The speculation within political circles has finally come to an end, with Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny confirming this Wednesday at a party meeting that he is stepping down.

A clearly emotional Mr Kenny, left many party colleagues in tears, as the longest serving TD (elected in 1975) makes way for fresh blood. His successor is expected to be in place by June 2nd.

Speaking with The Avondhu late Wednesday, Fine Gael activist for 40 years, Noel Scannell from Kilworth, paid his respects to one of the great leaders.

“Mr Kenny was a very good friend. Back in 2014, after major surgery, he rang me in hospital to wish me well. He also stood with my mother when she reached 100”, the former director of elections recalled, with a tinge of emotion.

“I would like to think of him as one of the men who pulled us out of the doldrums back in 2011, bringing unemployment from 16% down to 6%. I would like to think of him as a very special friend during those 6 years. He’s up there with Cosgrove and Collins as one of the greats in Fine Gael,” he said.