Fine margins as Enda Kenny makes it over the line to be named Taoiseach

NewsBy Sunday World
Fine margins as Enda Kenny makes it over the line to be named Taoiseach

The Mayo man has become the first ever Taoiseach to be voted in for a second term.

The votes were as follows: 59 votes to 49 votes.

Dublin TD Noel Rock nominated Enda Kenny for for the fourth time since the election, telling the Dáil: "The urgency of now is to great to lose. It has been 70 days."

There was laughter in the chamber as Mr Rock took to his feet to once again propose the Fine Gael leader as Taoiseach.

He said: "We need a Taoiseach to match the challenges we have ahead. We need a Taoiseach to master the opportunities which we face."

"That can harness the great capabilities of this parliament. And always, always put this country first.”

He said Enda Kenny had led the country during the last five years of need and was now ready to take on the next challenge.

"We have capacity, we have opportunity, we have the ability to the best country in the world but we  also have challenges," he said.

Mr Rock described the Irish nation as "a ship without a captain".

"The ship cannot go on without a captain," he said.

Junior Finance Minister, Simon Harris, also backed Kenny and said the Irish people had shown patience over the past 10 weeks of government negotiations.

The Wicklow Fine Gael TD said he was very hopeful there would be a government finally elected today.

"Today I hope we will see the creation of a new kind of partnership government," Mr Harris said. He said the Government's aim must be to create a strong economy and a fair society.

Deputy Harris added that the minority coalition will be made up of diverse political views. But he stressed that unity can come out of political diversity.

Micheál Martin told the Dáil that Fine Gael talks with Independents show how a Fianna Fáil Coalition with Mr Kenny's party would be about "sharing the spoils of power."

The Fianna Fáil leader reiterated his party's right to criticise the government in the "confidence and supply" agreement he secured with Mr Kenny.

"This potentially represents, and I say potentially noting the absence of the Independent Alliance but that may change in the next few minutes, a new beginning," he said.

During his speech Mr Martin took credit for the suspension of water charges but added: "Water policy is not the most important policy facing the country and has taken too much time."

To laughter he hit out at the Labour Party for continuing to argue that charges should remain, saying: "Alan Kelly suffering from the withdrawal of the drug of his choice."

He also took a swipe at Sinn Féin, saying: "The very people who have condemned us for allowing Fine Gael back into government spent two months trying to force us into government with them."

He said Gerry Adams and his deputies "believe in finding problems to exploit. We believe in finding problems to resolve".

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Ruth Coppinger said she has never seen an incoming Taoiseach look so unhappy.

Ms Coppinger said there will be "collective groan" from people around the country who did not want Mr Kenny to return as Taoiseach.

She said the suspension of water charges was not due to pressure from Fianna Fáil but rather down to the anti-water charge movement.