Enda on current weeks events

I was very glad to welcome the President of the European Parliament,
Mr Martin Schulz to Government Buildings yesterday. Mr Schulz was in
Ireland on a two-day trip in advance of Ireland’s assumption of the
European Union Presidency on January 1. We had a very productive
lunchtime meeting in my office.

During his time in Dublin, Mr Schulz also addressed the Dáil, where he
underlined his wish for EU leaders to keep their promise in terms of
delivering a bank deal for Ireland. I warmly welcome this clear
statement that Europe must now live up to its commitments and show the
same solidarity displayed by Ireland to date. Mr Schulz also praised
Ireland for our progress with the EU/IMF Programme.

In Brussels on Wednesday, President Barroso had also expressed his
support for Ireland’s position and Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste
Eamon Gilmore and President Barroso in Brusselspromised to emphasise
at the next European Council meeting that June’s commitment must be
followed through. He also paid tribute to the determination shown by
the Government and the people of Ireland in terms of our fulfillment
of the EU/IMF conditions. To have the support of these two prominent
European politicians is significant indeed and it is my hope that
June’s commitment to sever the link between banking and sovereign debt
will now be implemented urgently.

I was joined in Brussels on Wednesday by several members of cabinet
with the purpose of discussing the upcoming EU Presidency and what it
will mean for Ireland. It is our intention to firmly place stability,
growth and job creation across Europe at the heart of the Irish
Presidency.

Monday was a day of Cabinet Committees in Government Buildings when I
chaired several, including Health and Economic Infrastructure. These
committees perform a vitally important function, allowing the issues
of the day to be discussed, debated and given due consideration.

On Tuesday morning, I welcomed Teresa Villiers, the newly appointed
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. She was on her first visit to
Dublin as Secretary of State and I look forward to working with her in
the future and building further on the increasingly excellent
relations across our island.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny launching the Gathering 2013You are going to be
hearing more and more about the Gathering 2013 when Ireland will next
year call home its family and friends from across the globe and,
yesterday afternoon, I met Catie Keogh and Colleen Kelly to record
features on that subject for their respective NBC programmes. Colleen
is host of ‘Family Travel with Colleen Kelly’ which will screen on 435
stations across the States in spring 2013 and her sister Catie hosts
‘24/7 City Secrets’, a weekly show on NBC. I was glad to have this
opportunity to tell them all about the Gathering and to extend an
invitation to their viewers to think about making the trip here in
2013.

Last night, I met with some of the delegates attending the Global
Venture Capital Congress in Farmleigh. This annual event brings
together the US and European Venture Capital associations to discuss
the global venture capital market and the public policies promoting
innovation and entrepreneurship.

Delegates from countries including the United States, Canada, Europe,
Asia, Africa and Latin American travelled here to attend. I emphasised
to each of them the many qualities Ireland has as a place in which to
do business namely our talent, track record, tax base, and technology.

Today, I am in Letterkenny, where I opened the superb new science
facilities at Letterkenny IT this afternoon. Sunday will bring the
final major GAA event of the year, the Ladies Senior Football
Championship Final and I hope to be in Croke Park to see the better of
the Cork or Kerry teams lift the Brendan Martin Cup.

Very best wishes
Yours sincerely

Enda Kenny TD

Taoiseach