RTÉ filming adds fuel to speculation of Enda Kenny stepping down

RTÉ is currently filming an autumn series on the legacy of Enda Kenny — and it’s being viewed as a clear signal as to the timing of his stepping down.

The national broadcaster has already interviewed a number of politicians as part of what is expected to be a two-part series.

It is understood that the documentary, which will look back on Mr Kenny’s 41-year career, will be aired in October or November.

Numerous TDs, including Mr Kenny’s constituency colleague Michael Ring as well as former tánaiste Joan Burton, have already sat down with the production company.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin has also been interviewed.

The programme will add to already growing speculation around Mr Kenny’s future as leader of Fine Gael.

It is understood that Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin was also approached to take part in the documentary but declined.

RTÉ filming adds fuel to speculation of Enda Kenny stepping down

However, a number of Fianna Fáil TDs will appear in the programme, including Willie O’Dea and Barry Cowen.

Mr O’Dea said he was interviewed for around an hour for the show: “It was more or less looking at his career. I think I was relatively fair, I tried to be balanced and I hope it will come across as balanced as possible.”

The Limerick TD said he was also questioned on how Mr Kenny reorganised the party after Michael Noonan resigned as leader in 2002, as well as Mr Kenny’s role at EU level: “They just asked my opinion on various things around his organisational ability.”

Asked about his opinion on the timing of airing the programme, Mr O’Dea said: “I suppose they are anticipating that he might step down and that it would be relatively soon.

“They are looking at running it after the budget.”

It is understood the production team have conducted interviews over the last two months and will continue with more filming in September.

An RTÉ spokesman said: “We are currently developing a number of documentaries for the autumn but it’s too early to comment further on them.”

RTÉ filming adds fuel to speculation of Enda Kenny stepping down

Speculation has mounted in recent weeks as to when the Taoiseach will step aside after a number of Fine Gael backbenchers, during a meeting of the parliamentary party, called on him to clarify when he intends to leave.

Mr Kenny has repeatedly signalled that he will step aside before the next election but maintains he will see out the full term in government as leader of Fine Gael.

Speaking in Mayo earlier this month, Mr Kenny said: “I have no intention of being diverted from that work that I have undertaken and for which I have received a mandate to fulfil. That is my focus and my focus is entirely on the future. For those who might be interested, I will not be diverted from that task and that duty and that responsibility which is the mandate given to me by the people.”

First elected in 1975 after the death of his father, Henry Kenny, he has held the position of junior minister for youth affairs as well as tourism and trade minister.


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