Leo Varadkar formally elected as Ireland's new Taoiseach


A triumphant Mr Varadkar described the day as a "demonstration of democracy in action".

"I feel Leo has always faced challenges and he has won over all the difficulties and same thing he will be doing in his political career and future also", Leo's cousin, Shubhada Varadkar, said.

"If we want to inspire somebody to believe in your vision, you have to appeal to their heart as well as their head".

Ireland's new prime minister shrugged off comparisons with Britain's conservatives and vowed to lead a government of "the new European centre" yesterday as he was confirmed in the job.

The new Irish government would be centrist, and European. The 19th century republican, agrarian campaigner and founder of the Irish National Land League said he left "kind thoughts" to his friends, forgiveness to others and an "undying prayer" to Ireland for "absolute freedom and independence".

He then travelled to the president's residence, Aras an Uachtarain, where President Michael D Higgins gave him the seals of office to officially confirm his appointment. His partner, Matthew Barrett, is a doctor at Dublin's Mater Misericordiae University Hospital.

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Varadkar was first elected to political office when he was 24 and came out as being gay later in 2015. Three years later, he was elected to represent the area in parliament.

Mr Varadkar will discuss the Brexit crisis during a series of phonecalls with Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron over the next 48 hours. "As far as I can see, it hasn't been an issue at all in the leadership contest".

Addressing the Dail (the Irish parliament) on Wednesday after his confirmation, Varadkar said his government will be characterised by modernity.

Varadkar, who has held senior positions in the transport, tourism, sport, health and social protection departments for the Fine Gael party, was backed by 57 lawmakers in the parliament, with 50 voting against and 45 abstentions.

Mr Adams warned that Mr Varadkar had in the past mistakenly engaged in abuse and invective during Dail exchanges. I hope and expect this to be a very early priority for the new Taoiseach. I think he is a decent man. "But all relatives shall gather at our home this evening", cousin Shubhada Varadkar told IANS on Wednesday morning.