Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has said the next election would be a choice between a Fine Gael or Sinn Féin-led government with very different visions for Irish society.

Mr Adams said the Taoiseach should hold an election now "rather than making speeches defending his record in the face of growing public opposition."

He was reacting to the Taoiseach's keynote address to the Fine Gael National Conference in Castlebar last night.

In a statement, Mr Adams described the Fine Gael National Conference as a display of "unbridled arrogance from government ministers entirely insulated from the effects of their policies."

In his televised address, Enda Kenny said people will face a choice in 2016 between those who have restored political and economic stability - and those who had a record of wrecking the economy - or those whose policies would wreck our future.

Mr Kenny told delegates that the era of increased taxes and new charges is over and that the goal of full employment is achievable.

The Taoiseach also used his leader’s address to seek a Yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum in May.

Mr Kenny said a Yes vote would send out a powerful signal internationally that Ireland has evolved into a fair, compassionate and tolerant nation.

He said the Fine Gael party strongly supports a Yes vote.

Earlier, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar described Mr Adams as "a self-serving phoney" who pays property tax and water charges "to Her Majesty's government in the North".

He added: "He doesn't use the health service, either North or South. Rather, he flies first class to America for treatment in a private hospital and yet claims to be paid the same as his driver."

Minister Varadkar also criticised Fianna Fáil leader and former minister for health Micheál Martin saying he has "a brass neck" if he wants to be Taoiseach after spending millions on public relations and endless reports and strategies."

"In Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin we have two damaged parties: One which undermined this country through sheer incompetence, and another which undermined the country deliberately and by design" Mr Varadkar said.

In a statement this morning, Mr Martin said Mr Kenny's time as Taoiseach "has been marked by his continued refusal to engage in open, honest debate on any of these issues. 

"He now appears to hope that he can secure another term in that office by launching unsubstantiated attacks on his opponents."