Birthday: January 18, 1979
Age: 41 Years, 41 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Born in: Castleknock, Dublin, Ireland
Famous as: Prime Minister of Ireland
father: Ashok Varadkar
mother: Miriam Varadkar
siblings: Sonia Varadkar, Sophie Varadkar
City: Dublin, Ireland
education: Trinity College, Dublin (2003), Trinity College, Dublin, The King's Hospital
Leo Varadkar is the current Taoiseach—the Prime Minister—of the Republic of Ireland, in office since 14 June 2017. In early June 2017, he succeeded Enda Kenny as the Leader of the Fine Gael Party and was soon nominated as the Taoiseach by Dáil Éireann (the Assembly of Ireland) which was approved by the President of Ireland. A professionally qualified doctor, Varadkar had been the Health Minister from 2014 to 2016. He has also served as the Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Minister of Social Protection. The son of an Indian immigrant, he came out publicly as gay, in 2015, becoming the first openly gay Irish government minister and the first minister of Indian heritage. Politically active since his college days, he ventured deep into politics in the late 2000s. Elected to Dáil Éireann in 2007, he proceeded to hold many important positions in the Irish government, earning a reputation for being a highly intelligent, honest, and hardworking man. His appointment as the Prime Minister is significant in the political history of Ireland due to several aspects; he is not only the country’s first openly gay Taoiseach, but also the youngest and the first one of Indian heritage.
Childhood & Early Life
Leo Varadkar was born on 18 January 1979 in Dublin, Ireland, to Ashok Varadkar and his wife Miriam (née Howell). His father is a Hindu doctor of Indian origin while his mother is an Irish Catholic nurse. He has two sisters, Sophie and Sonia.
Varadkar attended the St Francis Xavier National School, Blanchardstown, before moving to Palmerstown at The King's Hospital for his secondary-level education. He developed an early interest in politics and joined the political party Fine Gael during his secondary schooling.
After the completion of his schooling he enrolled at the Trinity College, Dublin (TCD). He initially studied law before switching to medicine. During his college days he served as vice-president of the Youth of the European People's Party, the youth wing of the Christian Democrat group.
Intelligent, hardworking, and determined, he was selected for the prestigious Washington Ireland Program, a six-month program of personal and professional development meant for ambitious young people with leadership skills. He completed the program in 2000.
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In 2003, Leo Varadkar graduated from the school of medicine following which he worked for several years as a junior doctor in St. James's Hospital and Connolly Hospital. He qualified as a general practitioner in 2010.
Meanwhile he remained politically active throughout this period, and was elected to the Dáil Éireann (the Assembly of Ireland) at the 2007 general election. He also served as the party spokesperson for Enterprise, Trade and Employment from 2007 to 2010. He was easily re-elected to Dáil Éireann in 2011.
In 2011, Fine Gael formed a coalition government with the Labour Party, following which Leo Varadkar was appointed Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport on 9 March 2011. This came as a surprise to many as it is known that Varadkar is not an enthusiastic sports fan.
In July 2014, the cabinet was reshuffled and Varadkar found himself replacing James Reilly as Minister for Health. This came as no surprise as he is a qualified doctor.
In the 2016 Irish general elections, held in February, he was once again elected to the Dáil Éireann and retained the health portfolio in an acting capacity until May that year. As the Health Minister, he cut €12 million from the €35 million allocated to that year's budget for mental health care as he felt that the funding could be better utilized elsewhere.
In May 2016, the then-Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, appointed Varadkar as Minister for Social Protection. His stature in the Irish political scenario continued to rise and on 2 June 2017, Varadkar was elected leader of Fine Gael, succeeding the retiring Kenny. His main opponent in the election had been Simon Coveney, who was eventually made his deputy.
On 14 June 2017 he was nominated as Taoiseach by Dáil Éireann in a 57–50 vote with 47 abstentions. This nomination was approved by the President of Ireland and thus Leo Varadkar became Ireland's first openly gay Taoiseach, and also the first one of Indian origin. The outgoing Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, said his successor represented a “modest, diverse and inclusive Ireland”.
As an openly gay minister, Leo Varadkar was a leading campaigner for the “Yes Vote” in the Marriage Referendum prior to the passage of the thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution in May 2015. His popularity is believed to have played a crucial role in garnering the public support for legalizing same-sex marriages in Ireland. The Marriage Act 2015, which provides for same-sex marriage in Ireland, was signed into law in October 2015.
Awards & Achievements
While Leo Varadkar was serving as the Health Minister, he was named 'Man of the Year' by the publication ‘Irish Tatler’ in 2015. The award was presented to him by the chairwoman of Harmonia, Norah Casey.
Leo Varadkar came out publicly on his 36th birthday on 18 January 2015 during an interview with RTE Radio. His disclosure was met with mass approval and he was appreciated for his honesty and courage.
He is in a long-term relationship with Matthew Barrett, a doctor at Mater Misericordiae University Hospital.