Kenny suggests he won't step down until there's a new government in the North

He made the comments as he marched in New York as part of St. Patrick's Day celebrations

Kenny suggests he won't step down until there's a new government in the North

Image: Merrion Street

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has suggested he will not consider stepping down as Taoiseach until a new government is formed in the North.

In New York this evening, he's insisted that a solution in Stormont, and the opening talks in Brexit, must be the first priorities.

"Do you not think it's appropriate that the immediate priority here is to have an executive functioning in Northern Ireland?" he asked reporters as he marched on Fifth Avenue.

He also suggested that he could not leave his post while formative Brexit discussions were taking place, and that he had to follow up issue raised in the Oval Office by President Donald Trump.

"You can't have a situation where you have no leadership in Northern Ireland

Interviewed by Newstalk's Chris Donoghue at today's New York march, Mr Kenny says that Northern Ireland executive and Brexit negotiation take precedence over him clarifying his leadership.

The Taoiseach said that "you can't have a situation where you have no leadership in Northern Ireland, and where we have to define from a European Union point of view where Ireland will be, what the agreed terms of reference for the negotiations are."

Mr Kenny added that he "will deal with his own parliamentary party", and that he had a number of immediate priorities on his desk when he arrives back in Ireland tomorrow morning.

Immigration

Meanwhile, a speech given by the Taoiseach last night has gained international attention largely for its focus on Irish immigration.

Speaking at the annual shamrock ceremony, Mr Kenny highlighted the contribution Irish immigrants have made to American society, saying: "Ireland came to America, because deprived of liberty, opportunity, safety and even food itself, we believed. Four decades before Lady Liberty lifted her lamp we were the wretched refuse on the teeming shore.

"We believed in the shelter of America, in the compassion of America, in the opportunity of America. We came and became Americans."the shamrock ceremony."

The New York Times later referred to Mr Kenny's speech as a lecture.