Belfast Telegraph

Fine Gael 'ready for election'

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny insists his party is united behind him and declared it was on an election footing.

Mr Kenny, who faced down a bitter leadership rebellion in June, rejected suggestions he was leading a broken party bidding to fix a broken country.

"My message today is that this party is now on election footing," he said.

"And my message to all our supporters and candidates and members of the Oireachtas party is to prepare for an election which may not be too far in the distant future.

"This country can't afford Fianna Fail and this economy can't afford Anglo-Irish Bank."

Fine Gael TDs gathered for the first day of the party's annual two-day think-in ahead of the new Dail term.

Representatives at the Faithlegg House Hotel in Waterford said they were planning for an election with many TDs predicting it would be called no later than next March.

Meanwhile, Mr Kenny described the Government's banking policy as a monumental disaster.

"Fine Gael is united in its effort and its concentration to deal with the problems of our country and many people who may have had a different view than me have said that quite openly and quite clearly," he said.

"We are now focused on the job."

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