Prime Minister and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny.Photocall Ireland

Irish leader Enda Kenny has pleaded with European Union bosses for debt relief for the Irish people after devastating election results which turned into an anti-EU vote.

Speaking in Brussels at an EU leaders meeting Kenny said: “I did point out to the council that in Ireland we have had five to six years of very difficult circumstances, that many families are really strained and worn out with the challenge that they’ve faced and put up with.”

“And while our figures from an international perspective – our bond yields have dropped from 15 percent to 2.6 [percent] where unemployment has fallen for 24 consecutive months – where the figures on paper are very good and heading in the right direction, that is not being seen by families or felt by families on a daily basis.

“So if Europe is really seen to be effective in terms of employment, opportunity, credit for small businesses and these things this is where we need to be.”

The anti EU mood throughout the entire union reflected in the recent election results may force a change in austerity measures demanded by EU bosses, say experts. However, no such change in policy was put forward at the Brussels meeting despite warnings by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and others that the EU project was in dire difficulty.