An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, pictured with Kildare South Deputy Martin Heydon at the Curragh in 2013
Kildare South TD Martin Heydon, chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party, has paid tribute to the outgoing Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Mr Kenny announced he will step down as Fine Gael party leader as of midnight tonight, although he will stay on as Taoiseach until a successor is elected.
Deputy Heydon said that, under the Taoiseach, there had bee “the rebirth of a self-confident Ireland.
“Having inherited a country and an economy that was decimated by mismanagement, Enda's strong leadership and ability to make hard decisions was recognised both at home and abroad and saw our international reputation restored and strengthened,” said Deputy Heydon.
He also noted Mr Kenny’s contribution to job creation, his role in the marriage equality referendum and his encouragement of intergenerational change in Fine Gael.
“On behalf of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, I would like to thank Enda Kenny for his remarkable service to our country and our Party. I would also like to acknowledge the sacrifices made by his wife Fionnuala, and their children Aoibhinn, Ferdia and Naoise, which allowed Enda to be the great leader that he has been.”