Former taoiseach receives Dublin City University alumni award

Government will have to deal with next UK PM and ‘get on with it’, Enda Kenny says

Former taoiseach Enda Kenny on stage ahead of the Alumni award ceremony in DCU, Drumcondra on Friday night. Photograph: James Forde/ The Irish Times

Former taoiseach Enda Kenny on stage ahead of the Alumni award ceremony in DCU, Drumcondra on Friday night. Photograph: James Forde/ The Irish Times

 

The Government will have to deal with whoever becomes the next British prime minister and “get on with it”, former taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

Speaking at Dublin City University alumni awards where he was among those receiving an award for outstanding achievement, Mr Kenny said the matter of who becomes next Conservative party leader “is a matter for their membership and members”.

“We will have to deal with whoever ends up holding the office and what it throws up. You deal with the holder of the office and get on with it,” he said.

On the UK parliament’s stance on Brexit, he said MPs voted for “lots of things they don’t want and only one thing they do want”.

“The one thing they don’t want is to leave without a deal which means have a deal. That’s a vote of the MPs in the commons in which sovereignty is vested. We have a written Constitution here in Ireland where sovereignty is invested in the people and referendums have binding results.”

Mr Kenny also commented on the prospect of a general election and said “ the stability of our economy must be taken into consideration” before any general election is held.

“The supply and confidence agreement is there and clearly the Fianna Fáil party have signed on for four budgets,” he said.

“I don’t want to comment on these things when they’re no longer my responsibility. Clearly, the country is in a better position than it used to be and that is very heartening.”

He said an international signal from Ireland about stability “is an important consideration for continued foreign direct investment here and for confidence for Irish companies who want to export and expand”.

“From that point of view we should be very proud of the part we have played with and from Europe in building a resilient Irish situation where exports continue to rise,” he said.

“Looking back I give all the credit to the Irish people who were willing to put up with difficult decisions and have come through that economic recession. At the same time, many people still suffered the consequences of how deep the recession was,”he said.

Earlier this week, the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council warned of a overheating in the economy.

Mr Kenny said the Government should always take heed of what the council says but it will make its own decisions.

“The Government always listens and takes cognisance and listen to what the advice from what the fiscal advisory council says. At the end of the day though, the Government is sovereign in the decisions that it makes.”

Other recipients of alumni awards on Friday at the Helix on DCU’s Glasnevin campus were Lorraine Twohill, chief marketing officer at Google; Shay Walsh, managing director at BT Ireland; Sr Orla Treacy, head of the Loreto Schools in Rumbek, South Sudan; and Irish rugby international Lindsay Peat.

DCU alumni award recipients (left to right) Shay Walsh, managing director at BT Ireland; former taoiseach Enda Kenny; Irish rugby international Lindsay Peat and Sr Orla Treacy. Photograph: James Forde/The Irish Times
DCU alumni award recipients (left to right) Shay Walsh, managing director at BT Ireland; former taoiseach Enda Kenny; Irish rugby international Lindsay Peat and Sr Orla Treacy. Photograph: James Forde/The Irish Times