Irish Prime Minister steps down as leader of ruling Fine Gael party
Irish Prime Minister steps down as leader of ruling Fine Gael party
Enda announces that he's stepping down as Taoiseach
20 May, 2017, 00:14
"It is time for a change in Fine Gael but there is no doubt that Enda Kenny brought stability, positivity, and energy to this country when we needed it most and I thank him sincerely for his time and service".
Ireland will have a new prime minister in June after Taoiseach Enda Kenny quit as leader of his party.
Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney have been named as the two leading candidates to take over, with nominations in the contest to close on Saturday.
While Noonan and Kenny have been widely praised for their management of the economy, their Fine Gael party lost a quarter of its seats at elections previous year as voters complained they were not feeling the recovery.
"I would like to stress the huge honor and privilege that it has been for me to lead our party for the past 15 years, in opposition and into government on two successive occasions", Kenny said in a statement.
Meanwhile the Irish finance minister Michael Noonan has announced he is set to retire from politics at the next election.
Minister McHugh said he believed Minister Varadkar would be an outstanding leader of the country who understood issues affecting people right across the State and in particular Donegal.
Minister Noonan said that he would continue to carry out his duties until a new party leader is elected.
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