Irish leader Enda Kenny has praised the people of Ireland for their efforts to get the country back on track following the recession.

In his annual Christmas message to the country the Fine Gael leader said the people of Ireland are making huge sacrifices, he said it was being done “so decently and so generously – indeed, so honorably."

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In his annual address Kenny singled out parents of young children as being particularly affected by ongoing cutbacks.

“As a husband, a father and a neighbor, I feel deeply for you, for your community, for your families. I feel especially for those of you with young children.”

He said his government is working day and night to get the country “back on its feet”.

He also remembered the hundreds of thousands of Irish who have emigrated over the last number of years.

“Skype is no substitute for the hug of a dearly-loved child or grandchild,” he said.

Watch the Prime Minister’s Address below.

Irish Prime Minister Enda KennySPORTSFILE