Enda Kenny, the leader of Fine Gael Ireland's opposition party, last night told an audience in New York that he would meet Prime Minister Brian Cowen in the coming days to discuss a recovery plan for Ireland's global economic reputation.
The Fine Gael leader said he had requested a meeting with the countries leader in a letter to Mr Cowen on Monday. He added that Brian Cowen had “responded positively” to his proposal for the meeting. No date has been set but it is expected the meeting will take place early next week.
Mr Kenny made his comments when he addressed an audience at the Ireland Chamber of Commerce USA Gala dinner last night. During his speech he acknowledged his concern over the protrayal of Ireland in the global media when he said he was “very concerned about the continuing negative portrayal of Ireland in some sections of the international press”.
“I am prepared to use my influence in Europe and elsewhere to reaffirm that Ireland will tackle its economic problems and fulfil our obligations as a member of the Euro currency area,” he said.
During his speech the Fine Gael leader spoke about how his party were the best poised to rebuild and renew Ireland. He also reiterated that a Fine Gael led government would not increase Ireland's 12.5% corporate tax.
“The Celtic Tiger may be dead and gone but we do not want to mourn it. We want to embrace instead the Celtic Spirit,” he added
Mr Kenny also referred to Ireland's former period of prosperity when he said that “a drive to accumulate” the trappings of material success had sometimes taken precedence over all else. Accumulation will never be an answer. It will never be fully satisfying,” he said. “Satisfaction can only come from contributing.”
Last night's speech at the upmarket Waldorf Astoria hotel was his first major engagement during a two day trip to New York. Later today Mr Kenny will meet emigration reform advocates and representatives from the Irish Development Agency. During his official trip he will also address the Ireland Fund leadership forum.