Noonan to relinquish Finance role and retire at next election

Gwen Vasquez
May 20, 2017

Earlier this week, Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced that he was resigning nearly immediately as leader of the governing centre right Fine Gael Party, and would step down as head of government by the second of June, once a successor had been chosen by his party.

Fine Gael are planning to hold their Longford Fine Gael selection convention next month after Enda Kenny's successor as party leader is announced.

Many consider ministers Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney to be the favourites to fill the vacancy.

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Ms Doherty said she was supporting Mr Vardkar for his intellligence, integrity, sincerity and ability to listen.

He told a parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday that a successor would be appointed by 2 June.

Junior minister Paul Kehoe also backed Mr Varadkar, the Republic's first openly gay cabinet member.

"[I want] to open a conversation with people who don't support us, people who've lost faith in us, or people who've maybe never considered voting for Fine Gael".

"I look forward to the next fortnight that I hope will reinvigorate the Fine Gael party and it's members".

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Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny conceded defeat on 27 February following elections that saw the governing coalition punished by voters tired of austerity, leaving the eurozone country in political limbo with no clear victor.

He announced previous year that he would not lead Fine Gael into another election but has delayed his resignation several times in recent weeks amid discussions about Brexit in Brussels.

So, scroll back up and vote for who you would pick as the next Fine Gael leader and likely taoiseach.

He said: "There are many crowning achievements that Leo Varadkar can be proud of from his ministerial roles".

Another senior member said: "The body language of some of his loyal supporters said it all, there were a few teary eyes".

"He introduced the social welfare increases in the last budget and more importantly as an urban TD he introduced the social scheme for farmers and fishermen".

Cliona Doyle, chair of the Fine Gael parliamentary party, also pointed to Kenny's stewardship of the economy. He subsequently took up positions including minister for agriculture, defence and now housing.

In distant third is Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, whose odds were at 22/1 last night.

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