With a comfortable victory over Enda Kenny, Michael Noonan was elected as leader of the Fine Gael political party by 44 votes to 28.

At his first press conference as leader Michael Noonan outlined his new policy platform surrounding the issues of health, housing and education. 

I want to give politics back to the people. I want to give Fine Gael back to the people.

Mr Noonan also announced that Fine Gael would no longer accept corporate donations to fund its activities. 

An RTÉ News report by Donal Kelly broadcast on 9 February 2001.