Indian-Origin Doctor To Become First Openly Gay Prime Minister In Ireland

Ordinary members of the party voted heavily in favour of Simon Coveney, while Mr Varadkar won the majority of elected members' votes.

And he said the party will come together after two weeks of robust debate.

"This is a great step for Ireland but an even greater thing for the world", Dr Bhamjee said.

Varadkar was born and raised in Dublin to mother, Miriam, a nurse originally from Waterford in Ireland and father, Ashok, a doctor from Mumbai, India.

The piece detailed how Mr Varadkar is the 38-year-old son of an Indian immigrant and that he would be the first openly gay Irish prime minister.

If confirmed as prime minister, Varadkar will lead a country still emerging from the shadow of the 2008 global financial crisis, which hit the debt-fueled "Celtic Tiger" economy particularly hard.

"I know when my father traveled 5,000 miles to build a new home in Ireland, I doubt that he ever dreamed that one day his son would grow up to be its leader".

Taoiseach Enda Kenny did not attend the count in Dublin's Mansion House, but issued a statement offering "heartiest congratulations" to his successor.

The leader of Ireland's opposition congratulated Varadkar in a statement and said the party was committed to maintaining its current agreement with Fine Gael. But the vote is weighted, with councillors and parliamentarians accounting for 75% per cent of the result; they gave Mr Varadkar a comfortable victory.

An Irish Times tracking poll of party councillors showed that Mr Varadkar was leading in the third college that makes up the remaining 10 percent. His secondary-level education took place in Palmerstown at The King's Hospital - a fee-paying school operated under the ethos of the Church of Ireland.

"He's a once-in-a-generation politician", said Fine Gael member of parliament Jim Daly, echoing the comments of most of his colleagues who have placed high hopes in Varadkar. Irish politicians were among the last sectors of our society to come out of the closet but now at least we've got one gay man and a lesbian, Catherine Zappone, both in the cabinet.

"It's just part of who I am".

He also said that if elected he would not expect his partner Matt Barrett, also a doctor, to accompany him on official business.

  • Leroy Wright