"When a gay man with Indian roots becomes Ireland's youngest prime minister, it is time to take note"

Posted by ap507 at Jun 06, 2017 01:10 PM |
Leo Varadkar has long insisted his sexuality or ethnicity do not define him, but it is a defining moment for Ireland, says Dr Richard Butler
"When a gay man with Indian roots becomes Ireland's youngest prime minister, it is time to take note"

Leo Varadkar T.D./via Facebook

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Dr Richard Butler from the Centre for Urban History has written an article for Scroll.in discussing major social changes taking place in the Republic of Ireland.

In the article he says: "There is little doubt now that a major social and cultural change is underway in the Republic of Ireland. Traditionally a conservative Catholic country, it became the first nation in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through a popular vote in 2015. And on Friday, Leo Varadkar, the son of an Indian immigrant and an openly homosexual politician was elected leader of the governing Centre-Right party Fine Gael and will soon become Ireland’s taoiseach, or prime minister. Varadkar has many firsts to his name: he is set to be Ireland’s youngest prime minister, the first child of an immigrant to assume that post and the country’s first openly gay head of government.

"Though just 38, Varadkar – the son of a doctor from Mumbai and an Irish nurse – has long been seen as a potential leader of Ireland. He’s friendly, personable, photogenic, good with a joke, and has a deep understanding of Ireland’s core and growing voter demographic, the suburban Dubliner. He has a reputation for speaking his mind, sometimes creating controversies and to the chagrin of his party colleagues. For instance in 2011, he speculated that Ireland – like Greece – would need a second European bail-out (the first one was in 2010, after a banking crisis in 2008) directly contradicting the incumbent Prime Minister Enda Kenny and other senior government figures."

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