Enda Kenny has resigned as Taoiseach

Kenny will now remain as acting-Taoiseach

Enda Kenny has resigned as Taoiseach

Niall Carson / PA

The Taoiseach has resigned from his office this evening.

Enda Kenny travelled to Aras an Uachtarain tonight to inform the President of his resignation - but he will continue in a caretaker capacity.

The Fine Gael leader stepped down today after he failed to win a majority of support of the 32nd Dáil for his re-election.

The other nominees, Micheál Martin, Gerry Adams and Richard Boyd Barrett also failed to win the support of the house.

The Dail, which met for the first time following the general election, has adjourned until the 22nd of March, when there will be an update on talks to form a Government and statements on a number of issues.

TDs are due to meet again in Leinster House on the 6th of April.

In accordance with the Constitution, the Government and the Taoiseach will continue to carry on their duties until successors have been appointed.

The Dáil voted down Kenny's nomination with 57 votes in favour and 94 against and six abstentions.

Speaking in the chamber, Mr Kenny declared that despite his resignation this evening, as per the constitution, he will remain in charge.

“The Government and I will continue to carry out our duties until a new government has been appointed.

“Let me assure the Irish people that the government remains in place and that I, and my cabinet colleagues, will continue to work hard in the best interests of the country and of all the people.”

Micheál Martin, Gerry Adams and Richard Boyd Barrett also failed in bids to be elected Taoiseach. Mr Martin got 43 votes in favour, 108 against.

Gerry Adams was backed by 24 TDs, with 116 voting against him, while Richard Boyd Barrett received nine yes votes and 111 no votes.

The 158 newly-elected members of the 32nd Dáil have met today for the first time.

Business in the House could now be adjourned for up to a month since no Taoiseach will be elected.

However, the chamber has a new Ceann Comhairle in Fianna Fáil's Seán O'Fearghail.

He was elected earlier for the first time by secret ballot.