81 Facts About Enda Kenny


Enda Kenny was born on 24 April 1951 and is an Irish former Fine Gael politician who served as Taoiseach from 2011 to 2017, Leader of Fine Gael from 2002 to 2017, Minister for Defence from May to July 2014 and 2016 to 2017, Leader of the Opposition from 2002 to 2011, Minister for Tourism and Trade from 1994 to 1997 and Minister of State at the Department of Labour and Department of Education with responsibility for Youth Affairs from 1986 to 1987.

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Enda Kenny served as Teachta Dala for Mayo West from 1975 to 1997 and for Mayo from 1997 to 2020.

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Enda Kenny subsequently became the first Fine Gael member to be elected Taoiseach for a second consecutive term on 6 May 2016, after two months of negotiations, following the 2016 election, forming a Fine Gael-led minority government.

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Enda Kenny was the first Taoiseach from Fine Gael since John Bruton, and the first Leader of Fine Gael to win a general election since Garret FitzGerald in 1982.

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Enda Kenny became the longest-serving Fine Gael Taoiseach in April 2017.

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Enda Kenny stepped down as Leader of Fine Gael on 2 June 2017, and announced he would resign as Taoiseach once a new leader was chosen in early June.

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Enda Kenny tendered his resignation as Taoiseach on 13 June 2017, and was succeeded by Varadkar the following day.

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On 5 November 2017, Enda Kenny announced that he would not contest the following general election.

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Enda Kenny was born in 1951 in Derrycoosh, Islandeady, near Castlebar, County Mayo, the third child of five of Mary Eithne and Henry Enda Kenny.

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Enda Kenny was educated locally at St Patrick's National School, Cornanool N S, Leitir N S and at St Gerald's College, Castlebar.

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Enda Kenny attended St Patrick's College, Dublin, qualifying as a national teacher and was an undergraduate student at University College Galway.

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Enda Kenny was exposed to politics from an early age, following his father Henry Enda Kenny, becoming a Fine Gael TD in 1954.

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Enda Kenny was appointed party spokesperson firstly on Youth Affairs and Sport, then Western Development; however, he failed to build a national profile as he concentrated more on constituency matters.

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Enda Kenny was left out in the cold when Garret FitzGerald became Taoiseach for the first time in 1981, and again in 1982.

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Enda Kenny was appointed as a member of the Fine Gael delegation at the New Ireland Forum in 1983.

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Enda Kenny, as Fine Gael chief whip, was a key member of the team, which negotiated the programme for government with the other parties prior to the formation of the new government.

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Under Taoiseach John Bruton, Enda Kenny joined the cabinet and was appointed Minister for Tourism and Trade.

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Enda Kenny stood in the subsequent leadership election, promising to "electrify the party".

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Noonan did not give a spokesperson's assignment to Enda Kenny; this led him to accuse Noonan of sending a "dangerous message".

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Enda Kenny himself came close to losing his seat, and even went so far as to prepare a concession speech.

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Enda Kenny contested the leadership and emerged successful on that occasion.

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In September 2002, Enda Kenny was accused of making racist remarks after he used the word "nigger" in a joke relating to Patrice Lumumba, the assassinated first Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Enda Kenny wanted the incident to be suppressed, and specifically asked journalists not to cite it, though the Sunday Independent newspaper reported his "chortling repetition of the inflammatory word".

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Enda Kenny was condemned by race campaigners at home and abroad.

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Enda Kenny apologised unreservedly but insisted that there was no racist intent, and that he was merely quoting what a Moroccan barman had once said, while reminiscing about an incident he had witnessed in the company of his friend David Molony, whose sudden death had recently occurred.

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In November 2005, Enda Kenny called for the abolition of compulsory Irish for the Leaving Certificate examinations.

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Enda Kenny's leadership attempted to define Fine Gael as a party of the progressive centre.

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At the Fine Gael Ardfheis in March 2007, Enda Kenny outlined his platform for the forthcoming general election entitled the "Contract for a Better Ireland".

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Enda Kenny tabled a motion of confidence in his leadership, to be held on 17 June 2010.

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Enda Kenny announced a major reshuffle of his party's front bench on 1 July 2010, re-appointing Bruton, Coveney, O'Dowd, and Varadkar.

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At the start of the 2011 general election campaign, Enda Kenny said Fine Gael recognised the importance of "the giving of hope and confidence to people through the taxation system", when speaking to reporters outside party election headquarters in Dublin.

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Enda Kenny said the country needed strong government and not an administration that depended on the support of Independents.

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Enda Kenny refused to participate in the three-way leaders' debate proposed by TV3, stating his unhappiness that Vincent Browne was to chair the debate.

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Enda Kenny refused to appear on the leaders debate despite an offer by Browne to be replaced by a different moderator for the debate if Enda Kenny would appear.

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Enda Kenny participated in a three-way debate in the Irish language with Micheal Martin and Eamon Gilmore on TG4.

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On 14 February 2011, Enda Kenny met German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the Irish economy.

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At a victory party in Dublin, Enda Kenny declared Fine Gael had "a massive endorsement" to govern, and the election marked "a transformative moment in Ireland's history".

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Enda Kenny said that his first priority upon taking office would be to renegotiate the terms of the bailout for Ireland, calling the original deal "a bad deal for Ireland and a bad deal for Europe".

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Enda Kenny received his seal of office from President Mary McAleese.

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Enda Kenny announced ministerial appointees to his Government on 9 March 2011.

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At just under 59 years and 11 months on accession, Enda Kenny is the second-oldest person to have assumed the office for the first time, the oldest being Sean Lemass.

