Weekly Message from an Taoiseach, Enda Kenny

Posted July 18th, 2011

Last weekend, Gay Mitchell MEP was nominated as the Fine Gael Candidate to contest the Presidential Election at the Party’s Selection Convention.I know that Gay has all the credentials to make an outstanding President if the Irish people choose to elect him.

I met with the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, in Dublin on Tuesday.

President Buzek has voiced his support for an interest rate reduction for Ireland. We have now secured almost total European support, and will continue to campaign in this regard at every opportunity.

This week’s decision by Moody’s Investor Services to downgrade Ireland’s credit rating was very surprising, as well as being completely at odds with the position of other rating agencies.

There is a widespread belief that the move was driven more by uncertainty about the European response to the debt crisis than to any uncertainty about Ireland’s performance.

The Troika reiterated this view yesterday, when they reported that Ireland remained on track in its IMF/EU plan, having met all its targets to date.

We will not be blown off course. However, in their comments, the Troika did refer to the need for European leaders to take urgent action to prevent the debt crisis spreading to other countries.

I agree that Europe must respond to what is a European problem.

The Eurogroup’s Finance Ministers met earlier this week, and signalled their intention to introduce a range of positive measures, including a lengthening in the maturities of loans and lowering the interest rates, which Minister Noonan has welcomed as a positive step for Ireland.

The Cloyne Report, which was published this week, is yet another sad reflection of Ireland’s painful history of clerical child abuse.

Disturbingly, however, the Report does not refer to events far in the distant past. All of these particular allegations were made in the period after 1996, when new and detailed procedures had been put in place to deal with complaints of this nature.

The Government and the Tánaiste have demanded explanations for these unacceptable actions.

Words no longer suffice when meeting the challenge of protecting the children of this country.

Minister Shatter yesterday announced that he is to introduce new legislation making it an offence for knowledge of incidents of abuse to be withheld. A statutory child protection code was announced by Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald today.

Today, I am in Galway, where the schedule is hectic and varied.

This morning, I announced the creation of 145 new jobs at C&F Green Energy in Athenry, which provides wind turbines all over the country, proof that this industry is growing rapidly.

Early this morning, I attended the opening of NUI Galway’s most impressive new Engineering Building, now the largest school of engineering in the country with over 1,100 students, before attending the Galway Chamber President’s Business Awards in the Meyrick Hotel.

In the afternoon, I made my way to the Fairgreen Road to open the Jigsaw Centre, a facility that gives advice to 15-25 year olds.

Kind regards
Yours sincerely

Enda Kenny TD