something he is focusing on – not that Cagney believed him.

At the end of the interview, Cagney quipped that TV3 had removed all traces of Vincent Browne from the studio in case Kenny was allergic to him – referencing the Taoiseach’s refusal to be interviewed by the veteran broadcaster.

“No, I’m not allergic to Vincent – he’s both provocative and experienced,” Kenny said.

Scones for all

After his sit down with Cagney, Kenny joined Alan Hughes and resident chef Catherine to bake some scones.

Kenny was seemingly very impressed.

The Taoiseach admitted his own cooking skills aren’t up to scratch: “I could destroy the kitchen … Of course I can boil an egg and I can cinderise the sausages.”

scone

As he buttered the scones, Kenny took a moment to thank a woman called Majorie from Kildare, who he said makes him a few pots of raspberry jam each year.

The perks of being Taoiseach, eh?

8 absurd moments from when Enda Kenny baked scones on Ireland AM

Here’s what we learned from Enda Kenny’s one-on-one with TheJournal.ie…

Enda has pretty much ruled out a live TV debate with the No side

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Órla Ryan

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