Enda Kenny was born in 1951. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for Mayo since 1975, having succeeded his father. He is currently the longest serving TD.
Serving the country:
Kenny served as Minister for Tourism and Trade from 1994 to 1997.
- growth in trade and tourism in that time (how related iy was to him is debatable)
- he chaired the European Union Council of Trade Ministers during Ireland's six-month Presidency of the European Council as well as co-chairing a round of the World Trade Organization talks in 1996. (not sure if either constitute achivements)
- turning the Saint Patrick's Day parade into a festival.
- brought a stage of the 1998 Tour de France to Ireland.
As leader of the opposition:
- In the 8 years, he never became a realistic alternative Taoiseach in the minds of the Irish people (ie when FF fell by 25%, his party picked up 1%-8%)
- he was late in holding Bertie Ahern, John O'Donoghue, Willie O'Dea to account.
- his opposition to boom time over-spending has been lacking in evidence.
- he welcomed decentralisition to Mayo.
For his Party
- the official version is that he brought his Party "back from the brink", but in reality he was able to secure enough new voters and get old FG voters to return the party to the position it was in pre-2002.
- he led his party to being the largest in local government (their stewardship should now be closely monitored in terms of planning, spending and budget management.
- his party is the largest in the European Parliament.
- the Party is within striking distance of power.
He is a good local TD for Mayo, who got the leader's job as he was the last man standing in 2002. He has little by way of achievement to justify any of the tributes which follow in the next day or so. The Irish people do not really care about how be rejuvinated his party. He was not rated by Garret Fitzgerald. Apparently he is a nice fellow (just like Jack Lynch) at a time when the country needed a competent critic to nail the government issue after issue on which they have failed. He does not share the extent of their culpability, but he could have done better.
Perhaps like Michael Noonan and the Oireachtas inquiry, the best is yet to come from (President) Enda.