Leo Varadkar becomes youngest Taoiseach in the history of the state

The Fine Gael Dublin West TD was elected by the Dail this afternoon and as well as becoming the youngest Taoiseach ever he is also the seventh to come from Dublin.

At the start of today’s proceedings outgoing leader Enda Kenny nominated Varadkar to be Taoiseach saying he was confident Varadkar would “carry out the role with energy, integrity and skill” and “would speak for a new generation of Irish women and men, representing a modern and diverse Ireland.”

The nomination was seconded by Dublin Rathdown TD Josepha Madigan, who said Mr Varadkar was “a leader for Ireland of today: open, decent and compassionate.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said he has differences with Varadkar that will be dated in due course.
He also said the new Taoiseach has “secured the most important role in our parliamentary democracy,” his family and supporters have “a right to be immensely proud of him”.
But that was where the platitudes ended as Martin then went on the offensive saying:

“His skill at avoiding hard news and distancing himself from the controversies of a government he sat in was remarkable.

“Added to this has been his ability to spin every minor development in one of his departments as a step-change.

“It is striking that the strong support which this record won him in his parliamentary party was not reflected in the much broader membership of Fine Gael.

“The role of Taoiseach is profoundly different from that of being a departmental minister and party spokesman.  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.”

Fianna Fáil abstained on the vote on Mr Varadkar, which was in accordance with the party’s “confidence and supply” arrangement to support the minority Fine Gael government.

Mr Varadkar was appointed with the support of 58 TDs including Fine Gael, the Independent Alliance, two Independent Ministers and Independent TD Michael Lowry.

About Padraig Conlon

Padraig Conlon
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