Enda Kenny is elected as the new leader of the Fine Gael party.
The 2002 election was a disaster for Fine Gael and as a result Michael Noonan resigned as leader of the party. Following a meeting of the 49 members of the Parliamentary Party in Government Buildings, Deputy Enda Kenny, TD for Mayo was proclaimed leader of Fine Gael
Speaking to reporters outside Leinster House, the new leader paid tribute to the three other candidates for the leadership position; Richard Bruton, Phil Hogan and Gay Mitchell. He said the contest had been without any animosity, rancour or ill feeling.
Mr Kenny's vision for the party under his leadership is bright.
Fine Gael’s mourning period is over. This party is getting up off the floor. We intend to demonstrate all over Ireland that we are a political force to be reckoned with in the future.
As leader, Mr Kenny plans to rebuild the party into a united team and form a strong opposition in the Dáil, so that come the next election,
We can provide the people with a clear choice when they next go to vote.
When asked for details of the margin of his victory, Mr Kenny said it was a secret ballot and he had no idea of the actual figures of the result.
But I am very happy with the result.
The leadership election process had caused some controversy and Mr Kenny promised to go before the Ard Fheis to ensure the membership have a vote in future leadership elections.
Mr Kenny will be naming his front bench and other positions in due course.
A ‘Five Seven Live’ report broadcast on 5 June 2002.