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Here's what we learned from Enda Kenny's Prime Time appearance

In a rare one-on-one interview live on TV the Taoiseach was asked about a range of issues.

unnamed (33) Source: Andres Poveda

ENDA KENNY GAVE a rare live television interview tonight on RTÉ’S Prime Time progamme (after being bumped back for Eastenders).

The Taoiseach was in the hot seat up against Miriam O’Callaghan. So, how did he fare?

O’Callaghan covered a range of issues tonight. Here’s some of what Enda had to say…

On Irish Water…

The Taoiseach said he is the first to admit that the government “didn’t get everything right”. He said the scale of the challenge is to take on a project that has been “neglected for 50 years”.

On Irish Water protesters…

Kenny said that Ireland is a democratic country where people have the right to protest. When asked if he could understand the peoples’ anger that protesters were in jail and not bankers, he said:

“The courts are the completely independent bodies who make those decisions and we abide by that law.”

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On Phil Hogan heading off to Europe after the Irish Water disaster…

Kenny said it was a government decision to set up Irish Water and Hogan will prove that he is an “outstanding” European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

On jobs…

He’s really positive about jobs (mentioning them quite a lot through out the interview) and expects full employment by 2018.

“The job is the avenue out of unfairness and inequality.”

On Greece…

Kenny said Ireland is “in a very different position than that of Greece”. We have exited our bailout programme but we’re still “fragile”.

On asking for debt write down. Did he ask?

This question almost turned into a Paxman-like questioning sequence, where the Taoiseach refused to give a simple yes or no answer.

Kenny said Ireland was in a bailout programme when he was elected.

He did say:

“You cannot expect to do that kind of deal unless you’re able to negotiate.”

On being a poster boy for austerity…

He rejected that comparison completely.

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On stroke politics…

Kenny said that is all over and it’s all completely independent now.

If you want to be on a board you have to apply through the state appointment board just like everyone else.

He said he apologised over the John McNulty debacle and has moved on.

“I apologised for the perception between politics and appointments . . . You can’t get everything right.”

On same-sex marriage referendum… 

It’s going to be on 22 May and he hopes it’s going to go through. He said the majority of the Oireachtas members support it.

About Garda Commissioner’s departure… 

Kenny says he “acted responsibly in all my dealing with that matter” and said it was a matter for the Fennelly Commission now.

He refused to answer if he was one of three witnesses recalled to give further evidence to the Fennelly Commission.

On who he like to be in government with… 

That would be the Labour Party. He said the coalition have dealt with issues that were “swept under the carpet”.

The Taoiseach said power should not be given back to Fianna Fáil as they “wrecked this country”.

Kenny added that he never said it “was going to be a bed of roses” but the “job isn’t finished”.

So, there you have it? Are you any the wiser?

Read: Gardaí investigate sudden death of man in Tipperary>

Read: Repossession order over €1.4m struck out, but unlikely to impact majority of cases>

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