Leo Varadkar, the 38-years-old Indian-origin man who is openly homosexual is set to become the youngest Prime Minister of Ireland. Leo won the Irish election while representing the Fine Gael Party and will lead the once staunchly Catholic Irish Republic.
Ireland’s ruling party – Fine Gael chose Leo Varadkar as its new leader, putting him on track to become the nation’s first openly gay and the youngest prime minister ever. Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar, the youngest son of an Indian doctor – Ashok Varadkar and an Irish nurse – Miriam, defeated the Housing Minister Simon Coveney, 44, to replace Enda Kenny, who is stepping aside after six years. He is likely to succeed Enda Kenny as prime minister in the coming weeks, marking another symbolic moment for Ireland.
Varadkar has received much media coverage of his victory despite his age, background and sexuality. While talking with Newstalk radio, he said, “If somebody of my age, of my mixed race background and of all the things that make up my character can potentially become leader of our country, then I think that sends out a message to every child born today that there is no office in Ireland that they can’t aspire to.”. When Leo’s father moved to Ireland back in 1970s, the country was considered to be western Europe’s most socially conservative country and today, his son stands on the dice ready to pledge to lead the country as Prime Minister which shows how far Ireland has come from being conservative.
Speaking after the final votes were tallied in Dublin, Varadkar said he was delighted, humbled and honoured to win. Varadkar, a doctor educated at Trinity College Dublin, entered Irish politics in 2004, when he polled almost 5,000 votes in a local government election in the Dublin West constituency. Three years later, he was elected to represent the area in parliament. The former doctor is one year younger than the just elected French President Emmanuel Macron, but the youngest leader to represent their country in the European Union will be the favourite to become Austria’s new prime minister, Sebastian Kurz, who is 8 years younger that Leo Varadkar. But Leo’s triumph is surely a historic mark for the Irish Republic.