Leo Varadkar

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Leo Varadkar

portrait photograph of Varadkar
Official portrait, c. 2020
Assumed office
27 June 2020
TaoiseachMicheál Martin
Preceded bySimon Coveney
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Assumed office
27 June 2020
TaoiseachMicheál Martin
Preceded byHeather Humphreys
Leader of Fine Gael
Assumed office
2 June 2017
DeputySimon Coveney
Preceded byEnda Kenny
14th Taoiseach
In office
14 June 2017 – 27 June 2020
PresidentMichael D. Higgins
TánaisteFrances Fitzgerald
Simon Coveney
Preceded byEnda Kenny
Succeeded byMicheál Martin
Minister for Defence
In office
14 June 2017 – 27 June 2020
Preceded byEnda Kenny
Succeeded bySimon Coveney
Minister for Social Protection
In office
6 May 2016 – 14 June 2017
TaoiseachEnda Kenny
Preceded byJoan Burton
Succeeded byRegina Doherty
Minister for Health
In office
11 July 2014 – 6 May 2016
TaoiseachEnda Kenny
Preceded byJames Reilly
Succeeded bySimon Harris
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
In office
9 March 2011 – 11 July 2014
TaoiseachEnda Kenny
Preceded byPat Carey
Succeeded byPaschal Donohoe
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
June 2007
ConstituencyDublin West
Personal details
Leo Eric Varadkar

(1979-01-18) 18 January 1979 (age 43)
Dublin, Ireland
Political partyFine Gael
Domestic partnerMatthew Barrett (2015–present)
EducationThe King's Hospital
Alma materTrinity College Dublin

Leo Eric Varadkar (/vəˈrædkər/ və-RAD-kər; born 18 January 1979) is an Irish politician and physician serving as the Leader of Fine Gael since 2017 and Tánaiste since 2020. He was Taoiseach and Minister for Defence from 2017 to 2020. He is the Leader of Fine Gael since June 2017 replacing Enda Kenny. He has served as Minister for Social Protection since May 2016. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) since 2007 for the Dublin West constituency.

Early career[change | change source]

In 2004 he was co-opted onto Fingal County Council and served as deputy mayor before his election to Dáil Éireann. He was promoted to the Front Bench by Enda Kenny as Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, remaining in this position until a 2010 reshuffle when he became Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

After the formation of the Coalition Government in March 2011, he was appointed Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. A cabinet reshuffle in July 2014 saw Varadkar appointed to the position of Minister for Health. During his tenure he became the first openly gay Irish government minister.

Following the formation of a Fine Gael minority government in May 2016, he was appointed Minister for Social Protection.

Taoiseach[change | change source]

2017 Fine Gael leadership election[change | change source]

After the resignation of Enda Kenny as Leader of Fine Gael in May 2017, Varadkar announced his candidacy for party leader.[1] He faced Minister for Housing Simon Coveney in the Fine Gael leadership election. He won the election on 2 June 2017.

On 14 June, he was nominated as Taoiseach by Dáil Éireann and this nomination was approved by the President of Ireland.[2][3] Varadkar became Ireland's first openly gay Taoiseach, as well as the youngest and the first of half-Indian descent.[4][5]

Defeat[change | change source]

On 26 June 2020, it was announced that Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party had agreed to form a coalition government, marking the first time the two main Irish parties had formed a government together. As part of the agreement, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin will hold the office of Taoiseach until December 2022, while Varadkar will take the position of Tánaiste. The pair will then swap roles after roughly 2½ years, with Varadkar retaking the position of Taoiseach for the remainder of the coalition's term. Martin is expected to be elected Taoiseach by the Dáil on 27 June.[6]

Personal life[change | change source]

Varadkar is openly gay.[7][8] He is first openly gay cabinet member in Ireland.[9]

His partner is Matthew Barrett.[10]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Tánaiste declares for Varadkar in Fine Gael leadership race". RTÉ.ie. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  2. "More 'disappointments than appointments' over cabinet selection - Varadkar". RTE. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017. Mr Varadkar, who is on course to be elected taoiseach in the Dáil next Wednesday, ... He described his meetings with Fianna Fáil and Independents yesterday as "fruitful".
  3. Kelly, Fiach (6 June 2017). "Varadkar may have smaller majority as taoiseach than Kenny". The Irish Times. Retrieved 8 June 2017. Mr Varadkar is expected to be elected taoiseach when the House resumes on Tuesday, June 13th. He is set to meet Independent members of the Government on Tuesday night and Wednesday, and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin on Wednesday. He will need the backing of the Independents and the abstention of Fianna Fáil to be elected taoiseach.
  4. Healy, Claire (2017). "Leo Varadkar set to become Ireland's youngest ever and first gay Taoiseach - after beating Simon Coveney to be crowned Fine Gael leader". Thesun.ie. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  5. McDonald, Henry (3 June 2017). "Leo Varadkar, gay son of Indian immigrant, to be next Irish PM". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  6. "Irish government: Parties agree to form coalition government". BBC News. 26 June 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  7. "Leo Varadkar: 'I wanted to be an equal citizen . . . and today I am'". The Irish Times.
  8. Nial O'Connor (23 May 2015). "10 factors behind the 'Yes' side's victory". Independent.ie.
  9. "Irish Cabinet member tells nation he's gay, becomes Ireland's 1st openly gay government minister". Fox News.
  10. [1]

Other websites[change | change source]