Jump to content

Simon Harris

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Simon Harris

Harris in April 2024
16th Taoiseach
Assumed office
9 April 2024
PresidentMichael D. Higgins
TánaisteMicheál Martin
Preceded byLeo Varadkar
Leader of Fine Gael
Assumed office
24 March 2024
Preceded byLeo Varadkar
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science
In office
27 June 2020 – 9 April 2024
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byPatrick O'Donovan
Minister for Justice
In office
17 December 2022 – 1 June 2023
TaoiseachLeo Varadkar
Preceded byHeather Humphreys
Succeeded byHelen McEntee
Minister for Health
In office
6 May 2016 – 27 June 2020
Preceded byLeo Varadkar
Succeeded byStephen Donnelly
Minister of State
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2011
Personal details
Born (1986-10-17) 17 October 1986 (age 37)
Greystones, County Wicklow, Ireland
Political partyFine Gael
Caoimhe Wade (m. 2017)
Alma materDublin Institute of Technology (attended)

Simon Harris (born 17 October 1986) is an Irish politician who has served as the 16th Taoiseach since 2024. He has also been the Leader of Fine Gael since 2024. At age 37, he is the youngest person to become Taoiseach.[1]

Before becoming Taoiseach, he was a minister in the government of Ireland from 2016 until 2024. He was the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science from 2020 until his election as Fine Gael leader. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Wicklow constituency since 2011. Harris was a Minister of State from 2014 to 2016.[2][3][4]

Early life[change | change source]

Harris was born in Greystones, County Wicklow, in 1986, to Bart and Mary Harris.[5][6][7]

Harris studied at St. David's Holy Faith Secondary School, in Greystones. He first became involved in local politics as a fifteen-year-old when he created the North Wicklow Triple A Alliance to help the families of children with autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit disorder.[8] Harris was a member of Fianna Fáil at first,[9] but later joined Fine Gael.[10]

Harris studied journalism and French, at the Dublin Institute of Technology, but dropped out in first year.[7]

Political career[change | change source]

Harris was elected to Dáil Éireann in 2011, taking the third seat in the Wicklow constituency.[11] As the youngest deputy in the 31st Dáil, he was selected by Fine Gael to nominate Enda Kenny for Taoiseach.[12]

Harris ran unsuccessfully as a Fine Gael candidate in the South constituency at the 2014 European Parliament election.[4]

Harris was promoted to the position of Minister of State at the Department of Finance in 2014. In May 2016, Harris was appointed to the cabinet as Minister for Health.[13] On the formation of the coalition government in June 2020, Harris was appointed as Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.[14] From 2022 to 2023, he was Minister for Justice.

Fine Gael leadership[change | change source]

In March 2024, Leo Varadkar resigned as leader of Fine Gael, causing a leadership election. Varadkar said that he would also resign as Taoiseach after the election of the new Fine Gael leader.

More than half of the Fine Gael parliamentary party had announced their support for Harris to be the next leader and all other cabinet ministers had ruled themselves out of the contest. Harris confirmed his plan to run for Fine Gael leader on 21 March 2024.[15] Harris was the only candidate, and he was confirmed as leader at the party's meeting in Athlone the same day.[16][17]

Taoiseach[change | change source]

Harris became the 16th Taoiseach on 9 April 2024.[18] He received his appointment as Taoiseach by President Michael D. Higgins shortly afterwards as the youngest in the history of the state.[19]

One of his government's first decisions was the recognition of a Palestinian state on 28 May 2024.[20]

Personal life[change | change source]

In 2017, he married Caoimhe Wade, a nurse.[21] They have one daughter and one son.[22] Harris has Crohn's disease,[23] but has said it has little impact on his day-to-day life.[24]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Simon Harris set to become Ireland's youngest prime minister after party election". France24. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  2. "Simon Harris". Oireachtas Members Database. Archived from the original on 4 May 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  3. Collins, Stephen (2011). Nealon's Guide to the 31st Dáil and 24th Seanad. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. p. 185. ISBN 9780717150595.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Simon Harris". ElectionsIreland.org. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  5. "Siblings celebrate in style". Bray People. 25 October 2007. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  6. "Harris celebrates his 30th birthday". Bray People. 22 October 2016. Archived from the original on 4 February 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Cullen, Paul (17 May 2016). "Simon Harris as Minister for Health: the challenge awaits". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 2 May 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  8. Anderson, Nicola (25 February 2017). "The Icarus minister: How Simon Harris flew too high too soon". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  9. Molony, Senan (2024-03-21). "From Fianna Fáil canvassing to teenage days in the Dáil – seven things you didn't know about Simon Harris". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 2024-03-24.
  10. Loughlin, Elaine (2024-03-24). "A man who talks fast and walks at speed: Who is Simon Harris?". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2024-03-24.
  11. "Meet your 76 new TDs". RTÉ News. 9 March 2011. Archived from the original on 23 February 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  12. "Nomination of Taoiseach – Dáil Éireann (31st Dáil) – Vol. 728 No. 1". 9 March 2011. Archived from the original on 27 June 2022. Retrieved 21 March 2024.
  13. "Frances Fitzgerald is Tánaiste in new Cabinet". RTÉ News. 6 May 2016. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  14. "Simon Harris Becomes Minister for Higher Education, Innovation and Research". 9thlevel.ie. 27 June 2020. Archived from the original on 28 June 2020. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  15. "Harris confirms Fine Gael leadership bid as others opt out". RTÉ News. 21 March 2024. Archived from the original on 21 March 2024. Retrieved 21 March 2024.
  16. "Simon Harris pledges to win back trust of voters who no longer support Fine Gael as new leader". The Irish Times.
  17. Murphy, Paul Hosford and Greg (24 March 2024). "Simon Harris commits to 'renewal' of party in first speech as Fine Gael leader". Irish Examiner.
  18. Cunningham, Paul (25 March 2024). "Harris to discuss transition of power with Taoiseach". RTÉ News.
  19. "Simon Harris becomes youngest-ever Irish prime minister, pledges 'reset'". CNBC. Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  20. "Ireland formally recognises a Palestinian state". 28 May 2024. Retrieved 28 May 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. "Minister for Health Simon Harris marries cardiac nurse". RTÉ News. 22 July 2017. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  22. O'Keeffe, Rebecca. "Simon Harris has chosen a beautiful Irish name for his newborn daughter". Her.ie. Archived from the original on 18 January 2019. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  23. O'Regan, Eilish (20 September 2016). "Crohn's sufferer Simon Harris hails camera that can be swallowed". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 21 September 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  24. Murphy, Gary (24 March 2024). "Who is Simon Harris? Inside the world of boy wonder turned Taoiseach-elect". www.thetimes.co.uk.

Other websites[change | change source]