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Dublin: 17 °C Monday 19 August, 2019

Kenny elected Taoiseach 'on the threshold of change'

New Taoiseach promises to look forward to new possibilities and says his government will always be open and honest with the public.

Image: Oireachtas TV

ACCEPTING HIS ELECTION as the new Taoiseach this afternoon, Enda Kenny said the country was on the threshold of fundamental change.

Along with the task of economic recovery, he said there must be a renewal of the idea of what political leadership in Ireland is about.

Referring to past Fine Gael Taoisigh, an emotional Kenny said that the Irish people were on a single continuous journey of transformation, with the continuity of time being filled with custom and tradition:

When our children look into our eyes I want them to see a future with the kindness and the goodness, the dreams and imagining, the strength  and the belief that has passed silently, unobtrusively from mother to daughter, from father to son over the millenia…

Kenny pledged his government would tell the people what was happening, however unpleasant that news, saying: “Honesty is not just our best policy, it is our only policy.”

He said the old ways of politics had damaged the country not just economically, but spiritually.

Kenny thanked his Fine Gael and Labour colleagues for nominating and endorsing his position as Taoiseach, before thanking Micheál Martin for his kind words just before he took the floor.

Congratulating him on his election as Taoiseach, Micheál Martin had said he considered Kenny a person who has always been motivated “by the highest public spirit and commitment in office”. He also mentioned Kenny’s wife Fionnuala, whom he said had been a great strength to Kenny, and was also fondly remembered on Fianna Fáil’s side of the House. Kenny’s wife is a former Fianna Fáil press officer.

Enda Kenny will now travel to the Áras to be presented with the seal of office.

Listen back to Enda’s speech in the Dáil >

Follow today’s Dáil proceedings live >

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