Aoibhinn Kenny well placed to follow in father’s footsteps

‘She’s well educated, star quality, perfectly suited to slot into the local political jigsaw’

The final paragraph of Taoiseach Enda Kenny's resignation statement referred to the family's 63-year record of unbroken service to the Mayo people.

That reference to “unstinting support” shown to Enda (elected 1975) and his father, Henry (elected 1954) is being interpreted by some in his home constituency as a gentle hint that the family dynasty in national politics is set to continue.

One customer in Coady's Bar, Castlebar, a popular Fine Gael watering spot, was adamant on Wednesday evening that Kenny's daughter, Aoibhinn, is being groomed as a replacement candidate for the next general election.

“I’m telling you,” insisted the drinker , “Aoibhinn’s a girl for the future. She’s well educated, star quality, perfectly suited to slot nicely into the local political jigsaw if her father decides not to run for election next time around”.

Satisfaction with Mr Kenny’s performance as Taoiseach was practically unanimous among those spoken to on the streets of his home town.

Castlebar-based auctioneer Tomás Collins predicted that Mr Kenny “will be appreciated long into the future for being honest and decent.”

Mr Collins maintained that “the Dublin media didn’t want Enda, a Taoiseach from rural Ireland” and that is where the push against him in recent times originated.

Kevin O’Malley (81), president of Castlebar branch of Fine Gael, was delighted that his prediction in February that his former protege would hold on into April and become the longest serving Fine Gael Taoiseach ever had been proved correct.

“Enda has stayed at the helm and is now leaving at a time of his own choosing,” he said.

In a a phone interview with his local Midwest Radio an hour after Mr Kenny made his announcement, Mayo TD Michael Ring, Minister of State for Regional Economic Development, said he had worked loyally for his constituency colleague "through times good and bad".