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Will Enda be putting a timeframe on his departure today?

Don’t bet on it. The Taoiseach is set to address his parliamentary party after a week dominated by gaffes and strange decisions.

File Photo: The End Game Approaches For Taoiseach Source: Eamonn Farrell

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY will today address his parliamentary party for the first time since a backbencher called on him to put a date on his exit as party leader and Taoiseach.

Kenny has had a difficult ten days, with gaffes including having an all-island forum on Brexit publicly rejected by northern first minister Arlene Foster, and naming former TD James Reilly as his deputy Fine Gael leader, bringing untold pressure to bear on his office.

On Monday of this week Kerry backbencher Brendan Griffin called on the Taoiseach to step down as leader inside the next two months.

Griffin’s reasoning is that only a Kenny exit can save the party from a general election before the end of the year, and with the latest polls suggesting that Fianna Fáil have overtaken Fine Gael by some distance in popularity, a common perception is that backbench TDs are starting to feel the heat in their own constituencies.

However, Griffin’s call fell mostly on deaf ears, with Kenny supporters including finance minister Michael Noonan and foreign affairs head Charlie Flanagan subsequently rallying to the Taoiseach’s cause.

Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick meanwhile denied that he had asked Kenny to step down, and instead released a statement on social media backing his leader to the hilt.

Tweet by @Peter Fitzpatrick Source: Peter Fitzpatrick/Twitter

The various contenders for Kenny’s crown have likewise been keeping their own counsel and backing their leader to the hilt.

One of the favourites to replace the Taoiseach, social protection minister Leo Varadkar, has said that the time is not right for a leadership contest.

Some other Fine Gael TDs, including Jim Daly, Fergus O’Dowd and Michael Darcy, have said they want the leadership and succession question to be “clarified” relatively soon after the October budget.

With the pressure ramping up, what the Taoiseach has to say later today should be very interesting.

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