The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney T.D., has today paid warm, personal tribute to outgoing Party Leader Enda Kenny, T.D. who announced today his plans to step down from the position he has held since 2002.
Mr Kenny will continue to perform his duties as Fine Gael leader in an acting capacity until a successor is appointed on 2 June.
He released a statement on twitter and said "Last year I indicated that I would not lead the FG Party into the next general election.
Enda Kenny's strong support for agriculture was evident in in the taxation measures and funding of farm schemes implemented in recent Budgets", Healy said.
"I want to assure people that throughout this internal process, I will continue to carry out my duties and responsibilities as Taoiseach in full".
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The party has said this lunchtime that the appointment of a new leader, in and of itself, will not require any amendment to the Confidence and Supply Arrangement with Fine Gael.
Mr Kenny delayed the transition to a new leader on a number of occasions this year, asking colleagues for time to visit the USA for the annual St Patrick's Day celebrations and to meet President Donald Trump, continuing the unique tradition Ireland has of access to the White House every March 17.
Mr Kenny will remain on as Taoiseach until a new leader is elected.
Prime minister since 2011 and leader of his party for nearly 15 years, Kenny is expected to be replaced by either Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar, 38, the bookmakers' favorite, or Housing Minister Simon Coveney, 44. The former refers to the way Coveney has raised his profile by trying to tackle a severe housing and homelessness crisis.