Kenny again forced to deny he will step down as Taoiseach

Journalists in Washington were sent a copy of Enda Kenny's speech in which he said Friday would mark his final St Patrick's Day as Taoiseach

Kenny again forced to deny he will step down as Taoiseach

Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking to journalists in Washington, 14-03-2017. Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

The Taoiseach has again been forced to deny that he is about to step down from his position.

It comes after journalists in Washington were sent a copy of his speech that included an explicit line stating that this would be his final St Patrick's Day as Taoiseach.

A second version of the speech was quickly issued - but the mistake forced Kenny into a denial that his time will shortly be up.

The mix-up will be highly unwelcome for Mr Kenny on the night before he is due to meet with US President Donald Trump at the White House.

Mr Kenny is one of the guests of honour at a black-tie gala in Washington tonight - the traditional prelude to his White House visit.

He addressed an audience of American investors at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington this afternoon.

He has promised to raise the issue of President Trump’s travel ban with the president and vice-president tomorrow.

He has told TDs he will deal with the question of his leadership after he returns from the US and his meeting with President Trump.

"I'm not into English classes"

When asked by Newstalk Drive about his personal opinion of Trump, Mr Kenny acknowledged that he previously referred to comments made by him as "racist and dangerous". However, he refused to explicitly refer to the leader of the United States as a racist.

"I did not refer to him as a racist," the former teacher said. "Language and words can be used by people in many regards [...] I'm not into English classes."

Mr Kenny also said he was not in America to answer Nigel Farage, who earlier today said he hopes the first thing the Taoiseach will do during his meeting with Trump is “to apologise to Donald Trump for saying vile things about him consistently during the campaign".