Published: Fri, June 23, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Enda Kenny confirms resignation as Irish prime minister

Enda Kenny confirms resignation as Irish prime minister

The New York Times uses the Reuters copy and with the headline: "Leo Varadkar Elected as Ireland's First Gay Prime Minister".

Varadkar becomes the EU's youngest national leader with Jüri Ratas, the 38-year-old Estonian Prime Minister and Emmanuel Macron, 39 of France, joining him as a trio under 40.

Varadkar takes over a minority government from Enda Kenny, who said his successor reflected a changed Ireland. Fianna Fáil, as expected, abstained from the vote, while Labour, Sinn Féin and Solidarity-People Before Profit were among those who opposed his election.

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Amongst the other movers Charlie Flanagan will now be the head of the Department of Justice, whilst Eoghan Murphy and Regina Doherty will officially become the Minister for Housing and the Minister for Social Protection and Labour, respectively. But he marks as the youngest and the first from an ethnic background to run Ireland. Leo Varadkar, the son of an Irish nurse and a doctor from India, came out as gay in 2015.

Mr Varadkar was seconded by one of the Dail's newest TDs, Josepha Madigan, of Dublin Rathdown, who was elected in February previous year.

"Leo has been making headlines round the world - the first openly gay Taoiseach, the first son of an immigrant".

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Paying tribute to Mr Kenny, Mr Varadkar said: "I have no doubt, only for him, this country as we know it would not be here today. The government I lead will be one of the new European center as we seek to build a republic of opportunity".

Another unknown is how Ireland will work with the yet-to-be formalised coalition arrangement between the ruling Conservative party in London and the staunchly conservative Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, which opposes legal abortion and same-sex marriage.

He will be nominated as Taoiseach in the Dáil on Wednesday, before he travels to meet President Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin, where he will be given his seal of office. He studied medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, and served as a junior doctor before qualifying as a general practitioner in 2010.

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