Enda Kenny has announced that he will step down as leader of Fine Gael at midnight tonight. The Taoiseach has triggered the leadership contest to replace him at his parliamentary party.
He chose to use Twitter to announce the decision, saying he will continue to carry out his duties as Taoiseach in full.
In a lengthy statement, he said he "would like to stress the huge honour and privilege that it has been for me to lead our party for the past 15 years".
Enda Kenny thanked his "personal staff" as well as "my wife Fionnuala, our children, my siblings and their families for their understanding of my work, and indeed for accepting the many intrusions of politics into family life".
A new Fine Gael leader will be in place by close of business on the second of June - Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar are the two leading candidates to replace him.
Leo Varadkar has thanked Enda Kenny and said that he has "learned a lot from Enda, in particular how to lead a team of people with many talents and diverse views."
Enda Kenny will remain on as Taoiseach until June 2nd, when his successor will take the reigns.
Here, Enda pokes fun at American President Donald Trump on this year's visit to Washington for St. Patrick's Day.
Gerry Adams said he "would like to wish Enda Kenny, his wife Fionnuala, and their family well. It will be a big a change in all of their lives."
“He and I disagree on many political issues, but I acknowledge that he did his best from his perspective", the Sinn Fein leader said.
The Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party Martin Heydon said "“Under Enda Kenny as Taoiseach, we saw a devastated economy repaired, long ignored social issues addressed, and the rebirth of a self-confident Ireland."
Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke said: "Enda Kenny has been a good supporter of Dublin and of Business during his time in office. We wish him well as he continues his long and accomplished career in Dáil Eireann."