Speech by Enda Kenny TD re Nomination of Taoiseach

-   Enda Kenny

Tá orm a chur in iúl duit gur eirigh mé as oifig an Taoisigh inné.

Chuir mé é seo in iúl den Uachtarán mar atá leagtha amach i mBunreacht na hÉireann.

Ceann Comhairle, yesterday, I resigned from the office of Taoiseach by placing my resignation in the hands of the President, pursuant to the Constitution.

Anois táim ag moladh go n-amneoidh Dáil Éireann an Teachta Leo Varadkar le ceapadh mar Taoiseach agus é seo a mholadh d’Uachtarán na hÉireann.

I move that Dáil Eireann nominate Deputy Leo Varadkar for appointment by the President to be Taoiseach.

Having worked closely with Leo Varadkar throughout his political career, I am confident that he will carry out the role of An Taoiseach with energy, with integrity and with skill.

From his deep involvement in the Young Fine Gael movement as a young student to his election to Fingal County Council in 2004, and to his election to this house, Dáil Eireann in 2007, Leo Varadkar has demonstrated the drive and the commitment that are required to succeed in politics.

Immediately upon his election to this House I appointed him to the Fine Gael front bench, firstly in the Enterprise brief, and later as Spokesman on Energy and Communications.

In both roles, he worked diligently in developing new and innovative policy proposals.

Since then I had the privilege of being first elected Taoiseach in 2011 and I had the privilege of appointing Leo Varadkar to three separate cabinet positions as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport as Minister for Health and more recently as Minister for Social Protection.

In each of these Ministries, Leo Varadkar has had significant achievements whether it be the revitalisation of the tourism industry, the oversight of The Gathering, or stabilising the health service and rolling put free GP care for children under six or increasing the weekly payments to those dependent on social welfare.

In 2011, the Irish people elected a new government to rescue the economy, to get Ireland working again and Leo Vardkar in his ministries was central to that work.

Today our country is in a much stronger position than previously, the Troika have left, unemployment has fallen dramatically and public finances are in very good shape.

However many challenges do remain, not least in areas like Health and Housing and child poverty.

We must continue to manage the economy carefully so that it generates the resources that we need to rebuild our essential public services.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will meet these challenges head on including Brexit and Ireland’s future place in the European Union.

As the country’s youngest holder of this office, he speaks for a new generation of Irish women and Irish men to represent a modern, diverse and inclusive Ireland and speak for them like no other- an Ireland in which each person can fulfil their potential and live their dreams.

I wish Leo Varadkar and his team every success in the challenges that lie ahead.

I have no doubt that he will build on the solid foundation on which our country now stands and that he will see that it is managed carefully in the peoples’interests and that the decisions that his Government will make will always hold the people as central to those decisions.

I therefore commend his name to the house for selection as Taoiseach of Ireland.

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