Kenny addresses commemoration


The economic challenges facing Ireland are as great today as they were in the time of Michael Collins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told the annual Béal na mBláth commemoration.

Speaking in West Cork this afternoon, Mr Kenny said he refused to allow “what is in reality a temporary hand-me-down financial
strait-jacket” to damage Ireland’s future.

He said the Government had a “moral duty” to reform the political system and would be “resolute” in the pursuit of its reform agenda.

Mr Kenny said the State’s economic difficulties should not be used as a “political excuse” not to change and restructure Ireland’s public and institutional life.

“I give you my word that I will not rest and the Government will not rest until Ireland has reclaimed and restored its economic sovereignty,” he said.

Mr Kenny was speaking for the first time since 2006 at the event to mark the 90th anniversary of the death of Michael Collins, and he was the first serving Taoiseach to have delivered the annual oration.

He said he believed Michael Collins would have been pro-Europe.

Mr Kenny also reflected on the new “positive, mature and respectful” relationship that he said had developed between the peoples of Britain and Ireland. “Michael Collins would have been proud,” he added.

The Taoiseach said the next 12 to 18 months would be a critical time for Ireland economically but he urged people to be confidence that Government was working hard on their behalf.

He said he wanted to message to go out to international business leaders that Ireland was open for investment.

“Let Government and people work harder than ever…to make these aspirations a reality. We have no time to waste.”