Ireland’s First Openly Gay Prime Minister Formally Takes Office

Ireland’s First Openly Gay Prime Minister Formally Takes Office

“As our youngest Taoiseach, he represents a modern, div-erse and inclusive Ireland and speaks for them like no other”, said departing Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who nominated Mr Varadkar (38) to succeed him.

“They also spoke about a crucial need for the parties in Northern Ireland to come together to form a fully functioning Executive by the 29 June and how both leaders would continue to engage closely on this important issue. I look forward to working with Taoiseach Varadkar to further strengthen India-Ireland relations”, the Prime Minister said.

“The Government I lead will not be one of left or right because those old divisions do not comprehend the political challenges of today”.

Varadkar born in Dublin in 1979, is the son of an Irish Catholic nurse from County Waterford and a Hindu doctor from Mumbai.

Describing how a young Leo was always interested in politics, his uncle, Avinash Varadkar, told ANI that once when he visited Leo’s family in Ireland back in 1998, even then as a child, Leo talked about politics.

Varadkar’s rival for the leadership of Fine Gael (United Ireland Party), Simon Coveney, is named as minister for foreign affairs with special responsibility for Brexit, with Charlie Flanagan moving to the Department of Justice and Equality.

Varadkar, who took his seat in parliament 10 years ago to the day on Wednesday, named Paschal Donohoe finance minister, replacing the retiring Michael Noonan. The election was necessitated after the incumbent Taoiseach Enda Kenny, resigned in May.

Speaking on the maintained position of Deputy Simon Harris as Minister for Health, Varadkar said that Harris would be tasked with “bringing forward legislation to allow for a referendum on the eighth amendment in 2018”.

In a coming-out speech he gave in a radio interview, he had said, “It’s not something that defines me”.

Mr Kenny, from Castlebar, Co Mayo, took over as Fine Gael leader in 2002 after the party suffered near annihilation at the polls.

“What it does mean is that gay and lesbian people are now seen as incredibly ordinary”, said Andrew Hyland, director of Ireland’s marriage equality campaign.