On behalf of everyone associated with the L.E.A.F. NETWORK, I warmly congratulate Deputy Micheál Martin on his election as Taoiseach of our country. This is a special day for Deputy Martin, his wife Mary, his family and his many friends, especially here in Cork.

Deputy Martin assumes the office of Taoiseach at a time of unprecedented challenges for Ireland. The effects of the Coronavirus pandemic have devastated many lives. The work of rebuilding our country will require a great collaborative effort on the part of all sectors of Irish society.

Micheál Martin is deeply rooted in the community here in Cork. This is a city of proud family traditions and enduring values of faith, as well as care and respect for all, especially the most vulnerable.

Micheál’s election as Taoiseach will be a special source of joy to his native parish of Turners Cross and surrounding parishes. He is a proud past pupil of Presentation Brothers schools, having attended both Scoil Chríost Rí (now Bunscoil Chríost Rí) and Coláiste Chríost Rí He has retained a close connection with these school communities and with the Presentation Family over the years.

Cork people and communities are resilient in facing life’s difficulties. We pull together to support each other in a spirit of ‘Ni neart go cur le cheile’! As Taoiseach, Micheál Martin will need to draw on that resilience as he takes on the challenges of his high office.

The L.E.A.F. PROJECT has been working closely with a wide variety of individuals and groups, especially during these last months of the pandemic. Along with other faith communities, we in the Presentation Family, wish to contribute to the renewal and rebuilding of our country. We assure our new Taoiseach of our support for him in his work for the common good. We pray that the Lord grants him the gifts of wisdom and discernment at this time.

Micheál Martin follows in the tradition of another Corkman, the late Jack Lynch, who as Taoiseach, brought distinction to Cork and to Ireland. As a student of history and a former Lord Mayor, Micheál will also be very aware of this special centenary year. May the idealism and spirit of service of patriots such as Tomás Mac Curtain and Terence MacSwiney inspire him now.

At a personal level, I wish Micheál, Mary and Family every blessing and happiness on this special occasion.

Faoi bhrat Mhuire na Toirbhirte go raibh sibh!

Br. Martin Kenneally.