Michael McGrath: Taoiseach 'putting party before country' over departure date

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been accused in the Dáil of "putting party before country" by refusing to announce the date of his departure, writes Elaine Loughlin of the Irish Examiner.

Fianna Fáil have put pressure on Mr Kenny to make it known when he intends to step down as leader of Fine Gael.

Mr Kenny was asked whether he would still be in place as Taoiseach when Brexit talks get underway, with Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath claiming the "country now deserves to know".

Mr Kenny told the Dáil that he expects to attend the European Council meeting on April 29.

Responding, Mr McGrath said people need to know who will be in charge when negotiations begin in late May or early June, which prompted a smile from many on the Government benches, including the Taoiseach.

Mr McGrath said: "It is not a laughing matter. With all due respect, the Taoiseach once famously said, 'Paddy likes to know'.

"People deserve a straight answer," he added.

The Taoiseach agreed that "it is not a laughing matter but told the Dáil that "Deputy Michael McGrath will not be first to find out" when he intends to step down.

This raised heckles from the opposition benches, with Mr McGrath claiming the Taoiseach was putting his party before the country.

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