Leo Varadkar Elected Taoiseach

Leo Varadkar has become Ireland's youngest Taoiseach by 57 votes to 50.

Mr Varadkar replaces Enda Kenny, who announced he would be stepping down last month.

President Michael D Higgins presented the Seal of Office to Mr Varadkar at Áras an Uachtaráin.

The newly elected Taoiseach will return to the Dáil later today, 14 June, to announce the members of his new government.

In a statement, Taoiseach Varadkar thanked Deputy Kenny and Deputy Madigan for nominating him, and said if it was not for Mr Kenny he did not doubt he "would not be here in this seat today".

He continued: "I have been elected to lead. But, I promise to serve. I thank Deputy Martin, the leader of the Fianna Fáil Party, for his words and his advice. And I would also like to thank all the speakers who have set out the challenges facing this country and this administration. Leadership should never just be about one person, and leadership is not just about setting a course for the future. It is also about listening, and in the months and years ahead I will seek to do exactly that.

"For some, politics is a bad word. But we have also seen in other countries, and sometimes in this one, that politics can also be a way of inspiring people to believe in something bigger. It can be a way to convince people that change is possible.

"I believe in the power of politics. Politics is not perfect but at its best is a way of solving problems and helping to build a better future."


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