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Enda Kenny to address his future after St Patrick's Day

Taoiseach Enda Kenny attends the second All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit in Dublin on Friday. Picture by Brian Lawless, Press Association

ENDA Kenny has said he will deal with his political future after he travels to Washington for St Patrick's Day.

The taoiseach has been under pressure to resign amid a political row over the case of Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

The TD told a meeting of the Fine Gael Parliamentary party last night that he would address his future after he returns from the US next month.

RTÉ reported that his speech was short and there was no debate. Mr Kenny received a standing ovation following his brief remarks.

The Fine Gael leader has previously said he will not lead his party into the next election but has so far not given a timeline for his departure.

In a long-standing tradition, the taoiseach visits the White House on St Patrick's Day to gift a bowl of shamrock to the sitting US president.

Housing minister Simon Coveney and social protection minister Leo Varadkar are among the frontrunners for the Fine Gael leadership.

However Mr Coveney said last week that ousting Mr Kenny would be wrong.

Mr Coveney accepted there would be a leadership contest "not some far point in the future".

"I also think there's huge respect and trust in Enda Kenny that he is the person who decides when that happens," he said.

He spoke after Fine Gael backbencher Alan Farrell broke ranks to demand Mr Kenny stand down as party leader.

Mr Farrell said the taoiseach's position was untenable.

"Unfortunately I no longer have confidence in the ability of Enda Kenny TD to lead Fine Gael," he said.

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