|Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan|
Enda Kenny has given tremendous service to the people of Mayo and Ireland since he was first elected to the Dáil in the Autumn of 1975. This followed a by-election in the Mayo constituency triggered by the untimely passing of his father, Henry Kenny TD. Henry Kenny was also a famed mid-fielder in Mayo's first All-Ireland winning team which beat Laois in the football final of 1936.
Enda Kenny became Taoiseach in 2011 when the country was in dire financial straits and in bondage to the International Money Markets. His government led us out of the crisis to the point where the IMF is currently predicting that Ireland will have the second fastest growth rate in the Euro Zone. This is also reflected in the unemployment rate which has dropped below 6% from a high of 15.3% when Kenny came to power. He is wished well in his retirement.
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, has also announced his retirement from politics, stating that he will not accept a cabinet post in the new Government and will not be contesting the next General Election. Noonan can stand proudly with the great Fine Gael and Cumann na nGaedheal Finance Ministers of the past. Richie Ryan, Gerard Sweetman and Patrick J. McGilligan all assumed office when the finances of the country were in bad shape, but not as dire as when Michael Noonan became Finance Minister in 2011. I wish him many more happy years on the banks of the Shannon.