Kenny gives rivals time to consider position

Monday 21 June 2010 22.46
Belfast - Fine Gael delegation holds talks
Belfast - Fine Gael delegation holds talks

The Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has said he expects to name his new frontbench towards the latter part of next week.

He said he had not spoken to Richard Bruton about the outcome of the leadership vote last Thursday but he said people needed time and space to consider the implications.

He was speaking in Belfast this afternoon where he is holding a series of meetings with representatives of the main political parties in Northern Ireland.

He also met Northern Secretary Owen Paterson.

They discussed the Saville Report on Bloody Sunday and cross-border matters of cooperation in areas such as energy.

Mr Kenny was accompanied by a number of colleagues, including two TDs who had voted against him in last Thursday's leadership contest, Brian Hayes and Fergus O'Dowd.

Both Mr Hayes and Mr O'Dowd said they would be prepared to serve in whatever capacity Mr Kenny decided in a party united behind the leader.

Mr O'Dowd said he had absolutely no regrets about last week.

Mr Kenny said they were going to put last week's events behind them and focus now on the future.

He said he intended to put together a team that would put Fianna Fáil out of office at the next election.

Mr Kenny said he would be telling Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin of his deep concern that in the Republic there was only one army (that was fundamental to the Constitution) and there was no need for any party to have an army council.

This was one of the reasons, along with Sinn Féin's economic policy, why he would not be willing to go into government with Sinn Féin (as he said in a Late Late show interview earlier this year).