An RTÉ News Retrospective

Enda Kenny

From Mayo West TD, to Fine Gael leader, to Taoiseach, Enda Kenny's journey in pictures

His father's son

Enda Kenny had been exposed to the world of politics from an early age. His father (pictured in 1968) was a TD for Mayo West until his death in 1975.

The campaign trail

Enda was chosen by Fine Gael to stand in the subsequent by-election. He entered the political arena with the aim of serving "the greatest number, with the greatest good". At the age of 24, Enda was elected on the first count with 52% of the vote.

Ard Fheis

Fine Gael TD Jim Mitchell attends his party's Ard Fheis in Dublin's RDS in March 1979. The man on the right is the future Taoiseach.


Enda Kenny (with former TD John Donnellan) takes part in RTÉ's The Superstars athletics competition in Dublin in March 1979. The competition featured a range of personalities including sportspeople and politicians and was held to choose a candidate to compete in the World Superstars contest. It was eventually won by Kerry footballer Pat Spillane. Enda Kenny distinguished himself in the 100m sprint.

Top table

Three party members at the top table during the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in October 1983. From left to right; Enda Kenny, Michael O'Leary and Liam Skelly. The Fine Gael Ard Fheis was held in Dublin's RDS that year.

A new leader

Enda Kenny is elected the new leader of Fine Gael, the main opposition party on 5 June 2002. The 51-year-old beat off challenges from three other contenders to succeed Michael Noonan following a nightmare election which reduced Fine Gael to just 31 Dáil seats.

Enda at home

Enda is pictured at home with his wife Fionnuala as part of a photoshoot for the RTÉ Guide magazine in 2005.

Celebrity chef

In July 2005, Enda Kenny appears on RTÉ's The Restaurant as the surprise celebrity chef. Critic Paolo Tulio said: "The crab rolls were really very good, I enjoyed them. But the wild salmon was overcooked and hard, I just couldn't eat it."

General Election 2007

Opposition beckons once more for Kenny’s Fine Gael, as his party won 51 seats in the 2007 General Election. Fianna Fáil returned to power at the time with 77 seats.

Leadership heave

As the economic crisis takes hold, Labour makes political gains and Fine Gael panic sets in. There is an attempt to oust him as leader, but in June 2010, Enda Kenny wins a vote of confidence in his leadership. He said his friendship with Richard Bruton, who had challenged his leadership, was not broken and that the party could now move on united.

High opinion

Enda Kenny smiles as he holds six-month-old May Hennelly during a visit to the Golden Island shopping centre in Athlone, in February 2011. The latest opinion poll had just shown Fine Gael was on course to lead the country's new government after the General Election later that month.

Casting votes

Enda Kenny poses for pictures as he prepares to cast his vote with his daughter Aoibhinn Kenny at a school in Castlebar, on 25 February 2011. Voters went on to oust the Government in elections dominated by the collapse of the economy and EU debt crisis. It could be possible Aoibhinn will go on to contest her father's Mayo seat when the time comes.

Seal of office

Enda Kenny poses with his new seal of office at Áras an Uachtaráin, in Dublin, on 9 March 2011. Kenny takes the reins as Taoiseach following a dramatic General Election in the wake of the economic collapse. Kenny, aged 59, is elected by 117 votes to 27 by TDs in the Dáil, and heads a coalition Government of his Fine Gael party and Labour.

Queen Elizabeth welcomed to Ireland

In May 2011, Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip make a historic four-day visit to Ireland. During the first day of her visit, the Queen laid a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance. Enda Kenny said: "It was a day many people thought would never happen."

A week of visits

Within the same week, Barack Obama and his wife Michelle visit Dublin. The former US president addressed a huge crowd at College Green in Dublin. Enda Kenny introduced Mr Obama by saying: "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that Ireland is a place where all things are possible ... today is your answer."

Charity cycles

Enda Kenny with his son, Ferdia, in July 2012 doing the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle. It was the Taoiseach's third year to take part in the cycle; one of many he has finished in aid of charity.

Emotional apology to Magdalene survivors

In February 2013, an emotional Enda Kenny apologises unreservedly on behalf of the State to the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries. Speaking in the Dáil, the Taoiseach says sorry to the women for the hurt they endured in the laundries and for any stigma they suffered.

The Meaning of Life

Enda Kenny is pictured in June 2014 during the filming of RTÉ's The Meaning of Life programme with presenter Gay Byrne.

A dose of (virtual) reality

Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton like what they see when they try on some Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles in January 2015.

There is nothing to fear for voting for love and equality.

Click here to listen to Kenny's televised address after campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the same-sex marriage referendum in May 2015.

Commemorating 1916

During the celebrations of the centenary of the 1916 Rising, Enda Kenny served as the acting Taoiseach while discussions on forming a government continued. Mr Kenny said the State honoured the memory of those who died in 1916 with the respect and the dignity that was their due.

A second term

In May 2016, Enda Kenny becomes the first Fine Gael leader to be re-elected as Taoiseach for a second successive term.

Papal visit

In November 2016 following a private audience with Pope Francis, Enda Kenny said that the pontiff will visit Ireland in 2018. A senior Vatican official has since said that Pope Frances will do "everything he can" to visit Ireland next year. It would be the first papal visit to Ireland since Pope John Paul II's visit in 1979.

(St. Patrick) is the symbol of, indeed the patron of, immigrants.

Click here to listen to Enda Kenny's pro-immigrant message in front of US President Donald Trump at the White House on St Patrick's Day 2017.

Enda serves his time

20 April 2017 was Enda Kenny's 2,234th day as Taoiseach, making him Fine Gael's longest serving head of Government. The record was previously held by John A Costello.

A new career path?

Three days after announcing he was stepping down as Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny is seen turning the tables on RTÉ cameraman Stuart Halligan. He was at Larch Hill scout camp in Dublin after its €1m revamp.