We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.
70 days

Enda says this was his biggest challenge in 2016

This government has faced water charges, calls to repeal the Eighth, homelessness but found his biggest hurdle ‘humbling’.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said forming a government was his biggest challenge this year – as was dealing with calls for free votes from members of the Independent Alliance.

This government has faced a number of tests in 2016 – water charges, abortion, homelessness, housing, bin charges and the Apple tax ruling.

But it is dealing with those in politics which Enda Kenny found most challenging this year.

When asked by what his biggest challenge in 2016 was, he replied:

I actually think to put a government together.

He said after the general election, they needed the numbers and initially held discussions with Fianna Fáil.

I did say to the Fianna Fáil party if you want, I have a unanimous endorsement from the Fine Gael party to say we will split the difference here, I have a Cabinet there of the two main parties and the job that goes with it and that wasn’t acceptable to Fianna Fáil.
So we worked very hard with the team to put a government together and I am glad that happened.

The government formation talks appears to be a humbling one for Kenny, who said it was a “learning experience for everybody” – including himself.

70 days was a very long time and I know people were frustrated, were tired and had a long lead into an election. I think that was obviously the biggest challenge.
I have learned a great deal myself about how it is necessary to think differently, to present things differently, but most of all to explain to members that support the government and parties that support the government either by abstention or who are at the table that it is important that they be given all of the facts so that they can make up their minds and know exactly what is involved here.

Once the government was up and running, there were a number of speed bumps. These took the form of demands for free votes from members of the Independent Alliance in government.

We had a couple of cases where free votes were allowed which were not arising from decisions of the Cabinet or were not contained in the programme for government – so I think that was the biggest challenge.

So, what challenges lie ahead for Enda Kenny? Brexit, Trump, a possible leadership heave from inside his party?

It appears keeping the show on the road is his biggest priority right now.

The next biggest challenge is to keep it going in the interest of the country and that requires constant vigilance and engagement with people.

Read: 10% increase in Irish passports issued this year – but Brexit’s not to blame>

Poll: Will you watch the inauguration of Donald Trump?>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.