Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s forthcoming award of ‘European of the Year’ is a deserved acknowledgement of his role in guiding Ireland back to economic recovery, a Fine Gael Minister has said.
Minister for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon, said: “I congratulate Enda Kenny on being selected for this honour and consider it deserved acknowledgment of his role in guiding Ireland back to economic recovery in the face of hugely challenging circumstances.
“Having served his constituency for 43 years and as Leader of Fine Gael for 15 years, he has a distinguished record of dedication and service to his country.
“That dedication played no small role in rebuilding Fine Gael after a poor election showing in 2002 and guiding this country back to recovery after the economic downturn, a recovery that many thought impossible when Enda Kenny became Taoiseach in 2011.
“There were difficult decisions to be made and he had the courage to make them and to face the heat of the day.
“He has never stood back from a challenge, be it economic or political.
“Not only has he had a vision of Ireland’s role in Europe, but he has also recognised the significant economic, cultural and social role the Irish have played across the globe and his creation of the Office of Minister of State for the Diaspora was a measure of his commitment as Taoiseach to giving the Irish abroad a channel to express their concerns and thus a voice at home.
“Above all, he has always had an unstinting confidence in the ability of the Irish people to work towards a better tomorrow.
“I congratulate Enda Kenny and his family on this honour.”