etvfutures.com
etvfutures.com June 23, 2017


Leo Varadkar: Indian-origin openly gay doctor is Ireland's new Prime Minister

18 June 2017, 12:16 | Opal Carroll

Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald, who has moved to the Department of Enterprise, is to ensure Ireland is "business ready for Brexit".

Leo Varadkar is also the youngest prime minister in Irish history.

A son of former government minister and businessman Hugh Coveney, he boarded at the Republic's most prestigious school, Jesuit-run Clongowes Wood College in Co Kildare.

The Cork South Central TD, who unsuccessfully challenged Leo Varadkar for the Fine Gael leadership, had reportedly been keen to take over the key post in Mr Varadkar's new government.

In his first speech, Varadkar said the United Kingdom has been through some bad tragedies over the past few weeks so we offer them our sympathy and solidarity.

"The country may experience an impact on prosperity and trade across the open border as it works towards restoring a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland".

The Dublin-born politician's Indian immigrant father and Irish mother were in parliament to watch as the 38-year-old was formally confirmed as taoiseach.

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"The UK has been through some awful and bad tragedies in the past few weeks and to them, on behalf of this House, we offer our sympathies, solidarity and support", he said.

Although the dust has barely settled on a leadership campaign that only looked like providing one outright victor, the task of turning around Ireland's deepest problems is still on the horizon for Varadkar and his latest decision to move a number of key ministers to different departments could make or break his future as Dail Eireann's top dog.

Mr Ahern, one of the architects of the Good Friday agreement, said that the Unionist party's anticipated support was a positive development that would help deliver a soft Brexit.

During an interview on public broadcaster RTE in January 2015, Varadkar spoke publicly for the first time about being gay.

Ms Madigan said Mr Varadkar was "honest, genuine, with a first-class intellect".

"We also look forward to welcoming him on campus as Taoiseach and for staff and students to meet with him", he added. "It is only by him holding the office that we will see if Deputy Varadkar is willing to make the changes necessary to be successful".

Colum Eastwood said: "The new Taoiseach enters into office when our country is experiencing some of its greatest challenges since the formation of the State. I think that is too restrictive", he said. In a press statement, the Head of the School of Medicine, Prof Paul Browne, said: "We are proud of Leo Varadkar and his achievements".



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