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Enda Kenny appointed a Minister for political reform, and sent a request to the Office of Public Works as to how he could address ministerial transport.

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On 11 March 2011, his third day in office, Enda Kenny attended his first European Council as Taoiseach, in Brussels.

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Enda Kenny held firm on his refusal to alter the corporate tax, which he reiterated in his first Leaders' Questions the following week— declaring his government's intention to withhold further state funds from Dublin banks until the EU agreed to new terms that forced banks' senior bondholders to share in the losses.

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Enda Kenny was heavily criticised for his government's action, with the Irish Independent noting that "this is the fifth time Irish people have been told over the past couple of years it would be the last payout they would have to endure".

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On 9 May 2011, Enda Kenny's government announced a new job creation program, along with plan to finance it via a 0.

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The pension levy caused an immediate and intense outcry, leaving Enda Kenny to defend the initiative as "a modest proposal" and refuting charges that the government would next tax personal savings.

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However, the controversy surrounding the levy intensified on 12 May 2011, when Enda Kenny admitted that the holders of Approved Retirement Funds—most of whom were among the highest income earners in Ireland—would not be included in the levy.

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On 3 May 2011, Enda Kenny's government approved a set of political reforms that adhered to promises he had made in the general election.

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On 20 July 2011, Enda Kenny condemned the Vatican for its role in the scandal, stating that the Church's role in obstructing the investigation was a serious infringement upon the sovereignty of Ireland and that the scandal revealed "the dysfunction, disconnection and elitism that dominates the culture of the Vatican to this day".

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Enda Kenny added that "the historic relationship between church and state in Ireland could not be the same again".

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Enda Kenny gave a televised address to the nation on 4 December 2011, ahead of the delivery of the 2012 Irish budget.

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Enda Kenny warned that Budget 2012 "will be tough", and that "it has to be".

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Enda Kenny described it as "a good day for the country and its people".

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Enda Kenny told the Dail that, as a result of the changes, there would be a €20 billion reduction in the borrowing requirement of the National Treasury Management Agency in the years ahead, but cautioned that the agreement was not a "silver bullet".

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On 19 February 2013, Enda Kenny apologised in Dail Eireann, on behalf of the State to the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries.

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In March 2014, in response to reports that Garda stations were bugged, Enda Kenny informed the Dail that he had sent Brian Purcell, the Secretary General of the Department of Justice, to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, the day before Callinan's sudden departure from his role.

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Enda Kenny said that he had been personally briefed on Garda surveillance by his Attorney General Maire Whelan, as Whelan did not wish to speak of the matter over the telephone.

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Enda Kenny was later to be seen doing some "happy dancing" at the annual Bloom Festival.

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In March 2015, Enda Kenny was criticised for his lack of understanding towards Wexford TD Mick Wallace's inability to speak Irish, during leader's questions in the Dail.

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Enda Kenny had previously launched a book for James Morrissey, the long-term paid spokesperson for O'Brien.

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Later that month, Enda Kenny told a gathering of the European People's Party in Madrid, that he had been instructed to have the army guarded ATMs, during the economic downturn.

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On 3 February 2016, Enda Kenny announced his intention to request that President Higgins dissolve the 31st Dail.

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Enda Kenny told the Dail before its dissolution that the 2016 general election would occur on Friday, 26 February.

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At a Fine Gael rally in his home town of Castlebar, County Mayo, on 20 February 2016, Enda Kenny informed an audience that his local constituents were All-Ireland champion "whingers".

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Enda Kenny later told media in Galway, that he was referring to local Fianna Fail members.

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On 10 March 2016, Enda Kenny resigned as Taoiseach, after failing to win enough votes to be elected for a second term.

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Enda Kenny met President Barack Obama, as part of the annual visit of the Taoiseach to the White House, for the handing over of the bowl of shamrock.

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On 29 April 2016, an agreement was reached with Fianna Fail to allow a Fine Gael–led minority government, and on 6 May 2016, Enda Kenny was elected Taoiseach again, by a margin of 59 to 49 votes, and formed a government.

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Enda Kenny became the first member of Fine Gael to win re-election as Taoiseach in the party's history.

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Enda Kenny took over as Minister for Defence, from Simon Coveney, who was appointed Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.

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Enda Kenny was described as favouring Britain remaining in the European Union, for were Britain to leave the EU, the peace settlement in Northern Ireland might collapse.

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The following day, Enda Kenny announced that he would not consider standing down until May at the earliest, and that he planned to attend the European Council on 29 April 2017, to discuss strategy surrounding Brexit.

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On 17 May 2017, Enda Kenny announced his intention to step down as party leader, effective at midnight.

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Enda Kenny requested that the party conclude the election of his successor by 2 June 2017, and said that he would step down as Taoiseach shortly thereafter.

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On 29 December 2017, Enda Kenny was a wedding guest of Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer in Cork.

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In June 2018, Enda Kenny was named 'Irish European of the Year' for "his outstanding contribution to promoting and developing Ireland's place in Europe through some of the most challenging circumstances in our history around the time of the Brexit referendum to chairing the European Council and developing and promoting our relationship with the European Union".

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Enda Kenny presented a six part Irish language television series about old Irish railway routes on RTE One in 2021, called Iarnrod Enda.

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In 2019, Enda Kenny was appointed chair of the global advisory board of Dublin private equity firm Venturewave Capital.

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Enda Kenny has been described by the media as his "secret weapon".

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Enda Kenny has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and completed the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle.

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